New Zealand Prime Minister John Key celebrates after winning the general election at the 2014 New Zealand National Party election event at Viaduct Event Center in Auckland on September 20, 2014. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said he was
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key celebrates after winning the general election at the 2014 New Zealand National Party election event at Viaduct Event Center in Auckland on September 20, 2014. New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key said he was "ecstatic" on September 20 after a crushing election win, securing his third term as leader of the South Pacific nation. AFP Photo - Marty Melville

New Zealand’s ruling Nationals enjoy a slight swing

NEW Zealand's ruling centre-right government of John Key has been returned for a third term.

With about 99% of the vote counted last night, the National Party was sitting on about 48% - up about 1% on the last election. Labour had lost about 3%, down to almost 25%, and the Green party was on about 10%, down about 1%.

Opinion polls had pointed to Mr Key's National Party, gaining about 46% support, with the main centre-left Labour Party a distant second on 25%.

The result means that despite NZ's proportional voting system, the Nationals may be able to hold power without the co-operation of minor parties.

Key, a 53-year-old former foreign exchange dealer, stood on his government's record of economic management and strict controls on spending.

The country has moved out of recession after the Global Financial Crisis to be one of the best performing developed economies over the past year.

The campaign was overshadowed by allegations of dirty tactics involving government ministers.



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