Story: Electoral systems

Seats in the House of Representatives, 1914–1925

This interactive diagram shows the number of seats in the House of Representatives won by each political party in the elections of 1914, 1919, 1922 and 1925. In none of these four elections did the Reform Party (led by Bill Massey) win a majority of the popular vote. Yet in all of them except for 1922 Reform won a clear majority of the seats in Parliament. This was a consequence of the first-past-the-post voting system, which favours major parties and penalises minor parties.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Sources: Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz, and Christof Hartmann, Elections in Asia and the Pacific: a data handbook. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, p. 731–734; New Zealand Election Results

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Nigel S. Roberts, 'Electoral systems - Back to first-past-the-post', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 October 2021)

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