1960 New Zealand general election

The 1960 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 33rd term. It saw the governing Labour Party defeated by the National Party, putting an end to the short second Labour government.

1960 New Zealand general election

← 1957 26 November 1960 (1960-11-26) 1963 →

All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout1,170,503 (89.8%)
  First party Second party
Leader Keith Holyoake Walter Nash
Party National Labour
Leader since 13 August 1957 17 January 1951
Leader's seat Pahiatua Hutt
Last election 39 seats, 44.2% 41 seats, 48.3%
Seats won 46 34
Seat change Increase 7 Decrease 7
Popular vote 557,046 508,179
Percentage 47.6% 43.4%
Swing Increase 3.4% Decrease 4.9%

Results of the election.

Prime Minister before election

Walter Nash

Subsequent Prime Minister

Keith Holyoake

Background Edit

The Labour Party had won the 1957 election by a narrow margin, beginning New Zealand's second period of Labour government. However, the new administration soon lost its narrow lead in public opinion, with its financial policies being the principal cause of dissatisfaction. The so-called "Black Budget", introduced by finance minister Arnold Nordmeyer, increased taxes substantially, with particularly large increases for alcohol and tobacco taxes; Labour became widely seen as both miserly and puritanical. The government defended its tax increases as a necessary measure to avert a balance of payments crisis, but the opposition, led by Keith Holyoake, made substantial gains out of the issue throughout the parliamentary term.[1]

Both parties crafted narratives on the history of the balance of payments crisis in the lead up to the election. Holyoake tried to argue that overseas funds had not fallen as much as Nash said in 1957, and that Labour had produced a panic budget. Moreover, the over-importing was due to a fear of import controls if Labour should win. Nash continued to stress that National had produced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and that Labour had averted further disaster by its action. Coincidentally, at the beginning of the election another drop in overseas funds occurred, but neither party commented much about it.[2]

Labour's main policy platform was on industrialization particularly with new cotton mills in Nelson. Nash constantly repeated the theme people in New Zealand had 'never been so well off' and pamphlets stated 'everyone, everywhere, will again be better off', closely mirroring British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan's winning slogan in 1959, 'You've never had it so good'.[3] National's campaign promised to lower taxes, reduce import controls and abolish compulsory unionism.[4]

A very thorough study of the election by three political scientists concluded that National's preparations for the election, organization, and publicity were much better than Labour's which was the main reason for the result with little substantial differences between the parties in policy.[5] National's party organisation recognised their win was mostly due to public mood against Labour and many traditional Labour voters not bothering to vote. As a result Labour's vote share had fallen more than National's had risen.[6]

MPs retiring in 1960 Edit

Five National MPs and four Labour MPs intended to retire at the end of the 32nd Parliament.

Party Name Electorate
National James Roy Clutha
Duncan Rae Eden
Jack Watts Fendalton
Sidney Walter Smith Hobson
Jimmy Maher Otaki
Labour Bill Anderton Auckland Central
Phil Holloway Heretaunga
Joe Cotterill Wanganui
Jim Kent Westland

The election Edit

The date for the main 1960 election was 26 November. 1,310,742 people were registered to vote, and turnout was 89.8%. This turnout was slightly lower than what had been recorded in the previous elections. The number of seats being contested was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.

Results Edit

The 1960 election saw the governing Labour Party defeated by a twelve-seat margin, having previously held a two-seat majority. National won a total of 46 seats to Labour's 34 seats, and formed the second National government.[7] In the popular vote, National won 47.59% to Labour's 43.42%.[8]

The Social Credit Party won 8.62% of the vote, but no seats.[9] Three of their candidates missed the nomination deadline, and the opening address of the party leader P. H. Matthews was not noteworthy.

Three new National members of parliament were called the Young Turks: Peter Gordon, Duncan MacIntyre and Robert Muldoon.[10] The other new National MPs were Esme Tombleson, Bill Brown, Harry Lapwood, Logan Sloane, Bert Walker, and Dan Riddiford.[11]

Paddy Blanchfield, Ron Bailey, Norman Douglas and George Spooner entered parliament for Labour.

Election results
Party Candidates Total votes Percentage Seats won Change
National 80 557,046 47.6 46 +7
Labour 80 508,179 43.4 34 −7
Social Credit 79 100,905 8.6 - ±0
Communist 18 2,423 0.21 - ±0
Others 7 1,950 0.2 - ±0
Total 269 1,170,503 80

Votes summary Edit

Popular Vote
Social Credit
Parliament seats

The table below shows the results of the 1960 general election:


