Liberal–Labour (New Zealand)

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New Zealand Liberal-Labour MPs, 1896. Back; William Tanner, Arthur Morrison, John A. Millar. Front; William Earnshaw, James Kelly, David Pinkerton, Lindsay Buick.

Liberal–Labour (often referred to as "Lib-Lab") was a political association in New Zealand in the last decade of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries.

History

Initially, Liberal-Labour candidates were usually members of the Liberal Party who received Labour movement endorsement and/or advocated on behalf of labourers and trade unions in parliament. This was mainly a result of the early unionists being mostly anti-political.[1] In 1890 there was a "Lib-Lab" alliance where Liberals and Labour sympathizers co-operated with each other. The two agreed on candidates who ran on combined tickets in several electorates. Equally, in others where only one was running against a government member, supporters of both backed each other's candidates.[2]

When the Liberal Party won power in 1890, five members of John Ballance's caucus claimed to be "Labour" MPs. They claimed to be from a Labour "party", though it was mostly regarded that they were merely the Labour "faction" of the Liberals.[3] In the 1893 election they were joined by two more Liberals identifying as representing Labour interests.[3] However, in 1896 three of the Labour members were defeated and the remaining Labour aligned Liberals merged more definitely with the other Liberals.[4] The Liberals attempted to strengthen their support base with unionists by creating the Liberal-Labour Federation in 1899 hoping to attract formal trade union support.[5] Many electoral alliances were formed between the Liberals and Labour particularly during second ballots in the 1908 and 1911 elections.[6]

During the period 1904–13 there was increasing debate by unionists on the issue to separate themselves from the Liberals, which ultimately led to the creation of the present-day Labour Party in 1916.[7]

Notable Liberal-Labour MPs

Name Electorate From To Notes
William Tanner Heathcote
Avon
1890
1893
1893
1908
Considered to be "the first Labour candidate" elected to Parliament.[8]
David Pinkerton City of Dunedin 1890 1896
William Earnshaw Peninsula
City of Dunedin
1890
1893
1893
1896
Lindsay Buick Wairau 1890 1896
James Whyte Kelly Invercargill 1890 1899
Ebenezer Sandford City of Christchurch 1891 1893 First elected in by-election
John A. Millar Chalmers
City of Dunedin
Dunedin Central
Dunedin West
1893
1896
1905
1911
1896
1905
1911
1914
Liberal only from 1905 onwards
John Hutcheson City of Wellington 1896 1902
James Frederick Arnold City of Dunedin
Dunedin South
Dunedin Central
1899
1905
1908
1905
1908
1911
Alfred Barclay City of Dunedin
Dunedin North
1899
1905
1902
1908
James Thomas Hogan Wanganui 1905 1911 Independent MP for Rangitikei, 1928–31
Robert Beatson Ross Pahiatua 1905 1911
Tommy Taylor Christchurch North 1908 1911 New Liberal MP 1905, died in office
Sydney George Smith Taranaki 1919 1922 Joined the Liberal Party in 1922

Notes

  1. ^ Brown 1962, pp. 2.
  2. ^ Hamer1988, pp. 32-3.
  3. ^ a b Brown 1962, pp. 2-3.
  4. ^ Brown 1962, pp. 3.
  5. ^ Brown 1962, pp. 4.
  6. ^ Gustafson 1980, pp. 80.
  7. ^ Brown 1962, pp. 5.
  8. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1903). "Mr. William Wilcox Tanner". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. p. 91. Retrieved 8 September 2010. 

References

  • Brown, Bruce (1962). The Rise of New Zealand Labour: A history of the New Zealand Labour Party. Wellington: Price Milburn. 
  • Hamer, David A. (1988). The New Zealand Liberals: The Years of Power, 1891–1912. Christchurch. 
  • Gustafson, Barry (1980). Labour's path to political independence: The Origins and Establishment of the New Zealand Labour Party, 1900–19. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. ISBN 0-19-647986-X. 
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