New Zealand will dissolve its parliament today ahead of the October 17 general election.
The dissolution and general election were recently rescheduled by four weeks, following a re-emergence of COVID-19 in the country that sparked a return to lockdowns in areas of New Zealand. The delay also means the Treasury will release its Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update, which provides a detailed statement of the government’s financial position and updated economic and fiscal forecasts, on September 16.
Expect the Labour Party to perform exceedingly well in the upcoming election, potentially gaining a single party majority government. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s popularity rose following her increased social welfare programs and response to the 2019 Christchurch shootings, while her leadership during the pandemic has been lauded at home and abroad, further boosting public support for her party to a historic high of 60% in late July. Should Labour sweep the election, expect continued increases in welfare benefits, clean energy initiatives, housing development and other social welfare programmes, as the absence of a coalition government will allow her party to enact more progressive legislation than otherwise possible.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
Wescott is a Copy-Editor and Senior Analyst. His thematic focuses are international security, politics, economics and public policy.