New Zealand general election, 1938

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New Zealand general election, 1938
New Zealand
1935 ←
members
14 (Māori) & 15 October (general) 1938 → 1943
members

All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
  Michael Joseph Savage.jpg Adam Hamilton (1926).jpg
Leader Michael Joseph Savage Adam Hamilton
Party Labour National
Leader since 1933 1936
Leader's seat Auckland West Wallace
Last election 53 seats, 46.1%% 19 seats, 32.9% (as United/Reform Coalition)
Seats won 53 25
Seat change Steady 0 Increase 6
Popular vote 528,290 381,081
Percentage 55.8% 40.3%
Swing Increase 9.7% Increase 7.4%

Prime Minister before election

Michael Joseph Savage
Labour

Elected Prime Minister

Michael Joseph Savage
Labour

The 1938 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 26th term. It resulted in the governing Labour Party being re-elected, although the newly founded National Party gained a certain amount of ground.

Background[edit]

The Labour Party had won a resounding victory in the 1935 elections, winning fifty-three seats. Shortly after the elections, the two Ratana-aligned MPs also merged into the Labour Party, giving Labour a total of fifty-five seats. The government, a coalition of the United Party and the Reform Party, had won only nineteen seats. Shortly after their defeat, United and Reform agreed to merge into the National Party, which positioned itself as the only alternative to the "socialist" Labour Party. However, Labour remained popular with the public, and the Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage, was widely praised for his welfare reform. The leadership of the National Party, by contrast, was closely associated by the public with the Great Depression, and struggled to gain traction.

The election[edit]

The date for the main 1938 elections was 15 October, a Saturday. Elections to the four Maori electorates were held the day before. 995,173 people were registered to vote, and there was a turnout of 92.9%. This turnout was the highest ever recorded at that point, although it was later exceeded in the two elections after World War II and in the 1984 elections. The number of seats being contested was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.[1]

Results[edit]

The 1938 election saw a decisive win for the governing Labour Party, which won fifty-three seats. This was a drop of two from what it held prior to the election. While Labour gained the seats of Bay of Islands, Motueka (previously held by Keith Holyoake), New Plymouth and Wellington Suburbs, it lost Tauranga and the rural seats of Manawatu, Rangitikei, Waikato and Waipawa.

The National Party won twenty-five seats, an increase of six from that the United/Reform coalition had previously won. Both Labour and National increased their share of the popular vote, with Labour winning 55.8% (up from 46.1%) and National winning 40.3% (up from 32.9%). This increase was at the expense of the Democrat Party and the Country Party, which saw their votes collapse completely — the Democrats again failed to win a place in Parliament. The Country Party lost the two seats it held (Bay of Islands and Franklin) as, unlike 1935, Labour stood candidates in the seats held by the two Country Party members. Hence Harold Rushworth did not stand in the Bay of Islands seat, and Arthur Sexton came third in Franklin.

Independent candidates also lost ground, with only two being elected, Harry Atmore (Nelson) and Charles Wilkinson (Egmont). As in 1935, the independents were tactically supported by one of the major parties who did not stand a candidate against them, and they generally voted with that party; Wilkinson and Wright had supported National while Atmore had supported Labour. But Robert Wright was defeated for the new electorate of Wellington West by Labour despite National not running a candidate against him.[2]

An analysis of men and women on the rolls against the votes recorded showed that in the 1938 election 92.85% of those on the European rolls voted; men 93.43% and women 92.27%. In the 1935 election the figures were 90.75% with men 92.02% and women 89.46%. As the Māori electorates did not have electoral rolls they could not be included.[3][4]

Party standings[edit]

Election results
Party Votes Percentage Seats won change
Labour 528,290 55.80 53 -2*
National 381,081 40.30 25 +9
Independents
(including Harry Atmore & Charles Wilkinson)
37,022 3.90 2 -3
Total 946,393 80

*includes two Ratana MPs (Toko Ratana, Eruera Tirikatene) who joined the Labour caucus after the 1935 election

Votes summary[edit]

