1949 New Zealand general election

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1949 New Zealand general election

  1946 29 (Māori) & 30 November (general) 1949 1951  

All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout1,113,852
 First partySecond party
 
Leader Sidney Holland Peter Fraser
Party National Labour
Leader since 26 November 1940 4 April 1940
Leader's seat Fendalton Brooklyn
Last election38 seats, 48.4%42 seats, 51.3%
Seats won4634
Seat changeIncrease 8Decrease 8
Popular vote556,805506,073
Percentage51.9%47.2%
SwingIncrease 3.5%Decrease 4.1%

Prime Minister before election

Peter Fraser
Labour

Elected Prime Minister

Sidney Holland
National

The 1949 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 29th term. It saw the governing Labour Party defeated by the opposition National Party. This marked the end of the First Labour government and the beginning of the First National government.

Contents

Background

The Labour Party had formed its first ministry after winning the 1935 election, and had remained in power (with gradually decreasing majorities) since then. The National Party, formed by a merger of the parties which Labour had originally ousted, gradually increased its power in Parliament; the ineffectual Adam Hamilton was replaced by Sidney Holland, and internal disputes were gradually resolved. The Prime Minister, Peter Fraser, was increasingly weary. Ongoing shortages after World War II also eroded public support for the government. The National Party's decision not to repeal Labour's social welfare policies also increased its appeal.

The election

The date for the main elections was a Wednesday 30 November. Elections to the four Māori electorates were held the day before—the 1949 elections were the last in which Māori voted on a different day. 1,113,852 people were registered to vote, although rolls for the Māori seats were "woefully inadequate." Voter turnout for the elections is disputed, given the problems with the Māori roll—some sources place it at 93.5 percent, while others estimate 92.9 percent. Regardless, the turnout was relatively high for the time. The number of seats being contested was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.

Election results

Party standings

The 1949 election saw the governing Labour Party defeated by a twelve-seat margin. It has previously held a four-seat majority. Labour won a total of 34 seats, as opposed to National's 46. The popular vote was considerably closer—Labour won 47.2 percent to National's 51.9 percent. No seats were won by minor party candidates or by independents.

John A. Lee stood for Grey Lynn as the sole Democratic Labour candidate and got 2,627 votes, coming third.

Election results
PartyCandidatesTotal votesPercentageSeats wonchange
National 80556,80551.8846+8
Labour 80506,07347.1634−8
Communist 163,4990.330±0
Democratic Labour 12,6270.240±0
Others194,1500.390±0
Total1961,073,15480

Votes summary

Popular Vote
National
51.88%
Labour
47.16%
Others
0.96%
Parliament seats
National
57.50%
Labour
42.50%

Initial MPs

The table below shows the results of the 1949 general election:

