1918 Taranaki by-election

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Taranaki by-election, 1918

← 1914 general 10 October 1918 (1918-10-10) 1919 general →
Turnout 74.19%
  Sydney George Smith, year unknown.jpg No image.png
Candidate Sydney George Smith John Connett
Party Independent Labour Reform
Popular vote 2,840 2,680

Member before election

Henry Okey

Elected Member

Sydney George Smith
Independent Labour

The Taranaki by-election of 1918 was a by-election in the Taranaki electorate on the west coast of the North Island. It was held during the 19th New Zealand Parliament, on 10 October 1918. It was caused by the death of incumbent MP Henry Okey of the Reform Party and was won by Sydney George Smith, the son of previous Taranaki MP Edward Metcalf Smith,[1] who stood as an independent Labour candidate. Smith supported the war effort unlike most Labour politicians, gaining him support of voters who likewise supported the war.[2]


The following table gives the election results:

Taranaki by-election, 1918[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent Labour Sydney George Smith 2,840 51.44
Reform John Connett 2,680 48.55
Majority 160 2.89
Turnout 5,520 74.19 -12.62


  1. ^ Lambert, Ron. "Smith, Edward Metcalf". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
  2. ^ Bassett 1982, p. 23.
  3. ^ "Taranaki By-Election". The New Zealand Herald. LV (16978). 11 October 1918. p. 4. Retrieved 7 January 2016.


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