New Zealand general election, 1951

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New Zealand general election, 1951
New Zealand
1949 ←
members
1 September 1951 (1951-09-01) → 1954
members

All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 1,069,791
  First party Second party
  Sidney George Holland (1953).jpg Walter Nash (ca 1940s).jpg
Leader Sidney Holland Walter Nash
Party National Labour
Leader since 1940 1951
Leader's seat Christchurch North Hutt
Last election 46 seats, 51.9% 34 seats, 47.2%
Seats won 50 30
Seat change Increase 4 Decrease 4
Popular vote 577,630 490,143
Percentage 54.0% 45.8%
Swing Increase 2.1% Decrease 4.1%

Prime Minister before election

Sidney Holland
National

Elected Prime Minister

Sidney Holland
National

The 1951 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the Parliament of New Zealand's 30th term. The First National Government was re-elected, with the National Party increasing its lead over the opposition Labour Party.

Background[edit]

The National Party had formed its first administration after the 1949 elections, in which it had ended four terms of government by the Labour Party.[1] The National government, with Sidney Holland as Prime Minister, had undertaken a number of economic and constitutional reforms, although it had not seriously modified the new social welfare system which Labour had introduced. Labour's leader, Peter Fraser, had died in December 1950 after a long period of poor health, and had been replaced in January 1951 by Walter Nash. Nash had been Minister of Finance for the duration of the first Labour government.[2]

The most significant issue in the 1951 elections was the growing industrial unrest of the time, particularly the ongoing dockworkers dispute. Holland condemned the strikers, calling the situation "industrial anarchy". The Labour Party, under Nash, attempted to take a moderate position in the dispute, but ended up displeasing both sides. Holland, seeking a mandate to respond strongly to the strike, called a snap election. Another issue was high inflation, which frustrated voters and without the strike, might have threatened Holland's government.

The election[edit]

The date for the main 1951 elections was 1 September, and for the first time, elections to the four Maori seats were held on the same day.[3] The 1951 elections were also the first under the new regulations which required elections to be held on a Saturday. 1,205,762 people were registered to vote, and turnout was 89.1%.[4] The number of seats being contested was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.[5]

Results[edit]

Party standings[edit]

The 1951 election saw the governing National Party re-elected with a twenty-seat margin, a substantial improvement on the twelve-seat margin it previously held. National won fifty seats compared with the Labour Party's thirty.[5] The popular vote was closer, however, with National winning 54% to Labour's 46%.[6] No seats were won by minor party candidates or by independents.[7] This was the last New Zealand general election in which any party has ever captured a majority of the popular vote.[6]

Election results
Party Total votes Percentage Seats won change
National 577,630 54.00 50 +4
Labour 490,143 45.80 30 -4
Communist 528 0.05 0 ±0
Others 1,490 0.14 0 ±0
Total 1,069,791 80

Votes summary[edit]