Popular Vote
Labour
  
55.80%
National
  
40.30%
Independent
  
3.90%
Parliament seats
Labour
  
66.25%
National
  
31.25%
Independent
  
2.50%

The following table shows the detailed results: Key

 Labour    National    Country Party    Independent    Independent Liberal  

[v · t · e] Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1938[5][6]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Auckland Central Bill Parry 6,181 Clifford Reid Dodd[7]
Auckland East Frederick Schramm 2,626 Harry Tom Merritt[8][9]
Auckland Suburbs Rex Mason 4,862 Maxwell Stuart Walker[10]
Auckland West Michael Joseph Savage 8,007 John William Kealy[11]
Avon Dan Sullivan 6,179 Hiram Hunter
Awarua James Hargest 660 J A Beck
Bay of Islands Harold Rushworth Charles Boswell 163 Harold Fisher Guy[12]
Bay of Plenty Gordon Hultquist 169 Bill Sullivan
Buller Paddy Webb 6,144 T O Maddison
Central Otago William Bodkin 1,231 J M MacKay
Christchurch East Tim Armstrong 7,179 K I Armour
Christchurch North Sidney Holland 492 Robert Macfarlane
Christchurch South Ted Howard 5,995 Gladstone Ward[13]
Clutha James Roy 714 John Edie
Dunedin Central Peter Neilson 3,814 W J Meade
Dunedin North James Wright Munro 3,557 Alexander Smith Falconer[14][15][16][17]
Dunedin South Fred Jones 4,314 Rev. Ernest Aderman
Dunedin West Dr Gervan McMillan 2,639 Thomas Kay Stuart Sidey[18]
Eden Bill Anderton 2,333 Donald Pool[19]
Egmont Charles Wilkinson 1,402 T E Trask
Franklin Arthur Sexton Jack Massey 2,057 Ernest Piggott[12]
Gisborne David William Coleman 3,640 K F Jones
Grey Lynn John A. Lee 8,607 Joseph Alexander Govan[8]
Hamilton Charles Barrell 1,860 Albert William Grant[20][12]
Hauraki Charles Robert Petrie John Manchester Allen 1,188 Robert Coulter
Hawkes Bay Edward Luttrell Cullen 2,658 George Maddison[21][22]
Hurunui George Forbes 535 H E Denton
Hutt Walter Nash 6,814 John William Andrews[23]
Invercargill William Denham 2,156 Fred Hall-Jones[18]
Kaiapoi Morgan Williams 1,535 G C Warren
Kaipara Gordon Coates 1,689 Percy MacGregor Stewart[12]
Lyttelton Terry McCombs 2,984 I J Wilson
Manawatu Clifford Hunter John Cobbe 1,644 Clifford Hunter
Marlborough (new electorate) Edwin Meachen 1,525 Edward Healy
Marsden James Gillespie Barclay 557 Alfred Murdoch
Masterton John Robertson 190 J H Irving
Mataura David McDougall Tom Macdonald 1,515 David McDougall
Mid-Canterbury Horace Herring Arthur Grigg 74 Horace Herring
Motueka Keith Holyoake Clarence Skinner 870 Keith Holyoake
Napier Bill Barnard 3,937 John Ormond[24]
Nelson Harry Atmore 886 J R Kerr
New Plymouth Sydney George Smith Frederick Frost 869 Sydney George Smith
Oamaru Arnold Nordmeyer 758 Michael Francis Edward Cooney[25]
Onehunga (new electorate) Arthur Osborne 4,314 John Park[26][27]
Otahuhu (new electorate) Charles Robert Petrie 2,267 Kenneth Boor Tennent[28]
Otaki Leonard Lowry 1,367 George Alexander Monk[29]
Pahiatua Alfred Ransom 931 G A Hansen[30]
Palmerston North Joe Hodgens 2,118 Jimmy Nash[31]
Patea Harold Dickie 809 Charles Joseph Duggan[32][33]
Raglan Lee Martin 604 Andrew Sutherland[34]
Rangitikei Ormond Wilson Edward Gordon 311 Ormond Wilson
Remuera (new electorate) Bill Endean 2,861 Mary Dreaver[35]
Riccarton Herbert Kyle 87 Thomas Herbert Langford[36]
Roskill Arthur Shapton Richards 2,141 Arthur Sagar Bailey[10]
Rotorua Alexander Moncur 1,648 H W Nixon[37]
Stratford William Polson 1,101 J W McMillan
Tauranga Charles Harris Burnett Frederick Doidge 1,138 Charles Harris Burnett
Temuka Thomas Burnett 1,249 James Arnold Kearton
Thames Jim Thorn 2,295 W A Clark
Timaru Clyde Carr 2,196 W H Hall
Waikato Robert Coulter William Goosman 2,928 J W Neate
Waimarino Frank Langstone 2,940 C A Boles
Waipawa Hubert Christie Albert Jull 446 Hubert Christie
Wairarapa Benjamin Roberts 777 J F Thompson[38]
Waitaki David Barnes David Campbell Kidd 14 David Barnes
Waitemata Jack Lyon 2,261 John Ernest Close[10]
Waitomo Walter Broadfoot 329 Jack Jones[39]
Wallace Adam Hamilton 844 J J Lynch
Wanganui Joseph Cotterill 3,920 Bill Veitch
Wellington Central Peter Fraser 3,837 Will Appleton[40]
Wellington East Bob Semple 4,736 William Long Barker[41]
Wellington North Charles Henry Chapman 3,278 Elizabeth Gilmer[42]
Wellington South Robert McKeen 6,415 David Howlett[43]
Wellington Suburbs Robert Alexander Wright Harry Ernest Combs 3,163 Ossie Mazengarb
Wellington West (new electorate) Catherine Stewart 956 Robert Alexander Wright
Westland James O'Brien 3,729 Edward Bickmore Ellison Taylor
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Apirana Ngata 1,064 Reweti Tuhorouta Kohere
Northern Maori Taurekareka Henare Paraire Karaka Paikea 2,011 Taurekareka Henare
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 485 Thomas Kaiporohu Bragg
Western Maori Toko Ratana 4,267 Pei Te Hurinui Jones

