Voters thanked amid Labour landslide – as it happened

We shall now close up our coverage of the New Zealand general election, following the historic Labour victory.

We’ll leave you with our news story, with 99.8% of the votes now counted and Labour accounting for 49.1% of votes. Thanks for joining us, and take care.

Jacinda Ardern will govern New Zealand for a second term after the Labour party secured a landslide victory in the general election, attracting so many votes that it could become the first party in decades to be able to govern alone.

With more than 90% of the vote counted, Labour had secured 49%, with the opposition National party on 27%. Labour was expected to win 64 of the 120 seats in parliament, and National, 35. It is the best result for the Labour party in 50 years.

The leader of the opposition, Judith Collins, congratulated Ardern on the “outstanding result” on Saturday night.

Speaking to supporters at Auckland town hall minutes later, Ardern thanked the nation for the strong mandate. She said elections “don’t have to be divisive” and promised to govern with positivity.

“I cannot imagine a people I would feel more privileged to work on behalf of, to work alongside and to be prime minister for,” she said to cheers.

“Tonight’s result does give Labour a very strong and a very clear mandate.”

The Dalai Lama has joined the chorus of congratulations, paying tribute to Ardern’s “respect for others in the face of tragedy”.

Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has highlighted an eyebrow-raising story from the News Corp-owned Courier-Mail which suggests Labour’s resounding victory was a shock.

British prime minister Boris Johnson has congratulated Jacinda Ardern on her victory.

And warm wishes from Labour leader Keir Starmer, and the UK’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy.

A tweet from 2012 by Jacinda Ardern in which the newly reelected New Zealand prime minister is less than complimentary about the British prime minister Boris Johnson is being circulated once more on social media.

Thanks Helen. Good morning, good afternoon and good evening to everyone reading.

David Seymour, the leader of the libertarian ACT party, has been pictured arriving at his election celebration on a boat – with his party set to win 10 seats, tied with the Greens.

Meanwhile, Nikki Kaye, former opposition leader and National Party MP – who announced she was quitting politics ahead of the election – has appeared to decline an offer of a consolation lolly on broadcast news.

And with that, it’s time for me, Helen Sullivan, to say good night. Thanks for following along as we watched those historic results race in.

There are many things New Zealand can teach the world about elections – this is but one:

My colleague Mattha Busby will be bringing you reactions from around the world for the next while.

With 98.6% of the results counted, Labour is still projected to win 64 seats in parliament, which would secure New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s party a majority – for the first time since New Zealand moved to its MMP electoral system in 1996:

Here are some photos of our readers around the world watching the results live:

Portugal:

The Netherlands:

Australia:

Germany:

Here is Jacinda Ardern’s victorious speech from earlier this evening. By the time you’re finished watching it we just might have 100% of the results counted (the tally is now 97.8%):

Congratulations from London Mayor Sadiq Khan:

The Guardian’s Charlotte Graham-Mclay reports:

He was the consummate survivor of New Zealand politics; an irascible, populist maverick who at times handpicked who would lead the country. Winston Peters, the leader of the minor New Zealand First party, was at the centre of many political maelstroms of the past few decades – and famously, in 2017, propelled Jacinda Ardern to lead the country.

Year after year, he defied polls that suggested he would be consigned to political history, instead being part of four governments during his time in power. But in Saturday’s election, Peters failed to rate with voters and will leave parliament, along with the party he founded.

With 90% of the vote counted, New Zealand First won 2.6%, well short of the 5% threshold needed for a party to enter parliament, unless an MP from that party wins a constituent seat. Peters’ party did not. It was an undignified end for a party that had held nine seats in parliament and the balance of power in Ardern’s coalition government:

A reminder that the euthanasia and cannabis referendum results will not be available tonight. We’ll know how New Zealand voted on those issues on 30 October.

National Party leader Judith Collins has left the party HQ without taking questions from reporters:

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has congratulated Ardern:

Ardern’s partner Clarke Gayford is speaking now. As we watched the results he kept thinking, “That’ll go down. That’ll go down,” but it didn’t.

He hasn’t taken a moment because he was worried about burning fish and getting his and Ardern’s daughter Neve to sleep, he says.

The fish is a reference to the fried dish he made for reporters outside the PM’s home earlier: