Up until the 1990s, the gap between the parties was never that huge. A 10% gap was around as big as it got. Then in 1990 one had the first gap of well over 10% – almost 13%.
Then of course in 2002, there was the blowout to Labour who beat National by 20%, much the same as National beat Labour by in 2011.
There was also an interesting trend of declining support for both parties from the 1950s to 1984. We then saw both increase in support as Social Credit died, and then the volatility of MMP.
National’s growth over the last three elections under Brash and Key is quite remarkable.
Tomorrow we’ll look at the various third parties.