Gaps between election day announcements and elections

March 12th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar
  • 1984 – 30 days
  • 1999 – 62 days
  • 2002 – 45 days
  • 2005 – 54 days
  • 2008 – 57 days
  • 2011 – 297 days
  • 2014 – 194 days

I can’t find data on what the gaps were between the date of the election being announced and the actual election day for 1987 to 1996 elections.

Does show how much more notice has been given the last two times though.

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19 Responses to “Gaps between election day announcements and elections”

  1. eszett (2,432 comments) says:

    I say move to fixed election dates and stop this nonsense.

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  2. emmess (1,433 comments) says:

    1984 – 30 days

    Doesn’t give you much time to prepare, Prime Minister
    Doesn’t give my opponents much time either. He he he

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  3. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    Emmess,

    The Press editorial when retelling that anecdote described Muldoon as “Visibly tired and emotional”.

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  4. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    Eszett,

    The problem with fixed election dates is what happens if there’s a legislative gridlock and the government runs out of supply?

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  5. Reid (16,638 comments) says:

    I wonder if Key’s taking advantage of Liarbore’s funding problems which IIRC was raised last time – long campaigns cost more, obviously.

    Excellent.

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  6. alwyn (438 comments) says:

    There was a convention between 1957 and 1981 that the election would be (and was) held on the last Saturday in November.
    Muldoon, drunkenly I fear , broke it in 1984.
    On that basis it doesn’t really matter when the election was officially announced for those elections as both parties trusted the other to stick to the unofficial rule. Shame the Keith Holyoake had died by 1984 wasn’t it? He was still a major political figure from 1957 (as PM) to 1981 (as a recently retired Governor-General).

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  7. Nigel Kearney (1,051 comments) says:

    The problem with fixed election dates is what happens if there’s a legislative gridlock and the government runs out of supply?

    That sounds like a solution rather than a problem.

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  8. PRH (1 comment) says:

    announcement and election dates for 1987-1996:
    1987: 30 June, 15 August
    1990: 9 August, 27 October
    1993: 14 September, 6 November
    1996: 21 May, 12 October

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  9. Mark (1,493 comments) says:

    Simply tactical by Key. Wouldn’t read too much into it. The only problem I see is the bastards start kissing babies ealier than is really necessary.

    A good move from Keys point of view given Cunliffs track record to date Labour has no chance of getting through a long election window without a series of major fuckups derailing their campaign

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  10. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    “The problem with fixed election dates is what happens if there’s a legislative gridlock and the government runs out of supply?”

    Exactly the same as what happens now when a confidence vote is lost, the GG dissolves the house and calls an election. Legally the GG acting as the crown dissolves parliament and sets the election date, not the PM although he acts on his advice,

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  11. chris (647 comments) says:

    Interesting points on both sides of the fixed vs not argument. Personally, I’ve never liked that it’s the incumbent government that sets the election date. It’s far to open to manipulation, as we’ve seen in the past from both parties. Even with this year’s date, Labour are (rightly or wrongly) suggesting it’s a manipulation.

    I like Alan’s suggestion of fixed dates with the ability of the GG to dissolve Parliament if need be. However, what would that do to the term? Something like it’s always X weekend in November 3 years after the election?

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  12. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    Exactly the same as what happens now when a confidence vote is lost, the GG dissolves the house and calls an election. Legally the GG acting as the crown dissolves parliament and sets the election date, not the PM although he acts on his advice,

    Then it’s not a fixed election term by any definition as the government could contrive a snap election by losing a confidence vote. Fixed election terms are what happens in the states – if there’s gridlock and the government goes out of supply, the date of the next election is not changed.

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  13. metcalph (1,436 comments) says:

    And lastly giving the governor-general the ability to dissolve parliaments effectively makes it a prime ministerial power as the presumption is that the governor-general acts according to his ministers advice.

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  14. Harriet (5,145 comments) says:

    Be grateful!

    That’s a fucken lot of rope that National has given Labour to hang themselves with. The more rope – the more seats. It’s a good decision.

    Or do you all think that Cunliffe is going to get better in the distant future? :cool:

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  15. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    @ Metcalf The GG already has the power to dissolve parliament, he can do it any time he wants using the royal prerogative;

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  16. georgebolwing (1,011 comments) says:

    The convention is that the GG acts on the advice of the PM regarding the exercise of the royal prerogative (see Australia, 1975, for last time this didn’t happen).

    The UK Parliament now has fixed terms, with provisions for early dissolution in cases of the Government losing the confidece of the House. New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory have semi-fixed terms in that dissolution at any time in mid-term is allowed only to resolve a serious deadlock.

    Looks like New Zealand is getting out of step with international best practice.

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  17. Steve Wrathall (285 comments) says:

    The 1996 date was not “announced” but forced by Michael Laws’ resignation in Hawkes Bay, therefore the election had to be held 6 months from then to avoid a byelection.

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  18. wikiriwhis business (4,135 comments) says:

    Herald promoted a September Election in the cartoon section this morning

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  19. Warren Murray (314 comments) says:

    If I understand George correctly, i think he is mistaken..

    Sir John Kerr sacked Whitlam in 75, appointed Fraser as PM. Fraser then advised Kerr to dissolve Parliament. So Kerr exercised the royal prerogative on the advice if the PM.

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