Labour has taken election 2020 in a landslide – coming in with 49 per cent of votes (64 seats) to National’s 26.9 per cent (35 seats).
Jacinda Ardern will remain New Zealand's Prime Minister, with almost all of the preliminary votes counted.
The Labour tide swept through New Zealand, pulling many traditionally strong National electorate seats into Labour Party hands.
It has slashed the previous number of National MPs in Parliament down to just 35 - only nine candidates will come in as list MPs.
Preliminary results for election 2020:
Labour - 64 seats - 49%
National - 35 seats - 26.9%
ACT - 10 seats - 8%
Green - 10 seats - 7.6%
Māori Party - 1 seat - 1%
Ardern walked into the Auckland Town Hall tonight to the sound of screaming supporters.
“Thank you,” she told the jubilant crowd.
“Tonight, New Zealand has shown the Labour Party the greatest support in at least 50 years.”
She said the party now has a mandate to "accelerate", pledging to rebuild New Zealand stronger following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Talking to National Party supporters, leader Judith Collins thanked her voters.
“Boy – we knew this was going to be tough, but you kept the faith.
"National will re-emerge a stronger, disciplined and more connected party.
“Congratulations on your result,” Collins said Ardern.
Winston Peters’ NZ First was knocked out of Parliament, potentially ending the former Deputy Prime Minister’s political career, which saw him first enter Parliament in 1978.
ACT has pulled in a total of 10 MPs, giving leader David Seymour colleagues after years of being a lone MP.
The Green Party and Māori Party both won an electorate seat, the first for the Greens since 1999 and the second ever in the party’s history.
Labour held 43 electorates, up from 29 in the previous Parliamentary term, and National won 26, down from 40 in the previous term (not including Botany).
Labour did lose a seat to the Māori Party, with Waiariki taken from Labour, bringing the party back into Parliament.
Nelson – the seat held by National’s Nick Smith since 1996 - has seen Labour’s Rachel Boyack win the seat.
"National has had a king tide against it," Smith said tonight. He said there were some "big questions for National", but he would deal with that another day.
Rangitata, the once strong National seat held by disgraced former MP Andrew Falloon, saw a swift shift to Labour, with Jo Luxton gliding in ahead of National’s Megan Hands.
Auckland Central turned Green, the party had only previously held an electorate seat for one term, with the late Jeanette Fitzsimmons holding Coromandel in 1999. Chlöe Swarbrick has narrowly defeated Labour’s Helen White, taking Auckland Central from National, who held it previously under Nikki Kaye.
“This is the campaign we always dreamed of. I’m so proud of everyone who is here. We’ve put our heart and our soul into it,” Swarbrick told 1 NEWS early on.
One win for National has been the return of the Botany electorate after former MP Jami-Lee Ross left the party and was an independent MP, with former Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon set to come into Parliament.
Ilam’s swing to Labour has taken it from National deputy leader Gerry Brownlee.
Ginny Anderson took the tight seat of Hutt South back from National’s Chris Bishop, who held it for a term.
Paula Bennett’s old seat Upper Harbour went red.
Hamilton East and West, East Coast, New Plymouth, Northcote, Tukituki, Wairarapa and Whanganui also were lost to Labour candidates. The new electorate seat of Takanini was also won by Labour.
Former National leader Simon Bridges said the results were “grim”.
“I can’t think of a worse night except for possibly 2002 - but look, it’s grim."
The results are the preliminary count, with special votes to be released in the next 10 days.
It has been a long election, with New Zealand’s second Covid-19 resurgence pushing back the election from September 19 to October 17.
Collins has said she intends to stay on as Opposition leader.
Voting booths closed at 7pm today – however almost two million people cast their vote before election day. In 2017, 2.6 million people voted , with 1.2 million voting early.
The advance votes were counted from 9am today.
Ballots cast on election day are counted from 7pm and results released by the Electoral Commission as they come in.
Only the party and electorate votes were counted today, not the referendum ballots. Instead, the preliminary referendum results will be released by the Electoral Commission on Friday, October 30.