The later emergence of the NZLP begs the question 'why?
The second factor delaying the emergence of the NZLP lay in divisions within the labour movement.
The first camp emerged from the 1904 conference of TLCs, which supported the formation of the Independent Political Labour League (IPLL), and was succeeded by the first national NZLP in 1910, and by the United Labour Party (ULP) in 1912.
40) In contrast, whilst there were also splits in the New Zealand labour movement over conscription in World War I, the NZLP did not have the responsibility of government and consolidated its position as a result of its anti-conscription stance, which linked militants with moderate anti-conscriptionists.
A third critical factor which explains the later consolidation of the NZLP as an electoral force lies in the role of class structure and consciousness.
At the beginning of 2008 the ALP and NZLP had held office for almost identical total periods since their formation: 35.
Both the ALP and the NZLP attained parliamentary office when they emerged with mass working-class electoral support, in 1910 and 1935 respectively.
Considerable historical debate has surrounded why it took the NZLP until 1935 to win office.
Secondly, the ALP was more successful than the NZLP in attracting a mixed social base in its early years.
For several decades the accepted view originating with Robert Chapman in 1948 was that the NZLP finally won government in 1935 by gaining the support of small farmers and the urban middle class.
He argued that the NZLP's difficulties over the 1920s can be attributed to the high incidence of blue-collar workers who either failed to vote or voted for the conservative parties, although he further acknowledged that had the NZLP won more middle-class support it would have secured more votes and seats.
70) By the 1930s the NZLP was able to gain the support of skilled workers in rural electorates and even some of the middle class.