Fourth term government votes

After the provisional election results were announced a couple of weeks ago I ran a post looking at how National and the other right or centre-right parties had done in this election compared to the experiences of the other two times (since National and Labour first dominated the scene) that a party had won a fourth term (1935 to 1949 under Labour, and 1960 to 1972 under National).   In both those cases, the winning party actually increased its vote share in the election that secured the fourth term (1946 and 1969).

MMP muddies the waters somewhat.  But here is a chart showing, using the final results this afternoon, the combined vote share for National, ACT, and the Conservative Party for the last four elections (numbered along the bottom) and comparing it with National’s experience in the four 1960s elections.  I’ve argued previously that most Conservative Party voters would (a) otherwise have voted National or stayed at home, and (b) had the Conservative Party won seats they’d have sided with National as surely as the Greens side with Labour.

centre-right vote share

The centre-right parties did impressively well to increase their total vote share in 2011 and again in 2014.  But the fall-off in this election – 6.6 percentage points –  is pretty stark.

It may still be enough to lead the next government –  time and New Zealand First will tell –  but, if so, it is hardly a ringing endorsement.    Here is some contextual material around National’s 1969 victory that I included in the earlier post.

Now that looks more like a genuinely impressive performance – the governing party lifting its vote share in the election in which it gained a fourth term.   There had been industrial action at the time of the election which had hurt the Labour Party, but the previous three years had been a very tough time to govern.   Wool prices had collapsed (and with them the overall terms of trade), the New Zealand government had been forced into a devaluation in late 1967, and had borrowed from the IMF under a pretty stringent domestic austerity programme.  Things here had been tough enough that over the three calendar years 1967 to 1969 there was a small overall net migration outflow (the first such outflows since the end of World War Two).

14 thoughts on “Fourth term government votes

  1. It’s a hard comparison to make without knowing how to allocate NZ First’s vote. A significant chunk of it is almost certainly “conservative” (particularly in the vein of the National party of the 1960s), but the proportion is not clear.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, fair comment (and the same could be said about Social Credit’s significant vote share in the 60s). I guess the key point is that NZF hasn’t regarded itself as, or acted as if it is, tied to one side or the other (see 1996 vs 2005), whereas for all practical purposes the Greens, ACT, and the Conservatives were tied to one side rather than the other (Craig campagined last time as another potential support partner for National, even without National’s endorsements).

    Of course, focusing on this election alone, the NZF vote share fell from 8.7% in 2014 to 7.2% this time.


    • Labour Party now has 13 Maori MPs including the 7 reserved seats. The makeup of this Labour Party is more Maori than under the Jackboots of Helen Clarke government when she pretty much tossed out Maori over the foreshore and seabed act.

      The Greens is not the same Green Party but now has brought into its ranks and into the NZ parliament its very first Muslim MP. Muslims will be cheering around the world at Golriz Ghahraman’s appointment. The Greens propaganda machinery has certainly managed her Muslim upbringing very well and hiding the truth from New Zealanders.

      We are just replacing migrants that have money with poverty stricken refugees under a Labour/Greens government.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No wonder there was a huge influx of Pakistani Muslims during that period. But at least they were properly vetted and came in with sizeable assets judging from the size of the mosque in New Lynn next to Mitre 10 Mega.

        The 5000 Muslim refugees that Golriz will be pushing forward with can’t be properly vetted and will come in without any assets.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t like the Greens immigration policy either, but if you want to meet someone who detests Islamic fundamentalism, find someone who fled Iran.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, and under the current immigration regime, one who obtained some low level ‘qualification’ at Unitec (or worse) potentially scores more points than one who, like Ghahraman, has a graduate degree from Cambridge.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes but fled from a regime prior to the current one would make that the Shah of Iran’s regime. I think that was a brutal Muslim dictatorship.


      • So the question now is how did she manage to get a Cambridge education? It is enormously expensive to study in Cambridge. Was that a NZ scholarship or was that from corrupt funds from the previous Shah of Iran’s regime which her father was likely a high level politician. It sounds like her families flight from Iran and refugee status was due to a threat of death having served under the Shah of Iran. How did they arrive in NZ? Perhaps laden with the Shah’s gold? Perhaps Michael should be asking her to denounce her parents political alliances with what was previously also a very brutal regime?

        “It was indeed a strange episode when the Shah of Iran, former head of one of the world’s most brutal and repressive states, managed to land in the U.S. as a “private citizen.”

        The Shah systematically dismantled the judicial system of Iran and the country’s guarantees of personal and social liberties. His regime consistently violated the codes of law and justice, destroying the dignity of our people by treating them like backward savages to be pulled with an iron hand out of the middle ages into the light of the modern era. Nearly every source of creative, artistic and intellectual endeavor in our culture was suppressed.”


      • I imagine there is a point in there somewhere but I cannot be bothered to find it,however I will express amusement at the convoluted parallel to Jian Yang. I am here to correct myself – it was Oxford, not Cambridge. And tuition was paid with Nazi gold.

        OK I made up that last part.


  3. Very small sample size, but of the 6 conservative Christian voters I’ve asked about their voting choices, all party voted NZ First based on the Family First’s analysis of voting practices. At least 3 of those people voted Conservative in 2014. I’d be interested to find out if that was a pattern, and if Winston’s support base is actually conservative Christians wanting a voice on moral issues.


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