Garry Knapp and Neil Morrison - Acolytes of Bruce Beetham who entered Parliament in the 1980 East Coast Bays election and the 1984 general election respectively, this pair saw that Labour's turn to the Right was a threat to their own electability, and spent the mid-80s triangulating the Social Credit Party for a new era. First, there was a rebrand in favour of the shiny new NZ Democratic Party. Then, the elder statesman Beetham was removed as leader in favour of Morrison, and under his leadership the party moved to the Left of Labour, while also claiming to have been the first party in NZ with an environmental policy, and thereby appealing to former Values supporters. In 1987, the tactic paid off, and although Morrison lost his seat due to boundary changes, Knapp held on and succeeded Morrison as Leader. The new radicalism of the Democratic Party saw its apotheosis in 1988, when Knapp and some supporters staged a three-day sit-in of Parliament to fight for Proportional Representation. To no avail, except for a moderate surge in the polls up to 1990.
Terry Heffernan - Entering Parliament on a split vote in 1987, Heffernan soon made himself at home, working across the aisle with Winston Peters in exposing corruption and deceit. He had a faultless memory, which he used not only to memorise the Parliamentary Standing Orders (he was acclaimed as the best Speaker we never had) but also to ruthlessly point out inconsistencies and take a few ministerial scalps. Taking over from Knapp as leader upon the latter's defeat, his early promise foundered upon the twin rocks of Peters (now leader of the Liberal Party) and Palmer, who crowded out the electoral field in 1993 to the Democrats' detriment. Heffernan lost his seat in 1996, when new PM Mike Moore swept all before him.
Stuart Perry and Alasdair Thompson - Both were more right-wing than Heffernan and Knapp, and took their rural electorates after several gritty battles with National incumbents. Both suffered from foot in mouth syndrome (Thompson once stated that women get paid less than men because they tend to take sick leave according to the lunar cycle) and both were unseated by Liberal vote-splitting in 1993. The party of Winston Peters, Michael Laws, and Hamish MacIntyre kept the seats of the first two in the election, but split the conservative vote so thoroughly that the group was subsequently readmitted to the National Party with open, pleading arms. Perry is now in local politics while Thompson has served as CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association.
Tau Henare - He had also offered to run for Mana Motuhake, but was convinced to join by Heffernan, who was desperate for a Maori face to broaden the appeal of the largely Pakeha party. Henare's disloyalty was predictable in hindsight: Bill Birch tempted him over along with the Liberals by making him Shadow Minister of Maori Affairs.
John Wright, Jan Davey and Richard Prosser - In 1994, when Ruth Richardson resigned from Parliament over the readmission of Winston Peters to the National caucus, the Democrats had not won a by-election since 1980 and had never won a South Island seat at all. This changed in the rural seat of Selwyn, where Wright, the owner of a Port-a-Loo company, edged past National by taking protest votes from Ron Mark of Labour, and also Values and Christian Heritage. He failed to hold the seat in the next general election, but the nearby Christchurch seat of Fendalton fell to Jan Davey, a more pleasant character than Wright who diverted a lot of his volunteers for her own campaign. Wright, having experienced difficulty finding a job outside of politics, now went on the warpath. He spent the next three years on a quest to discredit Davey, and finally succeeded in having her deselected in his favour by the increasingly weary Heffernan. Aware that Wright would never let the grudge lie, Davey decided not to contest the ruling, and Wright somehow found time to campaign in the actual election and re-entered Parliament. For one term. Fortunately for him, there was another by-election in Selwyn upon the resignation of Brian Connell in protest at the leadership of John Banks, and Wright one once more, this time on a low plurality. Nevertheless, he built up a solid base of support there in the more mature chapter of his career, and eventually led the party from 2007 to 2010, after winning his fourth attempted leadership coup. Eventually, Wright handed the Selwyn electorate to his chosen successor, anti-PC columnist and South Island Independence agitator Richard Prosser, who got the Party's first policy win in a long while when his Commerce (Electricity Pricing (South Island)) Bill was drawn from the biscuit tin. After several bigotry scandals, Prosser was defeated in 2014.
