National Party marches back to power in New Zealand

John Key guaranteed second three-year term; "New Zealand has voted for a brighter future."

New Zealand PM John Key 311 (photo credit: Reuters)
New Zealand PM John Key 311
(photo credit: Reuters)
AUCKLAND - The ruling center-right National Party returned to power in a crushing win in New Zealand's general election on Saturday and secured the backing of minor parties to ensure a majority for asset sales and welfare reforms.
National, led by former foreign exchange dealer John Key, was sitting on 48 percent share of the vote on election night. That would give the party 60 seats in the 121-seat parliament from its current 58.
Key was guaranteed a second three-year term with the return of current coalition partners, free-market ACT and centrist United Future, each with one member.
"New Zealand has voted for a brighter future, and there will be a brighter future," Key, draped in blue and white streamers, told ecstatic supporters.
National campaigned on promises to build on policies of the past three years with an emphasis on sparking economic growth by cutting debt, curbing spending, selling state assets and returning to a budget surplus by 2014/15.
"The government will be focused on building a more competitive economy, with less debt, more jobs, and higher incomes," added Key, 52, flanked by his wife and son.