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1975 General Election
Leader:
RD MULDOON

Robert Muldoon
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Bill Rowling

Bill Rowling
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Party:
National
Labour
Leader Since:
1974
1974
Leaders seat:
Tamaki
Tasman
Last election:
32 seats
55 seats
Seats Won:
55
32
Popular vote:
763,136
634,453

The 1975 New Zealand general election was held on 29 November to elect MPs to the 38th session of the New Zealand Parliament. It was the first general election in New Zealand where 18-20 year olds and all permanent residents of New Zealand were eligible to vote, although only citizens were able to be elected.

BackgroundEdit

The incumbent Labour Party, following the sudden death of Labour leader Norman Kirk, was led by Bill Rowling, a leader who was characterised as being weak and ineffectual by some political commentators. Labour's central campaign was the so-called "Citizens for Rowling" petition which attacked National leader Robert Muldoon's forthright leadership style. This campaign was largely seen as having backfired on Labour.

The National Party responded with the formation of "Rob's Mob". As former Minister of Finance in the previous National government, Muldoon focused on the economic impact of Labour's policies. National's campaign advertising suggested that Labour's recently introduced compulsory personal superannuation scheme would result in the Government owning the New Zealand economy using the workers's money (akin to a communist state). Muldoon argued that his New Zealand superannuation scheme could be funded from future taxes rather than an additional tax on current wages.

The campaign achieved notoriety due to an infamous television commercial featuring "Dancing Cossacks" which was produced by Hanna Barbera on behalf of National's ad agency Colenso.[1]

A consummate orator and a skilled television performer, Muldoon's powerful presence on screen increased his popularity with voters.

ResultsEdit

The final results of election: National won 55 seats, and Labour 32 seats. Thus Robert Muldoon replaced Bill Rowling as Prime Minister, ending the term of the Third Labour government, and beginning the term of the Third National government. The party seat numbers were an exact opposite of the 1972 election. No minor parties won seats. There were 1,953,050 electors on the roll, with 1,603,733 (82.11%) voting.

Notable electorate results included the election of two Māori MPs to general seats; the first time that any Māori had been elected to a non-Māori seat since James Carroll in 1893. The MPs in question were Ben Couch in Wairarapa and Rex Austin in Awarua.

In Palmerston North and Western Hutt, Labour was first on election night but lost when special votes were counted.

Party Candidates Total votes Percentage Seats won Change
National 87 763,136 47.59 55 +23
Labour 87 634,453 39.56 32 -23
Social Credit 87 119,147 7.43 0 ±0
Values 87 83,241 5.19 0 ±0
Independents 67 3,756 0.23 0 ±0
Total 415 1,603,733 87

ReferencesEdit

  1. Dancing Cossacks political TV ad. Ministry for Culture and Heritage (23 August 2013). Retrieved on 3 February 2014.
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