All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
Results of the election.
The 1951 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 30th term. The First National Government was re-elected, with the National Party increasing its parliamentary majority over the opposition Labour Party. This was the last time until the 2020 election that a party was elected to majority government of New Zealand by receiving a majority of the vote.
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.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.
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 distraction of the strike, might have threatened Holland's government at the scheduled election for 1952.
Two MPs retired at the election, one each from Labour and National.
|Labour||Bill Parry||Arch Hill|
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.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%. The number of seats being contested was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.
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.The popular vote was closer, however, with National winning 54% to Labour's 46%. No seats were won by minor party candidates or by independents. No party then captured a majority of the vote until the 2020 election, when Labour won 50.01%.
|Party||Candidates||Total votes||Percentage||Seats won||change|
|Arch Hill||Bill Parry||John Stewart||3,965||Paddy Hope|
|Ashburton||Geoff Gerard||2,867||William Erle Rose|
|Auckland Central||Bill Anderton||2,168||Peter Hillyer|
|Avon||John Mathison||4,212||Douglas Warren Russell|
|Awarua||George Herron||3,755||Neville Pickering|
|Bay of Plenty||Bill Sullivan||4,047||Godfrey Santon|
|Brooklyn||Arnold Nordmeyer||1,826||Charles William Clift|
|Buller||Jerry Skinner||1,227||Phil McDonald|
|Central Otago||William Bodkin||3,620||T A Rodgers|
|Christchurch Central||Robert Macfarlane||4,103||Alma Schumacher|
|Clutha||James Roy||3,583||J M Sanders|
|Dunedin Central||Phil Connolly||373||Walter MacDougall|
|Dunedin North||Robert Walls||307||Donald Cameron|
|Eden||Wilfred Fortune||2,802||John Ronald Burfitt|
|Egmont||Ernest Corbett||4,896||Brian Edgar 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||Harold Barry|
|Hamilton||Hilda Ross||2,252||Ben Waters|
|Hastings||Sydney Jones||1,138||Henry Edward Beattie|
|Hauraki||Andy Sutherland||4,468||Brevat William Dynes|
|Hawke's Bay||Cyril Harker||4,153||A Lowe|
|Hobson||Sidney Smith||5,337||Norman King|
|Hurunui||William Gillespie||2,921||W E Cassidy|
|Hutt||Walter Nash||2,248||Jack Andrews|
|Invercargill||Ralph Hanan||2,123||F G Spurdle|
|Island Bay||Robert McKeen||1,680||James Duncan|
|Karori||Charles Bowden||3,453||Jim Bateman|
|Lyttelton||Terry McCombs||Harry Lake||133||Terry McCombs|
|Manawatu||Matthew Oram||3,465||B A Rodgers|
|Marlborough||Tom Shand||2,452||Ted Meachen|
|Marsden||Alfred Murdoch||4,001||Mervyn Allan Hosking|
|Miramar||Bob Semple||301||Cuthbert Taylor|
|Mornington||Wally Hudson||3,783||Richard Philling|
|Mount Albert||Warren Freer||604||Reg Judson|
|Mount Victoria||Jack Marshall||2,198||Frank Kitts|
|Napier||Tommy Armstrong||Peter Tait||44||Tommy Armstrong|
|Nelson||Edgar Neale||2,831||Stan Whitehead|
|New Plymouth||Ernest Aderman||2,335||Clarence Robert Parker|
|North Shore||Dean Eyre||2,155||Richard Wrathall|
|Oamaru||Thomas Hayman||1,315||C J Ryan|
|Onehunga||Arthur Osborne||1,966||Leonard Bradley|
|Onslow||Harry Combs||1,106||John S Meadowcroft|
|Otahuhu||Leon Götz||2,128||James Deas|
|Otaki||Jimmy Maher||1,142||Phil Holloway|
|Pahiatua||Keith Holyoake||4,598||Owen Jones|
|Palmerston North||Blair Tennent||200||Joe Hodgens|
|Parnell||Duncan Rae||1,587||Hugh Watt|
|Patea||William Sheat||2,467||Frederick William Finer|
|Petone||Mick Moohan||2,135||Norm Croft|
|Piako||Stan Goosman||6,364||Gilbert Parsons Kenah|
|Ponsonby||Ritchie Macdonald||1,504||Peter Dempsey|
|Raglan||Hallyburton Johnstone||1,766||James Harrison Wilson|
|Rangitikei||Edward Gordon||3,677||F A Dalzell|
|Remuera||Ronald Algie||5,346||Bob Tizard|
|Riccarton||Angus McLagan||2,265||Eric Philip Wills|
|Rodney||Clifton Webb||4,893||Arthur Laurence Leaming|
|Roskill||John Rae||440||Pat Curran|
|St Albans||Jack Watts||1,415||John Bernard Mora|
|St Kilda||Fred Jones||Jim Barnes||336||Fred Jones|
|Selwyn||John McAlpine||1,836||Jim Barclay|
|Sydenham||Mabel Howard||4,403||Albert Hugh Stott|
|Tamaki||Eric Halstead||1,461||Tom Skinner|
|Tauranga||Frederick Doidge||George Walsh||5,400||Hillary Joseph Pickett|
|Timaru||Clyde Carr||564||William Leslie Richards|
|Waikato||Geoffrey Sim||6,369||William Henry Bayly|
|Waimarino||Paddy Kearins||67||Arthur MacPherson|
|Waimate||David Kidd||2,232||A G Braddick|
|Wairarapa||Bert Cooksley||2,032||George Anders Hansen|
|Waitakere||Rex Mason||641||Robert Tapper|
|Waitomo||Walter Broadfoot||5,286||J Dwyer|
|Wallace||Tom Macdonald||5,060||J W Cleary|
|Wanganui||Joe Cotterill||226||Ernest Victor O'Keefe|
|Wellington Central||Charles Chapman||277||Berta Burns|
|Westland||Jim Kent||2,325||Isabella Catherine Brown|
|Eastern Maori||Tiaki Omana||3,706||Turi Carroll|
|Northern Maori||Tapihana Paikea||2,132||James Henare|
|Southern Maori||Eruera Tirikatene||659||William Beaton|
|Western Maori||Iriaka Rātana||7,352||Hoeroa Marumaru|
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