  National   Labour   Social Credit

Electorate results for the 1960 New Zealand general election[12]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Ashburton Geoff Gerard 2,558 George Glassey
Auckland Central Bill Anderton Norman Douglas 1,846 Ray Presland
Avon John Mathison 4,216 Lorrie Pickering
Awarua Gordon Grieve 3,000 J P Wyatt
Bay of Plenty Percy Allen 2,411 Thomas Godfrey Santon
Buller Jerry Skinner 1,546 Ernie King
Christchurch Central Robert Macfarlane 1,935 Tom Flint
Clutha James Roy Peter Gordon 3,863 Joseph Fahey
Dunedin Central Phil Connolly 842 Norman Scurr
Dunedin North Ethel McMillan 2,475 Brenda Bell
Eden Duncan Rae John Rae 1,902 Russell Gordon Penney
Egmont William Sheat 3,933 J W Watson
Fendalton Jack Watts Harry Lake 2,722 Bill Rowling
Franklin Alfred E. Allen 5,197 Howard Preston
Gisborne Reginald Keeling Esme Tombleson 291 Reginald Keeling
Grey Lynn Fred Hackett 4,596 Brian Zouch
Hamilton Lance Adams-Schneider 2,583 Sir Basil Arthur
Hastings Ted Keating Duncan MacIntyre 300 Ted Keating
Hauraki Arthur Kinsella 2,635 Albert Clifford Tucker
Hawkes Bay Cyril Harker 3,682 John Woolf
Heretaunga Phil Holloway Ron Bailey 2,576 Vere Hampson-Tindale
Hobson Sidney Walter Smith Logan Sloane 1,401 Vernon Cracknell
Hurunui William Gillespie 2,731 Arthur Adcock
Hutt Walter Nash 2,349 George Barker
Invercargill Ralph Hanan 1,926 Oliver James Henderson
Island Bay Arnold Nordmeyer 1,791 Fairlie Curry
Karori Jack Marshall 4,313 Olive Smuts-Kennedy
Lyttelton Norman Kirk 260 Jim Hay
Manawatu Blair Tennent 3,120 Leonard Thomas Fischer
Manukau Leon Götz 245 Cyril Stamp
Marlborough Tom Shand 1,747 Robert William Hope
Marsden Don McKay 4,351 John Swanson Reid
Miramar Bill Fox 467 Bernard Lyons
Mornington Wally Hudson 2,246 George Robert Thorn
Mount Albert Warren Freer 1,676 Clarice Anderson
Napier Jim Edwards 1,405 William John Gunn
Nelson Stan Whitehead 1,767 Colin Wilson Martin
New Plymouth Ernest Aderman 1,693 Ron Barclay
North Shore Dean Eyre 1,817 Peter Lawrence Smith
Onehunga Hugh Watt 4,705 Paul Brian Phillips
Onslow Henry May 790 Maida Clark
Otago Central John George 4,344 Brian MacDonell
Otahuhu James Deas 2,774 Thomas Tucker
Otaki Jimmy Maher Allan McCready 2,044 Thomas William Cameron
Pahiatua Keith Holyoake 4,934 Kingsley McKane
Palmerston North Philip Skoglund Bill Brown 133 Philip Skoglund[nb 1]
Patea Roy Jack 2,304 David Costello Valley
Petone Mick Moohan 2,918 Dick Martin
Piako Stan Goosman 5,376 Henry Uttinger
Ponsonby Ritchie Macdonald 4,744 Neil McLaughlan
Raglan Douglas Carter 1,371 Alan Baxter
Rangitikei Norman Shelton 3,889 Shaun Alex Cameron
Remuera Ronald Algie 6,109 Barry Gustafson
Riccarton Mick Connelly 2,022 Deena V. Sergel [13]
Rodney Jack Scott 4,157 Phil Amos
Roskill Arthur Faulkner 1,374 Geoffrey Taylor
Rotorua Ray Boord Harry Lapwood 358 Ray Boord
Selwyn John McAlpine 2,839 John Palmer
St Albans Neville Pickering Bert Walker 298 Neville Pickering
St Kilda Bill Fraser 835 Jim Barnes
Stratford Thomas Murray 4,388 H M St George
Sydenham Mabel Howard 4,793 Derek Quigley
Tamaki Bob Tizard Robert Muldoon 1,148 Bob Tizard
Tauranga George Walsh 5,239 D C Goodfellow
Timaru Clyde Carr 357 Ronald Erle White
Waikato Geoffrey Sim 3,041 Arthur John Ingram
Waipa Hallyburton Johnstone 3,241 Bob Reese
Wairarapa Bert Cooksley 2,088 Allan Goldsmith
Waitakere Rex Mason 3,709 John Herbert Wilkinson
Waitaki Thomas Hayman 1,972 Les McKay
Waitemata Norman King 1,249 Jolyon Firth
Waitomo David Seath 3,951 Duncan Barclay McLaren
Wallace Brian Talboys 5,736 E Harris
Wanganui Joe Cotterill George Spooner 160 E J Crotty
Wellington Central Frank Kitts Dan Riddiford 381 Frank Kitts
Westland Jim Kent Paddy Blanchfield 3,844 D A Hogg
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Tiaki Omana 3,025 Arnold Reedy[14]
Northern Maori Tapihana Paikea 3,372 George Russell Harrison
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 3,947 Ngarangi Whakaupoko Tutaki
Western Maori Iriaka Rātana 4,666 Pei Te Hurinui Jones

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ Skoglund was first on election night, but lost after special votes were counted

Bibliography Edit

  • The New Zealand Gazette "Members of the House of Representatives Elected – General Election" (20 December 1960) issue 84 page 2002.

Notes Edit

  1. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 80.
  2. ^ Sinclair 1976, p. 350.
  3. ^ Sinclair 1976, pp. 349–50.
  4. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 82.
  5. ^ Sinclair 1976, p. 349.
  6. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 90.
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 288.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 290.
  9. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 288, 290.
  10. ^ "Obituary: Duncan MacIntyre". The New Zealand Herald. 16 June 2001. Retrieved 16 May 2010.
  11. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 85.
  12. ^ Norton 1988.
  13. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 386.
  14. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 383.

References Edit