Heather-Ann McConachy - In civilian life, she is an artist and environmentalist, but her life has been dominated by Social Credit. Her father was only 500 votes of election in Kaipara in 1978, and in 1996, she reaped the dividends of two cycles of electioneering in Gary Knapp's old electorate in the North of Auckland. As Terry Heffernan had been unseated by Labour in the same election, McConachy became the Democrats' first female leader at the next party conference. She struggled to get her message across at first, having not previously possessed a public image, and in this phase of the party's history, it became very much a machine to elect MPs rather than an ideological party. Wright's Canterbury machine rumbled on almost unconnected with the North Shore operation, only coming into contact when Wright tried to stack conferences with his own people to try to oust his Leader.
John Pemberton - A third, minor electoral organisation existed in the Waikato, and procured the election of John Pemberton, a biosecurity officer on his third serious attempt. He is only notable for giving the tie-breaking vote for Keith Locke's Environmental Protection Bill in 2004, an action which bolstered the green-left wing of the Labour Party, encouraged them to challenge Cosgrove's leadership, and thereby contributed to their third consecutive defeat in the following year's election.
Grant and Paula Gillon - McConachy stepped down in the (now extremely safe) East Coast Bays electorate in 2005, making way for the young Paula Gillon. This selection was criticised in the press and in the Wrightite right-wing of the party, principally because Gillon's father was already an MP - the North Shore machine had got him elected in Glenfield in 1999, spreading green and gold across North Auckland. He was Leader of the Party from 2003 until his defeat by John Wright four years later, who criticised the fact that, from the time of his daughter's selection to Wright's victory in the second Selwyn by-election, the Democratic caucus was entirely a family affair. Eventually, these criticisms filtered through to the electorate: Grant was voted out of Glenfield shortly after he was voted out of the Leadership (largely thanks to Wright refusing to fund his campaign from central resources) and the voters of East Coast Bays ended their long love affair with Social Credit when Paula "took the absolute piss" by stepping aside in favour of her brother John.
Chris Leitch - A longtime Democrat member, who came second in the Tamaki by-election of 1992, Leitch finally entered Parliament in the Hobson by-election precipitated by Mike Sabin's appointment as High Commissioner to London. The Democratic Party had been out of Parliament for a year, and Leitch's victory breathed new life into the then-moribund organisation. This victory was largely down to the reluctance of the Labour Party to campaign hard all the way up there, having been demoralised by their failure to re-enter Government the year before (the Tizard-led Labour-Mana Motuhake government of 2008-11 had been a toxic mess, but preferable to left-wingers than the alternative). As such, when Leitch ended his maiden speech, and all subsequent speeches, with the words "TTIP must be destroyed", Labour quickly about-faced and did everything in their power to help National win back the seat in 2017.
Raf Manji - The loss of Leitch was outweighed by the entrance of Raf Manji, who took Fendalton back from National - he had previously worked with Finance Minister John Key in a bank, a fact which he recounted gleefully before delving into the details of how he had seen the light of Social Credit. Being respectable enough to be elected in a relatively plush part of Christchurch, and yet sufficiently ideologically sound enough to satisfy the rank and file, Leitch had no hesitation in standing aside as Leader in his favour shortly after the election. Although the Democrats are down to a single MP, they are hopeful that Manji signals another new era in their long and unlikely history.
The defeat of Bill English in the 2017 general election by the wonkish liberal Deborah Russell caused a lot of soul-searching in the National caucus. They had chosen him to depose Don Brash in the aftermath of their loss in the Hobson by-election of 2015 in the knowledge that he was a safe pair of hands who was to be less controversial than their previous two Prime Ministers, Brash and John Banks. But now, they were left with the horrifying thought that perhaps it was only the controversy and the extreme social conservatism that could push them over the edge in the marginal seats. English had been able to unify the neoliberal and the conservative strands of National thought (apart from Frank Grover, the Far North MP, who defected to Christian Heritage shortly before the election), but his resignation threw them into open warfare - Jonathan Coleman sought to progress the work of English, but he was defeated in the causus vote by Nick Smith, whose first press conference as leader included promises to abolish gay marriage and oppose any steps taken by the Russell government to legalise prostitution.
