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There was but little of the customary excitement on election days in town this morning. Mr Shearman as usual had run up a number of flags in honor of the occasion, and Mr Lancaster’s premises were similarly decorated, and a few more cabs and buggies perhaps than usual were to be seen about the streets. But beyond this there was nothing to indicate that this was the long-looked-for day when the three wooers of the “ virgin constituency” were to have their doubts and fears finally set at rest, and one of them to be made a happy man. But as the day wore on the excitement increased, more people arrived, more vehicles were to be seen about the streets, and the pertinent question of I “Who’s going to get in 1” was more frequently to be heard. In the hotel bars and similar places betting was freely indulged in, the Wasonites and Purnellites being ready to back their men “ to any amount,” while the partisans of the champion of the “’orny ’anded” ones were equally confident of the success of their, man. The County Saleyards did not present a particularly animated appearance during the day, but the last half-hour is always the exciting time at the polling booths. The smiles and nods that were exchanged as buggy after buggy drove rapidly up to the scene of action during the afternoon were rather amusing to the mere on-looker, especially when he caught the whispered remark anent many of the new arrivals, which was now “ Wasonites !” now “ Purnell men !” and anon “Ivessites !” Each candidate had his backers and supporters on the ground, and the tactics of the supporters of a certain “ Liberal ” candidate were worth noting. Any man who looked at all doubtful was promptly “ bailed up,” and. a voting paper handed to him with two candidates’ names struck out, the remaining name being that of the “Liberal” candidate aforesaid. “ There, vote ' for him, sir ; they are all voting like that today,” were the honeyed words accompanying the presentation of the voting paper to the doubtful voter. If these words failed to carry conviction with them in every case, the utterers were not to blame. They certainly did their best. The introduction of the ballot system of voting, although b a great improvement on the system formerly in vogue, in many respects, deprives the election contest of half its excitement. Formerly the numbers were freely and openly exhibited ; now we have to wait until night for the result. But although no official intelligence is to be got from the Returning Officers now-a-days, the; figures may be at least approximately estimated by other, means even now. Indeed, 1 a shrewd observer on the ground; will be: able to form a tolerably accurate estimate of the “ state of the poll ” at any time by keeping his eye open. Thus we are able to present to our readers the state of the poll at the County Saleyards at 1.30 p.m., which was as follows Wason ... ... ... ... ... 96 Purnell and Ivesa (combined) ... 86

Majority for Wason ... ... 10 A later return gives the result as follows : RAKAIA. (Per Pigeon Post). Wason ... ... ... 79 Purnell ... ... ... 6 Ivess ... ... ... 50 SALEYARDS. Wason ... ... ... 132 Purnell .. 28 Ivess ... ... ... 104 LONGBEACH. (Per Pigeon Post). Wason ... ... ... 49 Purnell 10 Ivess ... ... ... 33

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Bibliographic details

POLLING-DAY IN ASHBURTON., Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 504, 9 December 1881

Word Count

POLLING-DAY IN ASHBURTON. Ashburton Guardian, Volume III, Issue 504, 9 December 1881