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Milne, Robert Stephen (1966). Political Parties in New Zealand. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. p. 76. 
  3. ^ New Zealand Official Year-book, 1942 p778
  4. ^ "The New Zealand Official Year-Book, 1942". Government Printer. 28 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "The General Election, 1938". National Library. 1939. pp. 1–6. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  6. ^ "Candidates for tomorrow's election". Evening Post. CXXVI (91). 14 October 1938. p. 18. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Notice of Nominations Received and Polling Places Appointed". Auckland Star LXVI (268). 12 November 1935. p. 9. Retrieved 13 November 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Parliamentary Election". Auckland Star LXIX (254). 27 October 1938. p. 4. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Gustafson 1986, pp. 26, 28.
  10. ^ a b c "Electoral". The New Zealand Herald LXXV (23180). 28 October 1938. p. 3. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 370.
  12. ^ a b c d "Electoral". The New Zealand Herald LXXV (23181). 29 October 1938. p. 25. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "The By-Election". Evening Post. CXXVII (128). 2 June 1939. p. 8. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  14. ^ Ammentorp, Steen. "Falconer". generals.dk. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Cenotaph Record". Auckland War Memorial Museum. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Brigadier A. S. Falconer". New Zealand Electronic Text Centre. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  17. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 362.
  18. ^ a b "The Mantle of Seddon". Evening Post. CXXVI (90). 13 October 1938. p. 24. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Election Review". Evening Post. CXXVI (83). 5 October 1938. p. 15. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  20. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 366.
  21. ^ Webb, Brendan (20 September 2010). "No Sign of Mayors". BayBuzz. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  22. ^ "Hawke's Bay Seats". Evening Post. CXXVI (90). 13 October 1938. p. 11. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  23. ^ "Public Notices". The Evening Post. CXXVI (82). 4 October 1938. p. 4. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  24. ^ Bremer, Robert James. "Ormond, John Davies Wilder". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 January 2010. 
  25. ^ "Otago Contests". Evening Post. CXXVI (73). 23 September 1938. p. 10. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  26. ^ "The Onehunga Seat". Evening Post. CXXVI (59). 7 September 1938. p. 5. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  27. ^ "Discover Onehunga's Rich History". Onehunga Business Association. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "Parliamentary Elections". Auckland Star LXIX (233). 3 October 1938. p. 11. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  29. ^ "Public Notices". Evening Post. CXXVI (82). 4 October 1938. p. 4. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  30. ^ "Labour Candidates". Evening Post CXXV (82). 7 April 1938. p. 17. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  31. ^ "J. A. Nash". Evening Post. CXXVI (89). 12 October 1938. p. 18. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  32. ^ "The Labour Party". Auckland Star LXIX (192). 16 August 1938. p. 5. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  33. ^ "Labour Candidates". Evening Post CX (61). 9 September 1925. p. 6. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  34. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 345.
  35. ^ Laracy, Hugh. "Dreaver, Mary Manson". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  36. ^ "Tammany Hall". Evening Post CXL (52). 30 August 1945. p. 9. Retrieved 6 November 2013. 
  37. ^ "General Election". Auckland Star LXIX (116). 19 May 1938. p. 10. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  38. ^ "Wairarapa Electorate". Upper Hutt Weekly Review III (43). 14 October 1938. p. 3. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  39. ^ "Mrs. R. Bleasel". Auckland Star LXIX (277). 23 November 1938. p. 4. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  40. ^ Buchan, Allison. "Appleton, William". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  41. ^ "Public Notices". Evening Post. CXXVI (98). 22 October 1938. p. 5. Retrieved 30 November 2014. 
  42. ^ Labrum, Bronwyn. "Gilmer, Elizabeth May". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved January 2013. 
  43. ^ "General Election". Evening Post. CXXVI (45). 22 August 1938. p. 10. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 

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. 
  • Lipson, Leslie (2011) [1948]. The Politics of Equality: New Zealand’s Adventures in Democracy. Wellington: Victoria University Press. ISBN 978-0-86473-646-8. 
  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.