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1931 General Election
Leader:
Gordon Coates

Gordon Coates
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Harry Holland (1925)

Harry Holland
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Party:
Reform
Labour
Leader Since:
1925
1919
Leaders seat:
Kaipara
Buller
Last election:
27 seats
19 seats
Seats Won:
28 seats
24 seats
Popular vote:
190,170
244,881
Leader:
George William Forbes

George Forbes
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Harold Rushworth

Harold Rushworth
{{{title}}}
Party:
United
Country
Leader Since:
1930
1928
Leaders seat:
Hurunui
Bay of Islands
Last election:
27 seats
1 seat
Seats Won:
19 seats
1 seat
Popular vote:
120,801
16,710

The 1931 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 24th term. It resulted in the newly formed coalition between the United Party and the Reform Party remaining in office as the United-Reform coalition Government, although the opposition Labour Party made some minor gains.

BackgroundEdit

In the 1928 election, the Reform Party won 28 seats to the United Party's 27 seats. Shortly after the election the Reform Party lost a vote of no-confidence and the United Party managed to form a government, the United Government, with the support of the Labour Party, with governing Reform Party going into the opposition.

In 1931, however, the agreement between United and Labour collapsed due to differing opinions on how to counter the Great Depression. The Reform Party, fearing that the Depression would give Labour a substantial boost, reluctantly agreed to form a coalition with United to avert elections. By forming a coalition, United and Reform were able to blunt Labour's advantage, ending the possibility of the anti-Labour vote being split.

The electionEdit

The date for the main 1931 elections was 2 December, a Wednesday. Elections to the four Māori electorates were held the day before. 874,787 people were registered to vote, and there was a |turnout of 83.3%. This turnout was below average for the time period.

The number of seats was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.[1] However in four electorates (Bay of Plenty, Oroua, Pahiatua, Waitomo) there was only one candidate.

ResultsEdit

1931

Layout of Parliament after the 1931 election.

The 1931 election saw the recently formed governing coalition retain office as the United-Reform Coalition, winning fifty-one seats, including four independents. This was a drop of four seats from what the two parties had won in the previous elections, but was still considerably better than many had expected given the economic situation. The Labour Party won twenty-four seats, a gain of five.

In the popular vote (including pro-coalition independents), the coalition won 54.0% of the vote, down from the 66.1% that the two parties had won previously. Labour won 34.3% the most by any individual party, yet still won less seats then Reform. The only other party to gain a place in Parliament was the Country Party, which won a single seat. Four other independents were elected. Four candidates were elected unopposed: Walter Broadfoot in Waitomo, John Cobbe in Oroua, Alfred Ransom in Pahiatua, and Kenneth Williams in Bay of Plenty.

Result by partyEdit

The table below shows the result of the 1931 election.

Election results
Party Total votes Percentage Seats won Change
Reform Party 190,170 26.6 28 +1
Labour 244,881 34.3 24 +5
United Party 120,801 16.9 19 -8
Country Party 16,710 2.3 1 ±0
Ratana 4,162 0.6 0 ±0
Independents 141,963 19.8 8 +2
Total 756,331 80

ReferencesEdit

  1. General elections 1853–2005 - dates & turnout. Elections New Zealand. Retrieved on 12 January 2011.
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