NZ Election 2020 live updates: All the reaction as Labour wins in a landslide, National suffers massive defeat

Welcome to Newshub's live updates with all the reaction to Saturday night's 2020 election results.

In what was a monumental night for Labour, it clinched power by such margin - 49.1 percent of the vote and 64 seats - that it can govern alone. 

It was, however, a disastrous night for National - winning just 26.8 percent and 35 seats.

These live updates have finished.

8:30pm - Jacinda Ardern shared a photo to Instagram from Saturday night to thank New Zealanders who voted for Labour.

"I've tried to think of the words to say 'thank you' properly but I haven't been able to shorten it much past what I said last night," she wrote. She also added her full speech she gave to supporters at Labour's election headquarters on Saturday night.

8:20pm - National MP for Waikato Tim van de Molen said the result for his party "was not a good one".

"We will rebuild as a team and refocus on serving the important role of Opposition in our Parliament," he said.

"The next few years will be difficult for us as a country, so I genuinely hope that Labour can get us back on track. Rest assured, I'll be working hard to hold them to account."

He was also reelected as Waikato's MP, and he said he's proud to continue this work for his electorate.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the last three years and am proud to have the opportunity to continue working hard for the amazing people of the #MightyWaikato."

8pm - Jacinda Ardern's fiancé Clarke Gayford said it's been a "reasonable weekend" for him, a statement which was described as an understatement by some who replied to his tweet.

7:45pm - More MPs took to social media late on Sunday afternoon and in the evening to thank voters for electing them.

Labour's Poto Williams, who was reelected to Christchurch East, gave thanks to her supporters.

"For those who worked on the many tasks that contributed to last night's victory and to those who promoted or just said nice things about the team... Thanks!"

Labour's Jamie Strange won the Hamilton East electorate from National.

"As Chartwell residents, my family and I love living in Hamilton. I will continue to work hard to ensure it remains a great city to live, work, own a business, and raise a family in," he said.

Labour's Ginny Andersen said it meant a lot to her to have her parents by her side as she won the Hutt South seat. The seat was previously held by National's Chris Bishop.

"Thank you to the people of Hutt South for electing me as your local representative. I don’t take this responsibility lightly," she said.

"I would like to acknowledge the hard work Chris Bishop has done for the Hutt. And I look forward to continuing to work with him in the future."

7:15pm - The Green Party has hinted it will go for a seat at the ministerial table rather than be unshackled.

Co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson said on Saturday night that would be something the party could do.

"I would be quite keen to continue the work I've been doing on climate change," Shaw said.

But Davidson on Sunday walked back on wanting more Green ministers.

"You won't be able to get that out of us at this early stage," she said. "That would come down to the members."

Read the latest here.

6:30pm - National leader Judith Collins says National "will be back" and it's not going to "waste the next three years thinking about [itself]".

The party has spent the day learning how election night went wrong after it received just 26.8 percent of the party vote.

"We always knew it was going to be tough, didn't we," Collins said on Saturday night.

Read a post-election analysis of National here.

Judith Collins.
Judith Collins. Photo credit: Getty Images

6pm - It's time for Newshub Live at 6pm where we'll have the latest election reactions and analysis. Watch online here or tune in on Three.

5:30pm - Northcote's new Labour MP Shanan Halbert has dedicated last night's victory to his beloved father, who succumbed to his battle with terminal lung cancer mere hours before the election.

Halbert revealed he had lost his "biggest champion" on Saturday morning in a candid Facebook post. 

"He kept his promise to be here until election day," Halbert wrote.

He told NZME on Sunday he and his father shared their final exchange over the phone on Friday evening.

"I was able to tell him it looked good, we had our fingers crossed and I reiterated to him how important he was to me and I've always said that this campaign was for him," he said.

4:55pm - Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick said she feels "privileged" to have the opportunity to represent Auckland Central.

"We did it. We did what everybody said was impossible. This is what politics can be. Community," she wrote on Facebook.

"I wish there was a more dignified documentation of the moment I realised what was happening last night, but this was the reality," she added, referencing a gif she attached where she appears to say "holy shit".

"We ran the campaign we always wanted to run. We made friends. We got more Green MPs into Parliament. We had fun. And we turned a blue seat Green."

4:30pm - A political commentator has suggested Green Party MP Chlöe Swarbrick's win in Auckland Central may mean a dramatic swing in the upcoming cannabis referendum.

