The City East Election.
DECLARATION OF THE POLL,
The official declaration of the poll for City East was made by the Returning Otlicer (Mr T. Cotter) in the Mechanics' Insl itute at noon to-day, a largo number of persons being present. After reading the usual notifications and quoting the section of the Act bearing upon the conduct of the polling, Mr Cotter Went on to say that although there had been two polling booths on the day of election yet the names had beeu alphabetically arranged so that no person could by any possibility receive a votiug paper at each booth. It was therefore only in districts like Waitemata that double voting could be practised with impunity, and when a subsequent scrutiny was necessary. In a district like City East the scrutiny took place in the polling place, both candidates having a scrutineer present. At the scrutiny of City East both gentlemen expressed themselves well-pleased with the ballot papers, and they were then stamped and sealed. No one had then a right to touch them until they were transmitted to the Clerk of the House of Representatives, at Wellington, and they could only be opened thereafter in obedience to an order from a judge of the Supreme Court. The result, therefore, as he had before declared it, was as follows :— MrJ.M. Clark 363 Mr W. J. Speight 371 Out of the 737 ballot papers received only three were informal. He therefore declared MrWm. James Speight the dulyelected representative of Auckland City East in the new Parliament. (Applause.) Mr Speight, on rising to address the audience,gave the occasion for a renewal of the applause. He said there were one or two things which demanded notice in his return of thanks for the honour conferred upon him.- The contest had not been one of men, but of principles, for had Mr Clark seen his way clear to promise an adhesion to the leader of the Liberal party there Would have been no struggle for the scat. It was, therefore, with great reluctance that he had obeyed the wishes of the Central Committeetoopposethocandidature of Mr Clark, but his individual desires were sunk for what was deemed the good of the cause. Whilst he was pleased at the result of the triumph of the Grey party he must say that he would like to see his opEonent in the House also. Though o was a man comparatively strange to them, he would yield to none in integrity of purpose and in an earnest and conscientious determination to do the best he could for his constituents. Any matter which they might entrust with him he would most zealously attend to, and the wishes of the electors would ever be kept in mind. He hoped that when he came back to them for re-election no one would be able to reproacli him with a broken promise or with an unfulfilled pledge. (Applause). Mr Clark was also received with applause. He said he appeared iv the capacity of the defeated candidate, and though he was obliged to accept the position, he was not at all cast down. He did not think that it would be egotistic in him to say that, apart from social position, be had a claim upon the suffrages of the electors of City East, a claim which under other circumstances would have been acknowledged. (Applause.) As regarded policy, the successful candidate and himself pretty well agreed, for both had professed as supporters of Liberalism. The real point of difference between them was that he (the speaker) was not quite Grey enough—that he could not give a pledge to support the present Government if a vote of want of confidence were tabled. It was very possible, however, had he been returned without such a pledge that he would bavesupported the Government in such a contingency, both because it was inopportune to bring forward such a contention at the opening of the session, and because he would like to give them rope. (Laughter.) Thus, while he did not caie to be classed as a supporter of the Government, even for a part of the session, he might have given them an independent support. One of the newspapers had recommended the electors to allow the bad feeling which had been stirred up by the various election contests to die out, but he thought that so far as City East was concerned the advice was not required. Instead of bad feeling having been stirred, up it had rather been the reverse. It was more jolly than otherwise, and he looked back upon it—that was some of the incidents—with feelings of amusement, for of course the result was not what he wished for. He could not,for instance,help feeling amused at the recollection of an active member of the Central Committee coming up to him late in the afternoon of the election day, and saying in a badly-used and complaining tone, "You have given me a. great deal of trouble." He (the speaker) asked who but themselves had caused the trouble ? If they had taken less trouble it might have been better. At any rate, he wished they had taken just a little less trouble. (Laughter). He had now to express his thanks to the 363 electors who had recorded their votes in his favoui, and also to express his acknowledgment of the courtesy extended towards him by the electors of the district, as well as those nonelectors who had interested themselves in the contest.
Mr Speight moved a vote of thanks to the Keturning Officer, and, in doing so, took the opportunity of saying that the gentleman had discharged his duties with admirable abi'ity. In seconding the motion, Mr Clark fully endorsed the mover's statement. The vote was then parsed with declamation, and was briefly acknowledged by Mr Cotter, This terminated the ceremony.
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The City East Election., Auckland Star, Volume X, Issue 2939, 15 September 1879
The City East Election. Auckland Star, Volume X, Issue 2939, 15 September 1879
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