This chart shows elections in New Zealand, who won them, and significant events that affected the outcome. Until the 1890s parliamentarians were elected as individuals, rather than as members of parties. The various factions and independent members were approached by potential leaders, with the most popular forming a ‘ministry’, generally known by the name of the man who led it. Between 1856 and 1891 there were 25 ministries, of which 19 lasted less than a year (some managed only a few months), and five lasted for more than three years. Three leaders – Edward Stafford, William Fox and Harry Atkinson – headed three or more ministries.
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