Coleman, who had taken his Glenfield seat from the Democrats in 2008, could not handle this return to earlier battles, and stood down as an MP rather than submit to the insult of the Shadow Internal Affairs portfolio. The Glenfield by-election would be hard-fought by all parties apart from Mana Motuhake, who endorsed Metiria Turei of the former joke party, MicGillicuddy Serious. The McGillicuddies were by now a surprisingly tiresome bunch of left-libertarians whose main purpose was to fight for the legalisation of cannabis. They were outclassed by the Values Party, who put up their leader David Clendon in a futile attempt to remind people that the Values Party still existed. Both were knocked into the shade by young small business owner Chloe Swarbrick, the candidate for the Continuity Liberals (those who remained outside of National after Winston Peters re-ratted, and developed some rather odd ideas about STV and land value taxes from their British brethren).
The National Party, eager to hold the seat, selected as their candidate Vernon Tava, a former Values member who had a wealth of campaign experience, and who (more importantly) was less detested by the local party powers than his opponent, local board member Danielle Grant. Labour, however, went with a local board member of their own, Lindsay Waugh, who spent most of the campaign talking about how great cycle lanes are to an audience of people who work on the other side of a bridge that wouldn't be safe for bikes even if there were a lane for them. Waugh, despite much gossip, was not related to Richard Waugh, the leader of the Wesleyan Church and the Christian Heritage Party. The latter Waugh stood a loyal underling from East Auckland and funneled a frankly scary amount of American and Australian money into the campaign, which turned out to be a complete waste. Not that this prevented the Christians from bombastically claiming to have quadrupled their vote.
The CHP's vote-splitting came at the expense of Tava, whose ethnic background was not appealing to some Christian Heritage-inclined voters. As a result, the Democrats for Social Credit came up through the middle with new candidate Dom Ellis, a South Londoner who was the first person to benefit from the rule change to allow Commonwealth citizens to run for office anywhere in the CFTA. Ellis campaigned as the 'Hero' of Glenfield (which he had never visited prior to being selected) in a very active and tactical Democrat campaign. Tactical in that Ellis never claimed to understand what Social Credit was. It later came out that he had been tricked into joining the party by a nefarious eminence grise known only as 'Mazda', who had told him that "Yeah, sure, the Democrats for Social Credit are basically just like the Lib Dems. Honest. You can tell by the name. I can be your campaign manager, right?"
Ellis left the party to become an Independent shortly after discovering that the party constitution dictated that all elected representatives should own a Skoda.
Social Credit changed their name to the New Zealand Democratic Party in 1985, and lost both of their seats in the subsequent general election. This bald statement of fact implies that they absolutely fucked it, but in fact they got 5.7% of the vote (lower than any previous outing, to be sure) and another 600 votes would have got them two seats, breaking even on their previous result.
The general picture is that, where they were already weak, they shrank down to nearly nothing, while former heartland areas (principally the rural North Island, where they had previously siphoned off Labour voters, put off by the array of failed political science lecturers who comprised the majority of caucus, to form the main opposition to National) would only hold up if there were an especially good candidate or an especially deep history of anti-National voting. In the latter category, Northland is the obvious standout, having voted in Captain Rushworth of the social credit espousing Country Party back in the 1920s. The other strong areas were mostly based on well-known candidates. Bruce Beetham's retread of Rangitikei, in the central North Island, was a well-fought failure, while the candidates in Coromandel and Waitotara were cut from the Beetham mould in every respect apart from tenacity - they gave up on the party after coming rather distant seconds in 1987, and both electorates reverted to the Democrat mean in 1990. It is difficult to see the electorate of Wanganui (now Whanganui) on this scale, but Terry Heffernan was 250 votes off winning and his vote held up pretty well in 1990 and (standing for the Alliance in 1993). He then became Winston Peters' Parliamentary Assistant and briefly a big man in NZ First, before finally ending up in National before his death a few years ago.
