New Zealand's National party won 48.1 percent of the New Zealand vote, translating into 61 of 121 parliamentary seats and improving its performance from the 2011 election. Sarah Toms reports.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has every right to smile. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER, JOHN KEY SAYING: "This is a great night, this is victory for those who kept the faith. This is a victory for those who refused to be distracted and who knew that a vote for National was a vote for a brighter future for all New Zealanders." His National party has just won another three years in government. At the start of the voting, National's return to power seemed fairly assured but not many anticipated the victory would be so large that the party would be able to govern on its own. It's the first time this has happened in three decades of proportional voting. Voters chose Key despite allegations of dirty political tricks involving government ministers and plans of mass secret domestic surveillance. Labour party leader David Cunliffe put a brave face on it. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LABOUR PARTY LEADER DAVID CUNLIFFE SAYING: "We must recognise that our opponents have built a formidable political machine." Some campaign colour was supplied by internet millionaire Kim Dotcom, fighting extradition to the US on charges of piracy. He'd bankrolled the Internet-Mana Party's one lawmaker. A campaign that failed at the last hurdle.