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Flagging Labour in New Zealand chooses youngest-ever leader weeks ahead of election


New Zealand

Flagging Labour in New Zealand chooses youngest-ever leader weeks ahead of election

Two months ahead of a general election the opposition Labour party in New Zealand has its youngest-ever leader.

Former party boss Andrew Little, faced with his party’s slumping poll numbers, has fallen on his sword to let his deputy, Jacinda Ardern try and drag the party back from just 24% of the forecast vote, Labour’s lowest share since 1995.


A party member for the last 20 years Ardern was first elected in 2008, and she polls strongly among the young and women, but the sometime DJ and former Mormon is seen by some as inexperienced.

“Granted, I am a young proposition for the party, but this team has worked alongside me for nine years, they have faith in me, and I absolutely believe I am up to the job,” said Ardern in her acceptance speech.

Some commentators noted Labour now has a “dream ticket”, with Ardern seen scooping the youth vote and complemented by her new deputy and first Maori in the job, Kelvin Davies .