Auckland, which despite the fact that two of the four electorates Social Credit ever won were located here, was never really a hotspot of support, so the pale greens here are no surprise. You can see how much tactical voting there was in East Coast Bays and Pakuranga (the two seats lost in this election) by the fact that virtually nobody who lived across the road from the electorate boundary voted for the Democrats. This reflects the fact that the seats were won with protest votes against National, won by diligent, Lib Dem-like, campaigning.
The next election, in 1990, saw two new parties doing decently: tonight, we'll deal with NewLabour, the party created by Jim Anderton after he was expelled from the Labour caucus for voting against a policy that the Party had promised not to pursue during the '87 election. Anderton led the radical left of Labour, a portion of the trade unionists, and a smorgasbord of hard left parties into a new organisation which was set to take New Zealand by storm. But let's not forget that when all's said and done, Anderton was a very Benn-ish figure who was initially towards the liberal right of Labour and only went out of a mixture of horror and opportunism. He was therefore prey to all the Labour-traditionalist pitfalls, with the end result being that he privatised the NLP's economic policy out to an independent thinktank, who came back with a fully costed and not especially radical set of proposals which Anderton delivered, in their entirety, to every household in New Zealand.
It is frankly amazing that the party won any votes at all. As it was, they won 5.2% of the vote, less even than the Democrats had got in '87 and slightly less than the other new party, the Greens, won in 1990 after having been founded earlier that year and basically just Not Campaigned. Anderton was re-elected, non-zero amounts of votes were won elsewhere in Christchurch, and the only other place where the NLP exceeded 10% was Mangere, the very working class electorate of former PM David Lange.
Also included on this map are the results of Mana Motuhake, the Maori rights party which had been founded by a previous defecting Labour MP, Mat Rata, in 1980 and which stood only in the Maori seats in this election. As NewLabour didn't stand in those seats and as they subsequently worked closely together in the Alliance, I've put them together on this map. MM came second to Labour in each contest, but all were rather poor seconds apart from Rata himself in Northern Maori, who was 1000 votes off winning.
And finally for now, the Greens in 1990, who got most of their votes in the places where hippies lived, and didn't even stand in huge swathes of the country. They fought the next couple of elections under the Alliance banner.
And now for the actual map of 1987, the last election in which Labour won a majority, and the last election in which only two parties were returned to Parliament.
As I said above, this election was polarised between people who agreed with the early stages of Rogernomics, and those who opposed them. These early stages were nowhere near as bad as the later ones, and mainly centered around the deaths of a few forestry towns. Early indications that it would all go horribly wrong were allayed by the first flutterings of the NZ stock market, as the housewives of Remuera got together in stock-buying clubs while their husbands bought awful clothes and did the big business on the floor. It was therefore inevitable that the people who were doing well out of the bubble would vote Labour: Remuera (the light blue electorate just east of Auckland Central) was called mistakenly for Labour on election night, but special votes returned it to National. The Labour candidate, Judith Tizard, got twice as many votes as her father had in the same electorate in 1954, in one of the archetypal blue ribbon seats. Such was the shock of almost winning Remuera (and the similar Fendalton, in Christchurch), that David Lange suffered from a rare bout of introspection and worried that what his government was doing was Really Not On if those bastards were voting for him. This revelation set in motion his final confrontation with Roger Douglas.
