New Zealand's English Seeks to Form Government With N.Z. First

National Party leader Bill English said he will start negotiations with a small anti-immigration party in an attempt to form New Zealand’s next government, after failing to win an outright majority in Saturday’s election.

Bill English

Photographer: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Addressing a rally of supporters in Auckland, English said he will seek to find “common ground” with the New Zealand First Party and its leader Winston Peters, with the intention of securing a fourth term in office.

He won’t get a clear run, however. Opposition Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern is also seeking talks with Peters and has not conceded defeat. For his part, the wily 72-year-old Peters has said he won’t rush into a decision.

With preliminary vote counting almost finished, English stressed that National had won more seats than Labour and its ally the Greens combined, and was in the strongest position to take office.

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