All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
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.
The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by a governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world.
The 26th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1938 general election in October of that year.
The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.
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 1935 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 25th term. It resulted in the Labour Party's first electoral victory, with Michael Joseph Savage becoming the first Labour Prime Minister. The governing coalition, consisting of the United Party and the Reform Party, suffered a major defeat, attributed by many to their handling of the Great Depression. The year after the election, United and Reform took their coalition further, merging to form the modern National Party.
The United Party of New Zealand, a party formed out of the remnants of the Liberal Party, formed a government between 1928 and 1935, and in 1936 merged with the Reform Party to establish the National Party.
The Reform Party, formally the New Zealand Political Reform League, was New Zealand's second major political party, having been founded as a conservative response to the original Liberal Party. It was in government between 1912 and 1928, and later formed a coalition with the United Party, and then merged with United to form the modern National Party.
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.
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election. Eligibility varies by country, and the voting-eligible population should not be confused with the total adult population. Age and citizenship status are often among the criteria used to determine eligibility, but some countries further restrict eligibility based on sex, race, or religion.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The 1984 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 41st New Zealand Parliament. It marked the beginning of the Fourth Labour Government, with David Lange's Labour Party defeating the long-serving Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, of the National Party. It was also the last election in which the Social Credit Party won seats as an independent entity. The election was also the only one in which the New Zealand Party, a protest party, played any substantial role.
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, Wellington Suburbs, and Northern Maori, it lost Tauranga and the rural seats of Manawatu, Rangitikei, Waikato, Mid-Canterbury, and Waipawa.
Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.
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 (who had merged into National in 1936)and the agrarian monetary reformist Country Party, which saw its votes collapse completely. 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.
The Country Party of New Zealand was a political party which appealed to rural voters. It was represented in Parliament from 1928 to 1938. Its policies were a mixture of rural advocacy and social credit theory.
Bay of Islands is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It existed during various periods between 1853 and 1993. It was thus one of the original 24 electoral districts, and New Zealand's first ever MP was elected, although unopposed, in the Bay of Islands; Hugh Carleton thus liked to be called the Father of the House.
Franklin was a rural New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It existed from 1861 to 1996 during four periods.
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.
Harry Atmore was a New Zealand Independent Member of Parliament for Nelson in the South Island.
Nelson is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the House of Representatives of New Zealand. From 1853 to 1860, the electorate was called Town of Nelson. From 1860 to 1881, it was City of Nelson. The electorate is the only one that has continuously existed since the 1st Parliament in 1853.
Charles Anderson Wilkinson was a New Zealand Reform Party, then Independent Member of Parliament for Egmont, in the North Island.
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.
*includes two Ratana MPs (Toko Ratana, Eruera Tirikatene) who joined the Labour caucus after the 1935 election
The following table shows the detailed results: Key
Labour National Country Party Independent Independent Liberal
|Auckland Central||Bill Parry||6,181||Clifford Reid Dodd|
|Auckland East||Frederick Schramm||2,626||Harry Tom Merritt|
|Auckland Suburbs||Rex Mason||4,862||Maxwell Stuart Walker|
|Auckland West||Michael Joseph Savage||8,007||John W. Kealy|
|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|
|Bay of Plenty||Gordon Hultquist||169||Bill Sullivan|
|Buller||Paddy Webb||6,144||T O Maddison|
|Central Otago||William Bodkin||1,231||James McIndoe Mackay|
|Christchurch East||Tim Armstrong||7,179||Ken Armour|
|Christchurch North||Sidney Holland||492||Robert Macfarlane|
|Christchurch South||Ted Howard||5,995||Gladstone Ward|
|Clutha||James Roy||714||John Edie|
|Dunedin Central||Peter Neilson||3,814||William John Meade|
|Dunedin North||James Wright Munro||3,557||Alexander Smith Falconer|
|Dunedin South||Fred Jones||4,314||Rev. Ernest Aderman|
|Dunedin West||Dr Gervan McMillan||2,639||Stuart Sidey|
|Eden||Bill Anderton||2,333||Donald Pool|
|Egmont||Charles Wilkinson||1,402||T E Trask|
|Franklin||Arthur Sexton||Jack Massey||2,057||Ernest Piggott|
|Gisborne||David William Coleman||3,640||K F Jones|
|Grey Lynn||John A. Lee||8,607||Joseph Alexander Govan|
|Hamilton||Charles Barrell||1,860||Albert William Grant|
|Hauraki||Charles Robert Petrie||John Manchester Allen||1,188||Robert Coulter|
|Hawkes Bay||Edward Luttrell Cullen||2,658||George Maddison|
|Hurunui||George Forbes||535||H E Denton|
|Hutt||Walter Nash||6,814||John William Andrews|
|Invercargill||William Denham||2,156||Fred Hall-Jones|
|Kaiapoi||Morgan Williams||1,535||George Warren|
|Kaipara||Gordon Coates||1,689||Percy MacGregor Stewart|
|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||Jerry Skinner||870||Keith Holyoake|
|Napier||Bill Barnard||3,937||John Ormond|
|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|
|Onehunga||New electorate||Arthur Osborne||4,314||John Park|
|Otahuhu||New electorate||Charles Robert Petrie||2,267||Kenneth Boor Tennent|
|Otaki||Leonard Lowry||1,367||George Alexander Monk|
|Pahiatua||Alfred Ransom||931||George Anders Hansen|
|Palmerston North||Joe Hodgens||2,118||Jimmy Nash|
|Patea||Harold Dickie||809||Charles Joseph Duggan|
|Raglan||Lee Martin||604||Andrew Sutherland|
|Rangitikei||Ormond Wilson||Edward Gordon||311||Ormond Wilson|
|Remuera||New electorate||Bill Endean||2,861||Mary Dreaver|
|Riccarton||Herbert Kyle||87||Thomas Herbert Langford|
|Roskill||Arthur Shapton Richards||2,141||Arthur Sagar Bailey|
|Rotorua||Alexander Moncur||1,648||H W Nixon|
|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||William Alexander 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||Ben Roberts||777||J F Thompson|
|Waitaki||David Barnes||David Campbell Kidd||14||David Barnes|
|Waitemata||Jack Lyon||2,261||John Ernest Close|
|Waitomo||Walter Broadfoot||329||Jack Jones|
|Wallace||Adam Hamilton||844||John James Lynch|
|Wanganui||Joseph Cotterill||3,920||Bill Veitch|
|Wellington Central||Peter Fraser||3,837||Will Appleton|
|Wellington East||Bob Semple||4,736||William Long Barker|
|Wellington North||Charles Henry Chapman||3,278||Elizabeth Gilmer|
|Wellington South||Robert McKeen||6,415||David Howlett|
|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||Ted Taylor|
|Eastern Maori||Āpirana 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|
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