Story: Electoral systems

Labour Party campaign poster, 1938

In 1938 the Labour Party campaigned for re-election on its expansion of the welfare state. The result was that for the first time since 1908 a party won a majority of both the votes and of the seats in Parliament. This poster, portraying National Party policies negatively in comparison with Labour policies, was ahead of its time. A similar style of advertising was used by the National Party in its hard-hitting Iwi/Kiwi, Tax/Cut, Excuses/Exams billboard campaign in 2005.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: Eph-A-NZ-LABOUR-1938-01-012

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nigel S. Roberts, 'Electoral systems - Back to first-past-the-post', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 24 May 2022)

Story by Nigel S. Roberts, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Feb 2015