Swarbrick has actively advocated for the 'vote yes' campaign throughout her electioneering.

Auckland University lecturer in New Zealand politics and public policy Dr Lara Greaves told Newshub Nation recreational cannabis could be legalised, since previous predictions indicated Swarbrick wouldn't win her seat and referendum opinion polls have leant towards 'no'.

"We know left-wing voters are more likely to be pro-cannabis and young people are more likely to be pro-cannabis. Potentially [Swarbrick's win] suggests that, but it's just one of those things where we'll have to wait and see."

The results of the latest Newshub Reid-Research Poll, released on the eve of the election, revealed the majority of Kiwis had, or were planning to, vote 'no' in the referendum.

Chlöe Swarbrick.
Chlöe Swarbrick. Photo credit: Getty Images

4:15pm - Several international media outlets have reacted to Labour's historic win.

BBC News said it was "a big win driven by star power", with the results confirming earlier opinion polls that comfortably placed Labour on course to a second term.

Two New Zealand-based journalists for The Guardian acknowledged the danger of Labour's reliance on Ardern's popularity, citing Auckland University politics professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment.

"She's not trying to win anyone over, so while this appears safe for Labour, it’s actually a very dangerous strategy," Lees-Marshment said.

The story said that Labour's campaign was heavily dependent on Ardern's popularity, referencing one social media ad proclaiming that a vote for the party would allow Kiwis to "Keep Jacinda".

Read a wrap of a selection of international media reactions here.

3:55pm - The Opportunities Party has given its congratulations to the Greens' Chlöe Swarbrick and the Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi for winning their seats "in a sea of red".

"We are very proud of the Māori Party and over the moon for them and their return to Parliament. We at TOP knew that Chlöe was not to be underestimated, and this result proves that to anyone who doubted her," it said on Facebook.

"Thank you to all who supported us, we are still digesting this result and what it means for the next three years for Kiwis and New Zealand, but for now - thank you."

It said TOP is "only getting started" and it will have more to share soon, adding, "Bring on 2023".

3:35pm - Former National leader Simon Bridges thanked his Tauranga constituents for reelecting him.

"It’s a privilege to be your MP," he wrote on Facebook.

National's Simon O'Connor was also reelected as MP for Tāmaki.

"A particular thanks to everyone who helped me and the team win the party vote here. Tāmaki is one of only a couple of electorates to achieve this," he said.

3:15pm - Labour's Meka Whaitiri and Kieran McAnulty have taken to Facebook to thank voters for electing them.

Whaitiri, who is returning as MP for Ikaroa Rāwhiti, said she couldn't have done it without the hardwork of her campaign team throughout the electorate.

McAnulty took the Wairarapa seat, which was previously held by National, and gave a "huge thank you" to Wairarapa, the Tararua District and central Hawke's Bay.

"I am incredibly grateful for the support, giving me the privilege of being your voice in Parliament."

3pm - The New Zealand Māori Council has called the election result "an overwhelming win for the Māori vote turnout".

Executive director Matthew Tukaki said he welcomed the possible return of the Māori Party to Parliament, but also said the growth in the Labour Party's Māori caucus "sets the scene for a resurgence in focus on Māori issues and kaupapa".

"There is just no question that Māori have turned out and turned out in droves. We have seen the return of the Māori Party and close results in several other seats but the big news story of the night has to be the increase in the Māori representatives within Labour - and its not just the Māori seats but the General seats where Māori have done extremely well," he said.

"By rights the number of Māori deserves an increase in responsibilities around the Cabinet table and deserving of Nanaia Mahuta, Willie Jackson, Kelvin Davis and Peeni Henare all holding senior portfolios, with others such as Meka Whaitiri making a return to Cabinet and Kiri Allen and Rino Tirakatene knocking on the door outside."

Tukaki also said he will mount a campaign to see an increase in the Māori electorates.

"In all reality we really need to take a look at an increase in the number of Māori electorates - for example Tāmaki would be equal to a new electorate to service the north and west while central and south have more than a population to sustain an electorate of its own," he said.

"The same should be said for carving out Tauranga Moana and even revisiting an independent stand alone electorate to service Wellington and the Wairarapa."

2:50pm - National leader Judith Collins opened up about the party's internal polling earlier on Sunday.

