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Hero image for Eyewitness News - Snap Election Setup

Eyewitness News - Snap Election Setup

Television (Full Length) – 1984

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In one of New Zealand politics’ more notorious episodes, Prime Minister Rob Muldoon, his slim majority in tatters, announced a snap election for July 1984. National Party president Sue Wood was beside him, but he'd already ignored her advice that the party isn’t ready for the polls. It was widely suggested that Muldoon was drunk (reporter Rob Neale can’t resist a “high spirits” jibe), or perhaps he believed his own invincibility. But it was the beginning of the end for an era Muldoon had dominated. The Eyewitness News report also captures opposition parties scrabbling to get an election campaign into top gear.

Known for drinking whiskey, Prime Minister Rob Muldoon was on the brandy and dry the night he called a snap election in 1984. Although the decision to switch tipples was ultimately immaterial in his downfall it stood as a symbol of a man on the edge defiantly floundering his way through political turmoil.
– Writer Matt Stewart on Rob Muldoon's fateful captain's call, The Dominion Post, 27 November 2015

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for Rob Neale

Rob Neale

Reporter