Key

  Labour     National   

Electorate results for the 1949 New Zealand general election [1]
ElectorateIncumbentWinnerMajorityRunner up
General electorates
Arch Hill Bill Parry 5,174Gordon Frederick Smith
Ashburton Richard Geoffrey Gerard 2,385William Erle Rose
Auckland Central Bill Anderton 2,799Leonard George Bradley
Avon John Mathison 4,593G W Kinzett
Awarua George Richard Herron 3,179 Neville Pickering [2]
Bay of Plenty Bill Sullivan 3,680Thomas Godfrey Santon
Brooklyn Peter Fraser [3] 2,956Mrs Berta S. Burns [4]
Buller Jerry Skinner 2,206Phil McDonald
Central Otago William Bodkin 3,906Thomas Augustus Rodgers
Christchurch Central Robert Macfarlane 3,637Kevin John Marlow
Clutha James Roy 3,231John Edward Keenan
Dunedin Central Philip Connolly 989David Murdoch
Dunedin North Robert Walls 668Richard Brickell
Eden Wilfred Fortune 2,259 Pat Curran
Egmont Ernest Corbett 4,539Brian Edgar Richmond
Fendalton Sidney Holland 4,076R T Newman
Franklin Jack Massey 5,481J Parsons
Gisborne David Coleman Reginald Keeling 489 Harry Dudfield [5] [6]
Grey Lynn Fred Hackett 4,203John Leon Faulkner [7]
Hamilton Hilda Ross 1,605John Granville
Hastings Edward Cullen Sydney Jones 982Edward Cullen
Hauraki Andrew Sutherland 3,944Percival Peacock
Hawke's Bay Cyril Harker 3,442Dick Beattie
Hobson Sidney Walter Smith 5,068William Edmund Lane
Hurunui William Gillespie 2,535Arthur J. Smith
Hutt Walter Nash 2,273H L Heatley
Invercargill Ralph Hanan 1,159 William Denham
Island Bay Robert McKeen 2,770Herbert Edward Childs
Karori Charles Bowden 3,585Ethel Harris
Lyttelton Terry McCombs 978R R Beauchamp
Manawatu Matthew Oram 3,433Basil A. Rodgers
Marlborough Tom Shand 1,862J H Wilson
Marsden Alfred Murdoch 3,276Douglas L. Ross
Miramar Bob Semple 1,315Cuthbert Taylor
Mornington Walter Arthur Hudson 4,185Geoffrey Stephens
Mount Albert Warren Freer 931Reginald Frank Judson
Mount Victoria Jack Marshall 1,808Nathan Seddon
Napier Tommy Armstrong 721William Tucker
Nelson Edgar Neale 1,373R C A Marshall
New Plymouth Ernest Aderman 1,517Clarence Robert Parker
North Shore Martyn Finlay Dean Eyre 1,344Martyn Finlay
Oamaru Arnold Nordmeyer Thomas Hayman 694Arnold Nordmeyer
Onehunga Arthur Osborne 2,300Alan A. Coates
Onslow Harry Ernest Combs 1,927John S. Meadowcroft [8]
Otahuhu Charles Petrie Leon Götz 1,275Alexander Boyd Dixon
Otaki James Joseph Maher 374John Capstick
Pahiatua Keith Holyoake 4,507G P O'Leary
Palmerston North Ormond Wilson Blair Tennent 518Ormond Wilson
Parnell Duncan Rae 960 Frederick Schramm
Patea William Sheat 1,841Frederick William Finer
Petone Michael Moohan 2,527Norm Croft
Piako William Goosman 6,266Gilbert Parsons Kenah
Ponsonby Ritchie Macdonald 2,278Brian Kingston
Raglan Alan Baxter Hallyburton Johnstone 1,022Alan Baxter
Rangitikei Edward Gordon 3,310E R De Malmanche
Remuera Ronald Algie 5,079 Hugh Watt [9] [1]
Riccarton Angus McLagan 2,707 Harry Lake [10]
Rodney Clifton Webb 4,546Arthur Leaming
Roskill Frank Langstone John Rae 1,415James Freeman
St Albans Jack Watts 1,142 George Manning [11]
St Kilda Fred Jones 331Gerald Lyon
Selwyn John McAlpine 1,327E A Sharp
Sydenham Mabel Howard 5,643Oliver G. Moody [8]
Tamaki Tom Skinner Eric Halstead 1,095Tom Skinner
Tauranga Frederick Doidge 4,595Hillary Joseph Pickett
Timaru Clyde Carr 832Jack Lockington
Waikato Geoffrey Sim 5,923John Ronald Burfitt
Waimarino Paddy Kearins 202Arthur Herbert MacPherson
Waimate David Campbell Kidd 1,767Roy Davison
Wairarapa Garnet Mackley Bert Cooksley 963George Anders Hansen
Waitakere Rex Mason 930Robert Tapper
Waitomo Walter Broadfoot 5,079 Frank Kitts
Wallace Tom Macdonald 4,511Herman Victor Freeman
Wanganui Joseph Cotterill 1,019E V O'Keefe
Wellington Central Charles Henry Chapman 575 Will Appleton
Westland James Begg Kent 2,744Patrick Joseph O'Regan
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Tiaki Omana 3,211 Turi Carroll
Northern Maori Tapihana Paraire Paikea 2,029 James Henare
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 687Huro Nathanial Bates
Western Maori vacant [nb 1] Iriaka Matiu Ratana 6,317 Hoeroa Marumaru

Table footnotes:

  1. Matiu Ratana, the previous holder of the Western Maori electorate, died on 7 October 1949. His wife Iriaka Ratana stood for election instead.

Notes

  1. 1 2 "The General Election, 1949". National Library. 1950. pp. 1–5, 8. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  2. Norton 1988, p. 197.
  3. Wilson 1985, p. 198.
  4. Gustafson 1986, p. 357.
  5. Norton 1988, p. 228.
  6. Gustafson 1986, p. 308.
  7. Norton 1988, p. 419.
  8. 1 2 Gustafson 1986, p. 378.
  9. Norton 1988, p. 331.
  10. Gustafson 1986, p. 325.
  11. Sharfe, Jean. "Manning, George". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 17 February 2010.

References