Wairarapa (the rural one to the east of Wellington) was the only seat gained by National from Labour, and even then only after a massive palaver. It went National by 65 votes on election night, but specials gave it to Labour by 7, and then a judicial recount took this down to 1. The National Party would have let it rest there, but the candidate launched a full-on electoral petition which resulted in him winning by 34 votes before everyone just got bored of counting these bloody votes over and over again. As National were more successful at winning seats in the courts than at the ballot box in the 1980s, this led to the clarification of the electoral law to count any vote which expressed a definite preference. Previously, the system had been that you had to cross out the names of all the candidates but the one you wanted to vote for, but in practice ticks and crosses were allowed depending on how pedantic the DRO was feeling.
Also: yes, those are 60+ shades in the Maori electorates.
Muldoon delighted in calling Bob Tizard 'Bob Lizard', because he was such a funny guy. The family is one of the most august in New Zealand, having supplied a Deputy/Acting PM in Bob Tizard, a Mayor of Auckland City and Governor-General in his ex-wife Cath, and an MP for Auckland Central in their daughter Judith. Both of the elder generation were good people, although Bob was a bit of a waste of space in a leadership role and stayed on far too long. However, many members of Auckland Central LEC claim to have cheered when Judith was defeated.
Here's another good one: the 1928 general election. It was, if memory serves, the most finely balanced three-party election we've ever had.
It wasn't predicted to be so, though. The Liberal Party, which was by a long stretch the first organised political party in NZ, had been based on an increasingly fragile coalition of urban workers and rural small farmers. By 1911, two long decades in Government, the rise of the labour movement, the gradual detachment of small farmers by the brand new organised conservative party and the death of their uniting personality in 'King' Dick Seddon had led to a seemingly final decline. Now in the ascendant was Bill Massey's conservative Reform Party, who as well as being borderline-sycophantic to London were also purveyors of a distinct brand of violent opposition to trade unionism, crushing the 1913 Waterfront Strike by sending in civilian volunteers on horseback to smash a few Red heads.
By now, though, Massey, like Seddon, was dead, and his party was dying without the unifying force of his personality. Instead, Gordon Coates was Prime Minister, and his willingness to help farmers by building roads and maybe not take a doctrinaire free-market line on how to respond to the Great Depression had caused a lot of discontent on the Right. The pre-eminent political organiser of the early 20th century, Albert Davy (seriously, look him up, he started literally three different micro-parties), broke with Coates and fused with the remnants of the Liberals to form the new United Party. Which was more a statement of hope than of fact.
The United Party was mostly made up of old Liberals, who had shed their working class faction to Labour and the farmers to Reform, leaving just a hard core of slightly non-Tory urban elites (and a smattering of rural gombeen types who found the Liberals a useful flag of convenience, despite being solely interested in building roads). It was led by Sir Joseph Ward, one of two New Zealanders ever to be made a Baronet, who had succeeded Seddon as Prime Minister and was now getting increasingly doddery and confused, but as he was the only one in the party who anyone had ever actually liked, he was leader by default. You might think that this was not a recipe for success, but you would be wrong. United began by attacking Reform as a being a bunch of raving socialists, and Ward began one rambling, inchoate speech on the campaign trail by decrying Reform's reckless borrowing. He then misread his notes, and promised that a United Government would borrow £70 million. He had meant to say £7 million. But rather than issue a correction the next day and risk outing Ward as a past Prime Minister well past his prime, United stuck to their guns and ran with the £70 million as a major campaign plank. This proved incredibly popular, and the new party surged in popularity. Although they only won 30% to Reform's 36%, this got them 28 seats, one more than Reform.
One more fact about the United Party: one of their big hitters, Bill Veitch, had first been elected as an Independent Labour candidate, but by this point he was rabidly anti-socialist, and was one of the harshest Ministers of Labour of the period. In the Labour landslide of 1935, he deserted United with Albert Davy (see above) and stood for his extreme-right Democrats, losing his seat in the process.