She said the election result of 26.8 percent of the party vote was a far cry from what internal polling suggested it would receive.

Collins said internal polls once had National at 39 to 40 percent.

"That was before the second lockdown - the second lockdown just went 'poof'," she said.

It wasn't just the lockdown making the numbers drop though - according to Collins a leaked email from National MP Denise Lee did a lot of damage too.

"I'll tell you some secrets... that little leak that was out, cost us five points."

Missed Collins' press conference earlier on Sunday? Watch and read it here.

Judith Collins.
Judith Collins. Photo credit: Newshub.

2:30pm - On Sunday's new community COVID-19 case, Ardern said "there's nothing to suggest for a need to move to any of the restriction levels".

She's also confident there is enough testing going on at the border.

"It is an example of the system working."

2:25pm - Ardern she she's received messages on her win from leaders including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of the UK Boris Johnson and Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau.

2:19pm - According to Jacinda Ardern, her former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has left a "huge legacy" on New Zealand politics.

Peters won't return to Parliament after his NZ First party failed to reach the required 5 percent threshold.

"Most of us would agree he has given his life and service to New Zealand," Ardern says.

2:13pm - Labour won't yet confirm whether it will enter a Coalition with the Green party, Jacinda Ardern says.

"I don't want to draw any conclusion at this point," she told reporters.

2:10pm - Jacinda Ardern says she expects to form a Government in the next two to three weeks.

"We'll be meeting - the Labour Caucus - tomorrow and Tuesday," the Prime Minister-elect told reporters.

Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

1:58pm - Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is due to speak to media at 2pm. Watch live here.

1:55pm - Jami-Lee Ross claims if he ran in the Botany electorate Christopher Luxon may not have won. 

The Advance NZ co-leader has missed out on a slice of Parliament while Luxon's win was a rare celebration for National. 

Ross, a former National Party member and incumbent Botany MP, claims it would have been a different story if he didn't pull out of the race for the seat.

He told Newshub Nation he would have "taken so much vote off Luxon that Labour would have won the seat".

1:47pm - Former Finance Minister Steven Joyce told Newstalk ZB he believes many New Zealanders strategically voted.

"With the discussions around the wealth taxes the past few weeks I knew some people who are normally National voters [were] saying they will vote for Labour just to keep the Greens out," the former National Party MP said.

"I feel for everybody losing their seats."

Joyce. Photo credit: The AM Show

1:30pm - New Auckland Central seat-holder Chloe Swarbrick remains confident for her Green party after the election result.

"We are ecstatic with where we've landed right now," she told Newshub Nation on Sunday. "I think, as well, this just goes to show that grassroots campaigning works."

1:22pm - Political commentator Ben Thomas told Newshub Nation about a third of Parliament will be new MPs following the election result.

"Labour are bringing in a huge swathe of untested, inexperienced MPs; David Seymour's got nine new MPs," Thomas said.

1:19pm - A major shakeup of the National party is imminent following Saturday night's failing poll result.

The party got just 26 percent of the vote in comparison to Labour's 49 percent.

National leader Judith Collins says there will be a review.

"There's a lot that I'd like the review to look into," she told reporters on Sunday. "I also think, too, it's very important that we understand the reality of what we dealt with - particularly after COVID." 

1:04pm - In other news, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has confirmed a community case of COVID-19. You can read all the details about it here.

"This case has been caught early and the risk of onward transmission is contained," Dr Bloomfield told reporters.

"The case is a man whose job involves working on ships at ports in New Zealand, including in the past two weeks at the ports of Auckland and Taranaki."

You can watch Dr Bloomfield's press conference live here.

12:44pm - Newshub political editor Tova O'Brien has called out Advance NZ co-leader Jami-Lee Ross for "whipping up fear and hysteria" during its election campaign.

Discussing the party on Newshub Nation, Ross told host O'Brien "we gave it a good go".

"It clearly wasn't enough but I've enjoyed the opportunity to work with all the people that I have," he said on Sunday.

12:30pm - Following Saturday night's result, Auckland University political lecturer Dr Lara Grieves told Newshub Nation it may be time to look at a 4 percent threshold to reach Parliament. The current threshold is 5 percent.

"I think it's going to be quite tricky for parties to get that 5 percent," she said.

12:15pm - The Greens are crossing their fingers for a ongoing partnership with Labour.

