1949 New Zealand general election

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Flag of New Zealand.svg
  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
  Sidney George Holland (1951).jpg Peter Fraser.jpg
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 changeIncrease2.svg 8Decrease2.svg 8
Popular vote556,805506,073
Percentage51.9%47.2%
SwingIncrease2.svg 3.5%Decrease2.svg 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.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

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 her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.

29th New Zealand Parliament

The 29th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand. It opened in 1950, following the 1949 general election. It was dissolved in 1951 in preparation for the 1951 general election. The governing Labour Party had been defeated in the election by the National Party. This marked the end of the First Labour government and the beginning of the First National government.

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.

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.

In constitutional usage in Commonwealth realms and in some other systems, a ministry is a collective body of government ministers headed by a prime minister or premier, and also referred to as the head of government. It is described by the Oxford Dictionary as "a period of government under one prime minister". Although the term "cabinet" can in some circumstances be a synonym, a ministry can be a broader concept which might include office-holders who do not participate in cabinet meetings. Other titles can include "administration" or "government" to describe similar collectives.

1935 New Zealand general election

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.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political party

The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.

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.

Māori electorates

In New Zealand politics, Māori electorates, colloquially known as the Māori seats, are a special category of electorate that gives reserved positions to representatives of Māori in the New Zealand Parliament. Every area in New Zealand is covered by both a general and a Māori electorate; there are currently seven Māori electorates. Since 1967 candidates in Māori electorates have not needed to be Māori themselves, but to register as a voter in the Māori electorates people need to declare they are of Māori descent.

Voter turnout percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election

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.

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.

John A. Lee New Zealand politician

John Alfred Alexander Lee was a New Zealand politician and writer. He is one of the more prominent avowed socialists in New Zealand's political history.

Grey Lynn is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate, in the city of Auckland. It existed from 1902 to 1978, and was represented by nine Members of Parliament.

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) was a left-wing political party in New Zealand in the 1940s. It was a splinter from the larger Labour Party, and was led by the prominent socialist John A. Lee.

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 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 Phil 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 5,481John 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 Ted Cullen Sydney Jones 982 Ted 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 Wally 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 1,344 Martyn Finlay
Oamaru Arnold Nordmeyer Thomas Hayman 694 Arnold 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 518 Ormond 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 1,022 Alan 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 1,327Alan Sharp
Sydenham Mabel Howard 5,643Oliver G. Moody [8]
Tamaki Tom Skinner Eric Halstead 1,095 Tom 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 Jim 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.

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References

University of Otago university in New Zealand

The University of Otago is a collegiate university based in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand. It scores highly for average research quality, and in 2006 was second in New Zealand only to the University of Auckland in the number of A-rated academic researchers it employs. In the past it has topped the New Zealand Performance Based Research Fund evaluation.


Barry Selwyn Gustafson is a New Zealand political scientist and historian, and a leading political biographer. He served for nearly four decades as Professor of Political Studies at the University of Auckland, and as Acting Director of the New Zealand Asia Institute from 2004 to 2006. He has contested various general elections, first for the Labour Party and later for the National Party, coming second each time.

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