Eden by-election, 1926

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Eden by-election, 1926
New Zealand
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  Rex Mason 1919.jpg James Gunson.jpg Ellen Melville, 1919.jpg
Candidate Rex Mason James Gunson Ellen Melville
Party Labour Reform Independent Reform
Popular vote 4,589 4,163 2,197
Percentage 41.5% 37.6% 19.8%

Eden Electorate (1928-38).png
Eden electorate boundaries used for the by-election

Member before election

James Parr
Reform

Elected Member

Rex Mason
Labour

The Eden by-election of 1926 was a by-election for the Eden electorate during the 22nd New Zealand Parliament. The seat became vacant after the appointment of the sitting member, James Parr of the Reform Party as High Commissioner to London. Parr resigned on 26 March.[1]

Background

The by-election was held on 15 April 1926.[2] Three candidates contested the seat. James Gunson the official Reform candidate had been Mayor of Auckland from 1915 to 1925. Ellen Melville stood as an "Independent" Reform candidate, claiming interference by the party organiser Albert Davy prevented her being selected as the official candidate. The Reform Party vote was split allowing the Labour candidate, Rex Mason, to win.[2] The Liberal Party was "so weak .... that they could not field a candidate.[3]

Gunson was expected to "romp home" in the by-election; Reform had 55 seats. But with the Liberals having 11 seats plus two Liberal-leaning independents and Labour 12, Labour realised their chance to be the official Opposition and "threw their all" into their contest; helped by Melville standing as Independent Reform. "Never before or since have people in the sprawling electorate stretching from Eden Park, through Mount Albert, Pt Chevalier, New Lynn, Te Atatu, Massey and Hobsonville been wooed as assiduously as they were in March and April 1926" with party leaders Coates and Holland spending days in the electorate.[4]

Harry Holland became Leader of the Opposition on 16 June 1926, as a result of the Eden by-election. Labour was now the second largest party in Parliament, replacing the Liberal Party (currently called the National Party [3]).

Result

The following table gives the election results:

Eden by-election, 1926
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Rex Mason 4,589 41.54
Reform James Gunson 4,163 37.68
Independent Reform Ellen Melville 2,197 19.89
Informal votes 99 0.90
Majority 3,811 3.86
Turnout 11,048
Labour gain from Reform Swing

Results by locality

Following table showcasts the detailed results by locality for the ballot:[5]

Locality Mason (Labour) Gunson (Reform) Melville (Ind. Reform)
Votes  % Votes  % Votes  %
Avondale Town Hall 576 47.21 393 32.21 251 20.58
Avondale Flat 73 25.25 116 40.13 100 34.60
Avondale South 153 46.08 117 35.24 62 18.67
Brigham's Creek 3 5.46 35 63.64 17 30.90
Edendale 234 50.74 114 24.72 113 24.51
Glen Eden 159 33.75 237 50.31 75 15.92
Henderson Foresters Hall 258 37.61 303 44.16 125 18.23
Henderson Valley 5 8.92 27 48.21 24 42.85
Hobsonville 55 34.16 68 42.23 38 23.60
Huia 26 36.61 40 56.33 5 7.04
Karekare 2 25.00 6 75.00 0 0.00
Morningside 684 49.31 422 30.42 281 20.25
St. Luke's 202 35.43 200 35.08 168 29.47
Mont Albert 553 34.05 697 42.91 374 23.02
New Lynn 593 51.74 410 35.77 143 12.47
Nihotupu 6 21.42 20 71.42 2 7.14
Oratia 19 15.70 81 66.94 21 17.35
Parau 7 28.00 17 68.00 1 4.00
Point Chevallier 615 58.18 280 26.49 162 15.32
Swanson 46 21.90 87 41.42 77 36.66
Taupaki 12 12.12 79 79.79 8 8.08
Te Atatu 13 10.61 85 75.22 15 13.27
Titirangi 14 13.72 77 75.49 11 10.78
Waitakere 28 30.76 46 50.54 17 18.68
Western Springs 127 66.84 46 24.21 17 8.94
Whenuapai 10 17.85 29 51.78 17 30.35
Total 4,589 41.54 4,163 37.68 2,197 19.89

Notes

  1. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 131.
  2. ^ a b Scholefield 1950, p. 125.
  3. ^ a b Bassett 1982, p. 35.
  4. ^ Bassett 1982, p. 36-37.
  5. ^ "Eden By-election". New Zealand Herald. 16 April 1926. p. 10. Retrieved 7 July 2016. 

References

  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
  • Bassett, Michael (1982). Three Party Politics in New Zealand 1911-1931. Auckland: Historical Publications. ISBN 0-86870-006-1. 
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