Popular Vote
National
  
54.00%
Labour
  
45.80%
Others
  
0.20%
Parliament seats
National
  
62.50%
Labour
  
37.50%


Key
 Labour    National  

[v · t · e] Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1951[8]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Arch Hill Bill Parry John Stewart 3,965 T P B Hope
Ashburton Richard Gerard 2,867 W E Rose
Auckland Central Bill Anderton 2,168 P G Hillyer
Avon John Mathison 4,212 D W Russell
Awarua George Herron 3,755 Neville Pickering
Bay of Plenty Bill Sullivan 4,047 T G Santon
Brooklyn Arnold Nordmeyer 1,826 C W Clift
Buller Clarence Skinner 1,227 P E McDonald
Central Otago William Bodkin 3,620 T A Rodgers
Christchurch Central Robert Macfarlane 4,103 Mrs A Schumacher
Clutha James Roy 3,583 J M Sanders
Dunedin Central Philip Connolly 373 W P MacDougall
Eden Wilfred Fortune 2,802 J R Burfitt
Egmont Ernest Corbett 4,896 B E Richmond
Fendalton Sidney Holland 4,366 P J Alley
Franklin Jack Massey 5,358 Arthur Faulkner
Gisborne Reginald Keeling Harry Dudfield 338 Reginald Keeling
Grey Lynn Fred Hackett 3,813 H G Barry
Hamilton Hilda Ross 2,252 E A Waters
Hastings Sydney Jones 1,138 H E Beattie
Hauraki Andrew Sutherland 4,468 B W Dynes
Hawke's Bay Cyril Harker 4,153 A Lowe
Hobson Sidney Smith 5,337 Norman King
Hurunui William Gillespie 2,921 J W Andrews
Hutt Walter Nash 2,248 J W Andrews
Invercargill Ralph Hanan 2,123 F G Spurdle
Island Bay Robert McKeen 1,680 J E Duncan
Karori Charles Bowden 3,453 J A Bateman
Lyttelton Terry McCombs Harry Lake 133 Terry McCombs
Manawatu Matthew Oram 3,465 B A Rodgers
Marlborough Tom Shand 2,452 Edwin Meachen
Marsden Alfred Murdoch 4,001 M A Hosking
Miramar Bob Semple 301 C H Taylor
Mornington Walter Arthur Hudson 3,783 R G Pilling
Mount Albert Warren Freer 604 R F Judson
Mount Victoria Jack Marshall 2,198 Frank Kitts
Napier Tommy Armstrong Peter Tait 44 Tommy Armstrong
Nelson Edgar Neale 2,831 Stanley Whitehead
New Plymouth Ernest Aderman 2,335 C R Parker
North Dunedin Robert Walls 307 Sir Donald Cameron
North Shore Dean Eyre 2,155 R N S J Wrathall
Oamaru Thomas Hayman 1,315 C J Ryan
Onehunga Arthur Osborne 1,966 L G Bradley
Onslow Harry Combs 1,106 John S Meadowcroft[9]
Otahuhu Leon Götz 2,128 James Deas
Otaki James Joseph Maher 1,142 Phil Holloway
Pahiatua Keith Holyoake 4,598 O Jones
Palmerston North Blair Tennent 200 Joe Hodgens
Parnell Duncan Rae 1,587 Hugh Watt[10]
Patea William Sheat 2,467 F W Finer
Petone Michael Moohan 2,135 N P Croft
Piako William Goosman 6,364 G P Kenah
Ponsonby Ritchie Macdonald 1,504 Peter Dempsey[11]
Raglan Hallyburton Johnstone 1,766 J H Wilson
Rangitikei Edward Gordon 3,677 F A Dalzell
Remuera Ronald Algie 5,346 Bob Tizard
Riccarton Angus McLagan 2,265 Eric Philip Wills[12]
Rodney Clifton Webb 4,893 A L Leaming
Roskill John Rae 440 P A Curran
St Albans Jack Watts 1,415 J B Mora
St Kilda Fred Jones Jim Barnes 336 Fred Jones
Selwyn John McAlpine 1,836 J G Barclay
Sydenham Mabel Howard 4,403 A H Stott
Tamaki Eric Halstead 1,461 Tom Skinner
Tauranga Frederick Doidge George Walsh 5,400 H J Pickett
Timaru Clyde Carr 564 W L Richards
Waikato Geoffrey Sim 6,369 W H Bayly
Waimarino Paddy Kearins 67 A M MacPherson
Waimate David Kidd 2,232 A G Braddick
Wairarapa Bertie Cooksley 2,032 G A Hansen
Waitakere Rex Mason 641 R Tapper
Waitomo Walter Broadfoot 5,286 J Dwyer
Wallace Tom Macdonald 5,060 J W Cleary
Wanganui Joseph Cotterill 226 E V O'Keefe
Wellington Central Charles Chapman 277 Mrs B S Burns
Westland James Kent 2,325 Mrs I C Brown
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Tiaki Omana 3,706 Turi Carroll
Northern Maori Tapihana Paikea 2,132 James Henare[13]
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 659 William Beaton
Western Maori Iriaka Matiu Ratana 7,352 Hoeroa Marumaru

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 58.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 82–83.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 138.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 286.
  5. ^ a b Wilson 1985, pp. 287–288.
  6. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 290.
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 288.
  8. ^ "The New Zealand Official Year-Book, 1951–52". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 378.
  10. ^ Norton 1988, p. 314.
  11. ^ Gustafson 1986, pp. 360f.
  12. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 390.
  13. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 247.

References[edit]

  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6. 
  • Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946–1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. ISBN 0-475-11200-8. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.