This image was taken for a story that ran in The Manawatu Evening Standard on Monday 27th November 1978 “Walding makes political history: Smiles in the face of defeat from the former Palmerston North M.P., Mr John Lithgow, and his wife, Ann, at their headquarters on Saturday night.”
The general election held on Saturday 25 March returned former Member of Parliament for Palmerston North Joe Walding at the expense of incumbent John Lithgow. The seat flipped Labour while the general election returned the National government to power with a reduced majority. The Standard reported that Lithgow’s slim majority of 142 in the last election was turned into a ‘massive deficit’ of 2601. Lithgow said: “This town is too good for Labour” and promised to return to door-knocking in February. Despite defeat, there was a party atmosphere at the St John Ambulance Hall in Cuba Street as the wider election results rolled in.