Labour, led by bluff man of the people Harry Holland, supported a minority United Government for a couple of years, until Ward's retirement and the fact that United were really right-wing led them to withdraw support. Thenceforth, United would govern in coalition with Reform. In 1928, Labour increased their seat tally to 19 (aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa), the highest they'd ever reached, despite losing a couple of working class city electorates to United. At this point, Labour were worried that they had already maxed out their potential vote, as there weren't that many working class electorates due to the fact that NZ was geared towards agricultural exports. They therefore sought to recreate Seddon's coalition of urban workers and small farmers, but with limited success. In 1928, two of their most prized gains were Waimarino, in the central North Island, and Westland, in the South, and they used these gains to claim that they were now appealing to the right people and were about to win a majority government. Not yet, though - it transpired that these electorates were the places where all the small-town miners and railwaymen lived. It wasn't until Labour appropriated aspects of the Social Credit ideas beloved of the farmers that they would win their votes for the first time.
As part of this quixotic attempt to woo the stout yeomen of New Zealand, Labour engaged in an electoral alliance with possibly the most aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa party in our history - the Country Party. This had been formed a few years prior by the Auckland section of the Farmers' Union, who thought that Reform were too big-city nowadays. They were radicals, agrarians, Social Crediters, and Independents, and they elected Captain Harold Rushworth in the Bay of Islands for the first time in 1928 with Labour support.
Labour was also reaching out to the Ratana movement at this stage. Ratana was a Maori syncretic religious movement founded by holy man Wiremu Ratana, who started a commune for his followers and eventually sent four of them out as sort of apostles, to stand for the Maori seats until they had won them all. They came second in all four electorates in 1928 - gallingly, Eruera Tirikatene tied with the United Party candidate on a very split return, meaning that the Returning Officer had the casting vote, which he gave to the other guy. Tirikatene would have to wait four years to get in, and the Ratana movement subsequently affiliated to the Labour Party.
A lot had changed by the time the 1931 election came round. First of all, Ward's promised £70 million came to naught as no bank would lend that much to NZ. His decrepitude and erratic behaviour were increasingly obvious, and Labour's Michael Joseph Savage called on him to resign on the grounds that a man so clearly on his deathbed could hardly be a competent Prime Minister. Ironically, when Savage was in the same position, he refused to listen to similar advice, dying in office in 1940.
Joseph Ward died in 1930, a couple of months after resigning in favour of George Forbes, another South Island man. Forbes, frankly, wasn't up to the job - he adopted a sort of fatalistic attitude to the Great Depression and just passed through the standard deflationary policies without any faith in their efficacy. He also had to balance his instincts with the values of the liberals who had voted for his party in 1928 and the Labourites who were reluctantly propping up his minority government. He attempted to strike a middle course by establishing unemployment relief, but only on condition that those who received it join labour gangs, and simultaneously he cut wages by 10%. Labour weren't happy and withdrew support, so Forbes had to form a coalition with the Reform Party. Reform were only too happy to be back in Government, especially as their leader, the lithe, non-ideological and personable Gordon Coates, was living in penury due to the effect the Depression was having on his farm. Coates got most of the key portfolios for his own people, which angered a lot of United people, who hadn't been properly consulted on coalition negotiations.
Perhaps this was why the electoral aspect of the coalition was so piecemeal. In theory, Reform, United and allied Independents would not split the pro-Coalition vote, but local parties often put up their own Independent Reform or Independent United candidates if they didn't particularly like the one they got. United and Reform candidates who stood against the official coalition candidate are marked with an asterisk - as you can see, the South Island rank and file of both parties really weren't keen. In Auckland East, both parties stood but neither was officially endorsed. This cartoon shows the coalition partners being held back by electoral rivals while Labour steams ahead.
In fact, Labour were only surging ahead by comparison with the Coalition. They got a third of the national vote and gained five seats, but most of these were ones that United had taken off them three years before. But this put them in a great position to reap the rewards when the Coalition finally shat the bed.
