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Jacinda Ardern        

Prime Minister of New Zealand

Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern is a New Zealand politician who has served as the 40th Prime Minister of New Zealand since 26 October 2017. She is also Leader of the Labour Party, having taken office on 1 August 2017, and has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Mount Albert electorate since 8 March 2017. She was first elected to parliament as a list MP at the 2008 general election. She is the world’s youngest female head of government, taking office at age 37.

After graduating from the University of Waikato in 2001, Ardern began her career working as a researcher in the office of Prime Minister Helen Clark. She later worked in the United Kingdom as a policy advisor to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair. In 2008, she was elected President of the International Union of Socialist Youth. Ardern became a list MP in 2008, a position she held for almost ten years until her election to the Mount Albert electorate in the 2017 by-election, held on 25 February. She was unanimously elected as Deputy Leader of the NZ Labour Party on 1 March 2017 following the resignation of Annette King.

Ardern became Leader of the Labour Party on 1 August 2017 when Andrew Little resigned from the position following a historically low poll result for the party. In the general election of 23 September 2017, the Labour Party won 46 seats (a net gain of 14), putting it behind the National Party led by Bill English, which won 56 seats. New Zealand First subsequently announced they would enter into a minority coalition government with Labour, supported by the Greens.

Ideologically, Ardern describes herself as both a social democrat and a progressive. A supporter of the labour movement, she opposes tax cuts for high-income earners as supported by the National Party, and supports a welfare state that provides a safety net for "those unable to support themselves".[10] On cultural issues, Ardern is a supporter of same-sex marriage, having voted in favour of the marriage equality bill in 2013, and supports the liberalisation of abortion law.

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