Co-leader James Shaw told Newshub Nation he's spoken to Jacinda Ardern but not about the future.

"We really just congratulated each other," he said. "We didn't really have any conversation about the shape of things to come."

Green party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw.
Green party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw. Photo credit: The AM Show

12pm - Judith Collins believes she can guide The National Party forward.

"The right thing to do is provide stability for a party that needs it," she told reporters on Sunday.

11:48am - National leader Judith Collins says she won't step down.

"I am here for the party, always have been," she told reporters.

"It was a vast campaign against a formidable opponent."

11:35am - Speaking to reporters on Sunday and reflecting on the heavy defeat, Judith Collins says it was a tough campaign.

"I had to deal with some very difficult things around that campaign," the National leader says.

"It was very very challenging."

NZ Election 2020 live updates: All the reaction as Labour wins in a landslide, National suffers massive defeat

11:30am - National leader Judith Collins is due to speak to media following Labour's landslide victory. You can watch live here.

11:28am - Green party co-leader James Shaw told Newshub Nation he could barely believe the numbers coming through on Saturday night.

"It was an absolute banger of a result and we're absolutely stoked with it," he said.

11:08am - NZ First's Shane Jones believes Winston Peters will stay on as the party's leader despite being ousted from Parliament.

"Our rangatira Winston; he's resilient, he's tenacious, and I'm sure when the time is right he'll tell you exactly what he feels," Jones told reporters on Saturday night.

Jones. Photo credit: Newshub Nation.

11:06am - One of the big upsets was the Nelson electorate which slipped from the grip of National's Nick Smith after 10 terms.

Labour's Rachel Boyack, the incoming MP, told Newshub that Smith was incredibly gracious, conceding in person in a long-standing local tradition.

11am - Labour is yet to say whether it will bring friends into Government after the party won 64 seats, meaning it can govern alone.

Auckland University political lecturer Dr Lara Grieves says that outcome is a surprise under MMP.

10:45am - Chloe Swarbrick is beaming at her triumph for the Auckland central seat.

The Green party MP told Newshub Nation she's proud of her campaign.

"We are ecstatic with where we've landed right now," Swarbrick told reporter Conor Whitten.

"It just goes to show that grassroots campaigning works."

NZ Election 2020 live updates: All the reaction as Labour wins in a landslide, National suffers massive defeat
Photo credit: File

10:37am - Gerry Brownlee has ruled out any leadership bid for The National Party following the election result.

He told Newshub Nation on Sunday he believes Judith Collins should stay on as leader.

"I think the Caucus will have a big discussion on Tuesday," he told host Tova O'Brien. "I think Judith is the right person to be leading us."

10:22 am - National leader Judith Collins told NZME this election wasn't The National Party's time.

"No-one expected a miracle," said Collins.

"I'm actually very positive for the way forward for National.

"I'm just sorry for our MPs who didn't get back."

Collins. Photo credit: The AM Show

10:16am - David Seymour is giving a shout-out to his millenial deputy leader Brooke van Velden.

ACT leader Seymour told Magic Talk's Peter Williams she is a valued member of the team.

 "She's smart, she's liberal, she's likable; I think she could be the voice of that generation," he said.

10:05am - New Act MP Karen Chhour is among 10 ACT MPs storming into Parliament. 

She says she has social welfare, mental health, and education on her mind.

"I think our young ones are really struggling at the moment," she told Newshub on Saturday night.

10am - Prime Minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is spending time with family on Sunday as she celebrates Labour's historic win.

Winning 64 seats, the party can govern alone.

On Saturday night, Ardern spoke of a positive call she had with National leader Judith Collins.

"[She] just ankowledged the campaign and how well we've done, and it felt like a very genuine sentiment."

9:53am - Labour's Grant Robertson is grinning ear-to-ear over the election result.

Robertson told Magic Talk's Peter Williams the party's hard work has paid off.

Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern.
Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Getty

9:47am - For the first time in nearly 10 years the ACT party will have a caucus. Leader David Seymour told Magic Talk's Peter Williams on Sunday his team are ready to make a change in New Zealand.

"The fact that almost 200,000 New Zealanders - 8 percent of all voters - have put their trust in ACT to speak for them and represent them in Parliament, we look forward to working really hard for you.

"New Zealand needs to do a lot better in many areas."

