April 23, 2020 / 11:43 PM / a month ago

New Zealand ruling party to retain parliamentary majority in election - Fitch Solutions

FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern smiles during a news conference prior to the anniversary of the mosque attacks that took place the prior year in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 13, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Hunter

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand’s ruling Labour party coalition is likely to retain parliamentary majority following the Sept. 19 general election due to its adept handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, a unit of Fitch Group said on Friday.

“Our view is informed by the New Zealand government’s adept handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in its country, which we believe will allow them to enjoy greater support, as well as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s strong personal appeal,” Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research, a unit of Fitch Group, said in its outlook.

The report, however, said it does not completely rule out the chances of the opposition National Party wresting power away from the Labour coalition. Rising unemployment amid slowing economy would mean a Labour party win is not a foregone conclusion, the report said.

Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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