Judith Collins had a spring in her step and a high-beam smile when she appeared for reporters the day after a New Zealand election that delivered a landslide victory to her opponent, Jacinda Ardern of Labour – the country’s most popular leader of modern times.
“I’m feeling really good,” she said. “Woke up today, the sun was shining.”
It was almost as though she had not just presided over a crushing defeat of her National party, which commentators labelled a bloodbath and that culminated in an election night event that was bleak and funereal in tone.
National, which had painted itself as the stable, experienced choice for its nine years in government before Ardern’s ascension in 2017, has plummeted from 56 to 35 seats in the 120-seat Parliament.
Now Collins – a veteran but polarising lawmaker who often set herself up as the opposite to Ardern’s exhortations to kindness – joins the ranks of two predecessors this year who failed to make headway against the prime…
— to www.theguardian.com