9:33am - The Greens also had an impressive night on Saturday - with Chloe Swarbrick's shock victory in Auckland Central.

Overall, the party won 7.6 percent of votes - giving it 10 seats in the house.

But co-leader James Shaw on Saturday stayed coy about whether he'll chase the role of Deputy Prime Minister.

"We're going to have to wait and see how that turns but, of course, we are in Parliament in order to advance the Green agenda and to stand up for people who don't have a roof over their heads."

Green co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw.
Green co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw. Photo credit: Newshub.

9:19am - National's Gerry Brownlee appears undecided on his future.

He lost the Ilam seat he has held for eight terms by more than 2000 votes.

On Sunday, Magic Talk's Peter Williams asked him whether he plans to stay on as a list MP.

"We'lll have a discussion over the next few days about what the structure of the Caucus is - the potential makeup of Opposition is," Brownlee said. "I'll decide after that."

Gerry Brownlee and Judith Collins.
Gerry Brownlee and Judith Collins. Photo credit: Getty

9:12am - Gerry Brownlee says The National Party's rebuild will be a slow burn.

He told Magic Talk the party will have to do some things it didn't do after the last election.

"There's a lot there to think about over the next couple of years," he said.

"We, sadly, have to say farewell to quite a large number of our friends in the Caucus and then we'll set about the business of structuring what we want to do as an Opposition."

9am - National's Gerry Brownlee told Magic Talk that COVID-19 and the lockdown saw a "180 degree shift" in the polls and that stuck.

He admits he's worried about the next three years.

8:55am - Grant Robertson told Magic Talk radio there will be no decisons made on Sunday about any potential Coalition with the Green party.

"Those decisions will come," the Labour MP said.

Robertson. Photo credit: Newshub Nation.

8:45am - Labour's Grant Roberston says the election result is one they're very pleased with.

"It's a result where a lot of New Zealanders have invested their confidence in us," he told Magic Talk's Peter Williams. "We're pretty humbled - I'd have to say.

"Our own polling had us in and around this position - the feeling we were getting on the ground was translating.

"You obviously never count your chickens in this business but right around the country, as I travelled around, I was feeling that strong support for not only the way we've handled COVID but the balanced plan going forward."

8:30am - Māori party co-leader John Tamihere told Magic Talk's The Morning After programme that Rawiri Waititi, who won the Māori electorate of Waiariki and ultimately earned the party a seat in Parliament, has done an extraordinary job.

"[It's] an incredible result," Tamihere told host Peter Williams.

"It must follow that he [Waititi] becomes the co-leader but I'm staying for the long haul beacuse we've done a big brand rebuild.

"Rawiri is the new face of the new generation of Māori leaders."

8:15am - Excitement is buzzing within the ACT party - which came third on 8 percent.

ACT MP James Mcdowall is entering Parliament for the first time - and says COVID-19 related change is top of his priority list.

ACT leader David Seymour.
ACT leader David Seymour. Photo credit: Newshub.

8am - Jacinda Ardern won't criticise Judith Collins' decision not to step down as National's leader despite the party's shocking election result.

Ardern said during Thursday's night's leaders debate she wouldn't stay on as leader of the Opposition if Labour lost the election.

But she said on Saturday just because she would step aside doesn't mean others should.

7:45am - National's newest MP Christopher Luxon is remaining coy on his aspirations within the party.

Asked whether he plans to aim for the leadership role, the former Air NZ chief executive said he's not looking that far ahead.

7:30am - An exhausted Judith Collins was gracious in her defeat on Saturday night - congratulating Jacinda Ardern for an "outstanding result".

The National leader also gave a special acknowledgment to her family

Collins. Photo credit: Newshub.

7:15am - A former Prime Minister is reminding voters Jacinda Ardern would never have been able to flex her leadership muscles if it weren't for Winston Peters - whose New Zealand First Party didn't reach the 5 percent threshold to make it back into Parliament.

Helen Clark says Peters chose Labour as its Coalition partner three years ago and that should be remembered

7am - The country's returning Prime Minister is keeping tight-lipped over whether or not she'll govern alone or enter a Coalition with the Green party.

Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday night it's too early to make any decisions.

6:30am - Following Saturday night's results, both ACT and the Greens will have 10 seats each while the Māori Party gets one.

New Zealand First has failed to make it back into Parliament.