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NZ opposition leader ejected on poor ratings ahead of election

Taking Labour helm, Jacinda Ardern hopes to win over women, young people

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Jacinda Ardern, the new leader of New Zealand's opposition Labour Party speaks to the press on Aug. 1.   © Reuters

WELLINGTON -- New Zealand's main opposition party replaced its leader Tuesday just over seven weeks before national elections as its poll ratings sank to new lows, signaling a fourth successive loss.

Andrew Little resigned as leader at a caucus meeting of the center-left Labour Party and was replaced by deputy leader, 37-year-old Jacinda Ardern. Little's position was weakened by the poor polls and exacerbated by his admission in a weekend interview that he had offered to step down in meetings with senior colleagues following the ratings decline.

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