Jacinda Ardern Takes Over New Zealand Opposition as Election Looms

Labour leader Andrew Little has stood down as Labour leader

Labour leader Andrew Little has stood down as Labour leader

Some in Labour were understood to have put together the alternative leadership team of Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis to replace him if he chose to go - but other senior MPs said they did not expect that to be actioned unless Little went of his own volition. Little then told TV 1 News that he'd talked to colleagues about the possibility of stepping down, an admission that appeared to further erode his credibility. Your donation will help us sustain this most resource-intensive form of journalism, ensuring that the most complex and important stories still get told.

In the past Ardern has said she in not interested in being prime minister because of the pressure it puts on home and family life.

She praised Little for his loyalty to the party, and said she and the caucus remain committed to winning at the election.

0925: Ardern, arriving at Parliament, reported as saying Andrew Little has had her full support the entire time.

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"Everyone knows that I have just accepted, with short notice, the worst job in politics", Ardern said.

She became her struggling party's youngest leader five days after her 37th birthday.

The dramatic turn of events this morning saw Andrew Little quit as leader.

Support for Labour fell to 24 percent in a One News/Colmar Brunton poll released Sunday, nearly half the 47 percent backing for the governing National Party.

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No-one is yet to publicly declare their candidacy for leadership, though deputy Jacinda Ardern is expected to throw her hat in the ring, possibly with Maori MP Kelvin Davis as her deputy.

Meanwhile, the polls got even uglier for Labour and Little yesterday.

Analysts described the move as a potential game-changer in a September 23rd election that had been seen as a slam-dunk for the centre-right National Party, which has been buoyed by some of the strongest recent economic growth among advanced countries. But it may also vie for the support of New Zealand First, depending on the final vote tallies. These are the consequences of making poor political judgments, not having policy, for the Labour party.

The series shows that since MMP was introduced in 1996 there has been a correlation at least between support for New Zealand First and the level of non-New Zealand citizen permanent arrivals. She said her vision for New Zealand was a place where everyone had a roof over their heads, meaningful work and where education was free.

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