New Labour Party leader

In a shock announcement this morning, Andrew Little said he had resigned as Leader of the Opposition. In his place, the Labour Party caucus had voted Jacinda Ardern as the new leader. She had been Deputy Leader. The new Deputy is Kelvin Davis from Northland.

This was very surprising news as the general election is only 8 weeks away. The reason Andrew Little gave for his resignation is the poor poll results that Labour has received in the last 3 polls, of around 24% of the vote. If only 24% of New Zealand voters plan to vote for Labour, the future for the party does not look very hopeful. He said that he did not feel he could be Prime Minister if he had so little support from the country. Labour and Greens have said they could govern together if they got enough votes.

Jacinda Ardern may be able to improve Labour’s position in the polls. She is young – only 37 – and her speech today showed she was very positive and enthusiastic. She has been an MP for 8 years. She has asked for 72 hours in which to plan her policy so we will have to wait to see what she has to offer.

Meanwhile the thousands of billboards around the country showing Andrew Little and Jacinda Ardern will have to change.

Vocabulary

• resign (v), resignation (n) – to choose to leave a position or a job
• the Opposition – the party which has the second highest number of MPs (the highest number is the government)
• MPs – Members of Parliament
• caucus – all the MPs from one party; there are 32 Labour MPs at the moment
• poll – a survey, a large number of people are asked which party they will vote for
• policy – plan of action
• billboards – large advertisements showing photos of the leader and deputy leader, or just showing the name of the party; they are usually beside the street






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