Idly reflecting this morning on the change in the leadership of the National Party, I started trying to work out how often the two main parties have both gone into a general election with a new leader.
The National Party was formed in 1936. Here are the names of the leaders of the National and Labour parties at each election since then.
|Main party leaders|
New leaders for both main parties hasn’t happened often. The most recent previous occasion was 1975, and the only other time before that was 1943. On both occasions, the incumbent Prime Minister had died during the previous electoral term, and the opposition party (in both cases National) had experienced a thumping defeat at the previous election.