MMP and Jacindamania prove international curiosities

5:28 pm on 24 September 2017

Analysis - International media have turned a quizzical eye on last night's election - seemingly intrigued by the rise of 'Jacindamania' and the would be king or queen-maker, Winston Peters.

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Photo: Image: Al Jazeera

In the UK, The Guardian led with a photo of Labour's Jacinda Ardern, hands clasped, giving her post-election speech with the headline 'Hung parliament as Jacinda Ardern falls short'.

According to its account, the future of the new government "has been put in the hands of Winston Peters, a cantankerous, anti-immigration politician who prefers fishing to politics, after vote counting finished in the general election".

"[The] 72-year-old lawyer made a teasing statement to the media about his intentions before rushing to board the last ferry home on Saturday night," it said.

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The Guardian coverage of New Zealand's election featured Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Image: The Guardian

The Telegraph, in a piece headed 'New Zealand election stalemate leaves populist Winston Peters as kingmaker', featured a photo of Ms Ardern speaking at the Labour Party election party and noted she was a "former policy advisor to Tony Blair".

It describes the election as a "cliffhanger" and explained to its readers how New Zealand's MMP system works.

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The Telegraph's coverage. Photo: Image: The Telegraph

It also featured a photo of Winston Peters, who it described as a "maverick populist" who had a core support of "elderly" who he appealed to with "attacks on Asian immigration and foreign investment".

Meanwhile, The New York Times also gave a nod to the New Zealand election, with a beaming picture of National leader Bill English surrounded by blue balloons after his election party speech.

The paper described the election as "tumultuous" but may have got ahead of itself when it described Mr English as delivering a "victory speech" however.

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The New York Times. Photo: Image: The New York Times

It said Ms Ardern, "enjoyed a wave of attention for her charisma, her youth (she is 37), and for condemning a television commentator's question about whether employers have a right to know whether a woman plans to become a parent".

And Al Jazeera also used a photo of Ms Ardern, which somehow resembled a glamour shot - Ms Ardern appearing to be pouting with her partner Clarke Gayford, smiling in the background.

It described her as "charismatic", saying she "almost single-handedly dragged Labour back into the race".

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Photo: Image: Al Jazeera

Meanwhile, closer to home,The Australian headlined its coverage with 'NZ Labour leader Ardern refuses to give in'.

"New Zealand's Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has vowed to keep fighting. But her party's immediate future is no longer in her hands," it wrote.

It also made mention of 'Jacindamania', saying the phenomenon's "full force" was on display at Auckland's Aotea Centre last night.

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Photo: Image: The Australian

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