Oamaru by-election, 1923

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Oamaru by-election, 1923

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  John Andrew MacPherson.jpg Ernest Lee.jpg
Candidate John MacPherson Ernest Lee
Party Liberal Reform
Popular vote 4,492 4,147
Percentage 52.00 48.00

Member before election

John MacPherson

Elected Member

John MacPherson

The Oamaru by-election of 1923 was a by-election during the 21st New Zealand Parliament. The by-election was called following the invalidation of the preceding 1922 general election result due to irregularities. It was held on 1 May 1923.[1]


When the preliminary counts for the 1922 general election in the Oamaru electorate were announced, Ernest Lee was ahead of John Andrew MacPherson by just one vote. Once the absentee votes had been counted, it was announced that MacPherson was leading by five votes, but this was subsequently increased to 25 votes. A recount was ordered, during which some irregularities came to light, and Lee asked for a judicial review. The court case was heard at the Supreme Court in Wellington by Sir Robert Stout and Justice Alexander Samuel Adams, who declared the election void and ordered the parties to pay their own expenses.[2]


Two candidates contested the seat. John Andrew MacPherson (Liberal Party), who had taken the seat off the incumbent Ernest Lee (Reform Party), again won the vote.[3]


The following table gives the election results:

Oamaru by-election, 1923[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John MacPherson 4,492 52.00
Reform Ernest Lee 4,147 48.00
Informal votes 21 0.24
Majority 345 3.99
Turnout 8,660 94.18
Registered electors 9,195

MacPherson won the by-election. At the subsequent general election in 1925, Lee in turn defeated MacPherson.[2]


  1. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 124.
  2. ^ a b "Oamaru Contest". The Evening Post. CXXXVI (77). 28 September 1943. p. 3. Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  3. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 119.
  4. ^ Hislop 1923, p. 11.


  • Hislop, J. (1923). The General Election, 1922. Government Printer. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer.
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