New Zealanders expected to learn governing coalition

New Zealanders expect to learn Thursday if their next prime minister will be 37-year-old liberal challenger Jacinda Ardern or 55-year-old conservative incumbent Bill English.

The maverick leader of a small party that holds the balance of power said he would be making an announcement.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is expected to declare which of the main parties he favors joining in a coalition.

New Zealand First has been negotiating privately with Ardern's Labour Party and English's National Party after an election held nearly a month ago ended without a clear winner.

A coalition needs at least 61 seats to govern in the 120-seat parliament. National won 56 seats while the liberal bloc of Labour and the Green Party won 54. New Zealand First won nine seats.