Leaving on his terms

This is how every New Zealand Prime Minister (since Seddon) has left office.

Defeated at Election (11)

  • Gordon Coates
  • George Forbes
  • Peter Fraser
  • Keith Holyoake (1)
  • Walter Nash
  • Jack Marshall
  • Bill Rowling
  • Robert Muldoon
  • Mike Moore
  • Jenny Shipley
  • Helen Clark

Died (4)

  • Richard Seddon
  • William Massey
  • Michael Joseph Savage
  • Norman Kirk

Deposed by Party (4)

  • Keith Holyoake (2) (effectively)
  • David Lange (effectively)
  • Geoffrey Palmer
  • Jim Bolger

Some may dispute if Holoyoake and Lange were deposed. I go for substance over form. They both wanted to carry on but had lost confidence, even if no formal vote.

Defeated in Parliament (2)

  • Joseph Ward (1) (effectively)
  • Thomas Mackenzie

One could dispute Ward but he resigned as he was facing a confidence motion, and his successor lost a confidence vote months later.

Resigned for ill health (2)

  • Joseph Ward (2)
  • Sidney Holland

Temporary (2)

  • William Hall-Jones
  • Francis Bell

Retired on his terms

So Key is the only Prime Minister in at least the last 100 years to have retired from the job on his terms, rather than get pushed out in some way.

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