|4th Leader of the Social Credit Party|
|Preceded by||Vernon Cracknell|
|Succeeded by||Bruce Beetham|
John Bernard O'Brien
31 July 1925
Palmerston North, New Zealand
|Died||12 October 1990 65) (aged|
Nelson, New Zealand
|Political party||Social Credit|
John Bernard O'Brien (31 July 1925 – 12 October 1990) was a political candidate and party leader of Social Credit in New Zealand.
O'Brien was the Social Credit Party candidate for the Manawatu electorate in the 1957 and 1960 general election placing third. Following the sudden death of Bill Brown, O'Brien unsuccessfully contested the Palmerston North electorate in the 1967 by-election.
In the 1960s, O'Brien was deputy-leader to first P. H. Matthews and then Vernon Cracknell, who was the sole Social Credit MP. Cracknell lost his seat in the 1969 election, and the following year, O'Brien challenged him for the leadership. The contest was bitter, even resulting in brawling between supporters of the two camps. Eventually, O'Brien was successful.
Although a powerful speaker and an energetic organiser, O'Brien was accused by his opponents of being abrasive and overly confrontational. He quickly antagonised many party members, particularly those in the Christchurch branch. O'Brien's leadership of the party lasted only until 1972, when, with Tom Weal, the deputy leader, and others, he quit the party and was replaced by Bruce Beetham.
O'Brien then formed his own group, the New Democratic Party. The New Democrats were one of the larger parties to contest the 1972 election, standing candidates in all but one electorate. In the end, they placed fifth overall, winning merely 0.66% of the vote. They did not win any seats. O'Brien himself stood in the Nelson electorate placing last of five candidates with only 2.97% of the vote.
He was from the Palmerston North area. After politics, he ran a shop in Nelson then retired and later died there, aged 65.
The New Zealand Social Credit Party is a political party which served as the country's third party from the 1950s through into the 1980s. The party held a number of seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives, although never more than two at a time. It renamed itself the New Zealand Democratic Party from 1985 to 2018, and was for a time part of the Alliance from 1991 to 2002. It returned to the Social Credit name in 2018.
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 1981 New Zealand general election, held on 28 November 1981, was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 40th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Robert Muldoon, win a third term in office, but the opposition Labour Party, led by Bill Rowling, won the largest share of the votes cast.
Bruce Craig Beetham was an academic and politician from New Zealand, whose career spanned the 1970s and early 1980s.
The 1978 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to elect the 39th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Robert Muldoon, retain office, but the opposition Labour Party won the largest share of the vote. Reorganisation of the enrolment system caused major problems with the electoral rolls, which left a legacy of unreliable information about voting levels in this election.
The New Zealand general election of 1972 was held on 25 November to elect MPs to the 37th session of the New Zealand Parliament. The Labour Party, led by Norman Kirk, defeated the governing National Party.
Vernon Francis Cracknell was a New Zealand politician. He served as the Social Credit Party's third leader (1963–1970).
The Rangitikei by-election of 1978 was a by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Rangitikei, a predominantly rural district in the middle of New Zealand's North Island. The by-election occurred on 18 February 1978, and was precipitated by the death of sitting National Party member of parliament Sir Roy Jack in December 1977.
Palmerston North is a parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. The electorate was first formed for the 1890 election and was called Palmerston until 1938. The current MP for Palmerston North is Tangi Utikere of the Labour Party. He has held this position since the 2020 election.
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Wilfrid Barry Owen was a New Zealand politician and the first leader (1953–1958) of New Zealand's Social Credit Party.
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Thomas Kavanagh Weal was a New Zealand politician for the Social Credit Political League, the New Democratic Party and the short lived Christian Democrat party.
The Grey Lynn by-election 1963 was a by-election held in the Grey Lynn electorate in Auckland during the term of the 33rd New Zealand Parliament, on 18 May 1963.
The Otahuhu by-election 1963 was a by-election held in the Otahuhu electorate in Auckland during the term of the 33rd New Zealand Parliament, on 16 March 1963.
The Buller by-election 1962 was a by-election held in the Buller electorate in the West Coast during the term of the 33rd New Zealand Parliament, on 7 July 1962.
Leslie William Hunter was a New Zealand politician for the Social Credit Political League.
The Social Credit-NZ party was a political party in New Zealand which split from the New Zealand Democratic Party in 1988.
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Social Credit Party |
|Vacant|| Deputy Leader of the Social Credit Party |