That result would give Labour 64 seats in the country's 120-seat parliament, an unprecedented majority under the country's current electoral system.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern-hailed by progressives around the world for her government's response to the Covid-19, gun violence, and climate crises-has won a landslide re-election victory as vote counting in the country's general election came to a close on Saturday.
If she falls short, she is expected to continue to rely on the minor Greens while jettisoning New Zealand First.
They included Ilam, the Christchurch seat held by the party's deputy leader Gerry Brownlee since 1996. "After all, we are too small to lose sight of other people's perspective".
Main opposition National Party leader Judith Collins conceded defeat in a speech earlier, saying she had spoken to Ardern to congratulate her.
Party president Claire Szabo praised the campaign of the charismatic leader, who sparked a wave of support dubbed "Jacinda-mania" when she took over the party in 2017 as it was languishing in the polls.
"Governing for every New Zealander has never been so important more than it has been now". "A place where, more and more, people have lost the ability to see one another's point of view".
With New Zealand having the advantage of being an isolated island nation, the strategy worked.
Ardern has constantly urged New Zealanders during the coronavirus crisis to "be kind", appealing for a unified approach from what she terms a "team of five million".
"Policies, ideas, and having a plan matters, but it will only be as good as the people that it works to support, and I can not imagine a people I would feel more privileged to work on behalf of to work alongside, and to be Prime Minister for".
The National Party's leader, Judith Collins, is a former lawyer.
Still, Ardern's rivals in the National party seem to have failed to convince a majority of voters that their more conservative economic policies would be preferable.
"Ms Ardern has led New Zealand through a terrorist attack, a natural disaster and a global pandemic - and has done so focusing on kindness and compassion".
"We will reflect and we will take time and we will change".
Mr Peters, popularly known just by his given name Winston or Winnie, was first elected in 1979 representing the centre-right National Party before establishing his own populist New Zealand First party 14 years later.
"To avoid any doubt - tonight is the start of the next campaign".
But that also would leave her carrying all the burden to revive New Zealand's battered economy, hit by some of the world's toughest pandemic lockdown rules and travel bans that gutted the critical tourism industry.
The leader of Australia's Labor Party, Anthony Albanese, was focusing on the positive side of the election night, however. "This is our 2023 election campaign launch". It's the best showing for the Labour party in at least 50 years.
As one party leaves Parliament, another appears set to return, with the Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi leading Labour incumbent Tamati Coffey by around 400 votes in the Waiariki electorate.
Although once famously declaring that as kingmaker he was not seeking the "baubles of office", he has been deputy prime minister twice, filled in as acting prime minister and was known on the worldwide stage from serving as foreign minister from 1996-98 and with the Ardern government.
On her agenda for Sunday?
In the election, voters also have a say on two contentious social issues - whether to legalize marijuana and euthanasia.