Ratana came second in every seat and did not face Labour opposition, but Eruera Tirikatene was a little further off than he had been in 1928. The following year, however, the victor died and Tirikatene took Southern Maori in the by-election. This was the start of the Ratana surge - they eventually took all the Maori seats and merged with Labour. If it hadn't been for the NZ First surge in 1996, there would have been a member of the Tirikatene family in every Parliament since 1932, but as it was, there was a gap between 1996 and 2011.
Finally, the Country Party continued their ad hoc alliance with Labour, only standing against the socialists in the Rotorua electorate (not that it made much difference). Harold Rushworth, who was originally from Croydon because of course he was, held his seat in the far north, but not other seats were won. Solomon Ziman, an ex-Rhodes Scholar, came quite close in the Waikato, having stood for the Country Party after losing selection for Reform, but it was not to be. Meanwhile, an Independent Labour (one of two in this election) stood against them in Franklin, doing very poorly.
For the next four years, the United/Reform Coalition remained in power, and it became increasingly apparent that they were going to lose the next election to Labour. Unemployed people rioted on Queen Street in Auckland in 1932, and Cabinet suffered internal divisions over how to proceed. Forbes of United was PM, but was mainly just there to take the flak for all the Government's decisions. Actual power rested with Reform's Minister of Finance, Downie Stewart, who was of the orthodox right-wing economic school, and Reform's leader (and Minister of Transport and Public Works) Gordon Coates. Downie Stewart was close to Forbes and United, and by extension their urban business interests, so he strongly opposed Coates and the farming lobby in their battle to devalue the NZ currency to boost producers' incomes. Eventually, Downie Stewart resigned and Coates filled his Finance portfolio and his role as power behind the throne to Forbes.
Coates already had a reputation as a bit of a socialist, and his actions in Government perpetuated this #take amongst his critics (for instance, he set up a state-owned mortgage lender to provide finance for small farmers). Eventually, a guy called Goodfellow, who was quite big in dairy farming, had had enough of him and funded Albert Davy's newest campaign vehicle, the Democrats. This party was on the extreme free-market side of things, a bit like United had been intended to be. Two United MPs, in fact, stood for the Democrats in 1935 - Bill Veitch of ex-Labour fame in Wanganui and Arthur Stallworthy in Eden, the one in the middle of Auckland. The Democrats took 8% of the vote and were 350 votes off winning Invercargill, but they came away with nothing and merely served to split the right-wing vote in Labour's favour.
United and Reform, meanwhile, fought 1935 as a more perfect union than in 1931 - things were getting serious now, so there was no call to split the anti-socialist vote any further. A body called the National Political Federation was set up which combined the memberships of both parties. Selections were done by combined delegations, and the party identity of the candidate selected was usually not disclosed by the party, nor commented on by the newspapers. Thus, I have coloured all Coalition candidates as National blue, despite the fact that the elected members sat in their own caucuses until the final merger in 1936.
Neither major party contested every electorate: United/Reform stood aside for various Independents, while Labour stood aside not only for Independents (including one whom the Coalition also stood aside for) but also Ratana and the Country Party. Ratana had entered Parliament in a by-election in 1932 and now added Western Maori, the site of the Ratana commune, to their tally. The Country Party similarly held Bay of Islands (Harold Rushworth) thanks to a continued pact with Labour, and gained Franklin with Arthur Sexton, a war veteran and Farmer's Union official. He actually stood as 'Independent Country Party' due to some rather interesting circumstances. The Country Party had done a deal with Reform whereby they would only stand in Bay of Islands, Waikato and Tauranga - and Sexton had signed that deal. However, Labour were willing to stand aside for him in Franklin, so he stood as a semi-detached Independent in order to observe the letter of the Country-Reform deal, if not the spirit. He spent his three years in Parliament decrying political parties, despite the fact that he was clearly a member of one, and both parties were evidently so pissed off with him by that point that they ran against him in 1938. He came third. Meanwhile, Rushworth retired and that was the end of the Country Party.
Labour took 53 seats out of 80, a gain of 29 over the poll of four years previous. They continued in Government until 1949.