ELECTION PROSPECTS. CONTESTS FOR SEVEN SEATS. VOTE-SPLITTING IN FIVE. (By "SCRUTATOR.") There has been much political activity recently in the South Auckland area, and although it is too early yet to make any forcasts, the position can be surveyed in a preliminary way. For the Franklin seat only two candidates have been announced so far, and rumour has it that neither the Democrat nor the Labour party intends to interfere in what looks to be a straightout contest between Mr. John Massey, the sitting Nationalist member, and Mr. A. C. A. Sexton (Independent Country party). In 1925, in an anti-Government wave Mr. H. O. Mellsop, as a Country party candidate, scored within 140 votes of Mr. Maesey's total, but with the tide flowing the other way in 1931, Mr. Massey gained the verdict over Mr. Mellsop by over 2450 votes. Mr. Sexton is a vounger man than Mr. Mellsop, is a good public speaker, and a barrister and solicitor besides a fanner, and he will also gain votes as a returned soldier. On the other hand, the name of Massey is one to conjure with in Franklin. Franklin should provide the electors with one of the keenest fights in the whole province.
Old Opponents in Raglan. The position in Raglan is still relatively a simple one. So far only Mr. Stewart Reid, the Nationalist member, and Mr. Lee Martin, the Labour exmember, are announced; After holding the seat for ioiir years, Mr. Lee Martin was beaten by 800 votes by Mr. Reid in 1931, but there are many former supporters of Mr. Reid's who aver that this time they will vote for Mr. Lee Martin. In a etraightout fight Mr. Leo Martin should gain the verdict. The entry of a third candidate —at present there is no one in sight—would complicate the issue, but unless ho were a man with a large personal following he could not be successful and he would probably take votes about evenly from both sides. Sir A. Young's Opponents. The Hamilton seat, at present held by Sir Alexander Young, the Minister of Health, will provide one of the most interesting contests that the Waikato town has seen for many years. Sir Alexander Young is a political campaigner of exceptional ability who has had the good fortune never to have been faced with an opponent of comparable standing. However, Mr. H. D. Caro, Hamilton's deputy-Mayor, will go to the poll against Sir Alexander this time as a Democrat. In two municipal elections now Mr. Caro, who is a popular and influential business man, has topped the poll with big margins for the local borough council. At the same time the Labour vote in Hamilton has steadily increased from 2000 to 3000 odd in the last ten years. With Mr. C. A. Barrell, a popular business man and one well known in bowling club circles, Labour will poll well. It is not unlikely that Mr. Caro will take enough votes away from Sir Alexander Young to let Labour slip in. Three for Waikato. An interesting development has occurred in the Waikato seat recently. Last election Mr. P. Lye, the Government member, who has been in and out for Waikato since 1922, stalled off. a strong challenge from Mr. S. N. Ziman, the Country party's nominee. With the swing of the pendulum most observers confidently expected Mr. Ziman to overtake Mr. Lye this time, but within the last three weeks the Labour party has decided to take a hand. Mr. Robert Coulter, Mayor of Te Aroha, and an experienced campaigner still in his forties, will go to the poll as Labour's choice. Electors are now asking themselves, "Will Mr. Coulter take enough votes from Mr. Ziman to let Mα-. Lye in again?" and many of them are already prepared to answer in the affirmative.
Mr. Samuel as Independent. The Labour party made a bold bid for Thames against Mr. A. M. Samuel, the Government member last election, and many people as late as last year expected to see Labour gain the goldfields seat next time. However, Mr. Samuel's action in severing his connection with the Government, and his new stand as an Independent and a monetary reformer has greatly increased his personal following. He will be hard to beat now and if a third candidate goes to the poll it will be quite impossible to forecast the result. Rotorua Unpredictable. Rotorua lias been much in the public eye in the last two or three weeks owing to the multiplicity of candidates. There are at present five in the field. Last election in a four-cornered fight the sitting Government member, Mr. C. H. Clhikard, gained the verdict by 57 votes over the Labour nominee, Mr. A. ¥. Moncur. Both these candidates will again go to the poll, and three others in the field are Mr. H. H. Corbin (Democrat), Mr. D. R. F. Campbell (Country party), who stood last time, and Mr. F. W. Doidge (Independent), who is sure to poll well. A widely scattered constituency with many of its parts out of touch with one another, it is quite impossible to forecast a result for Rotorua at any time. Probably the splitting of the votes will favour Mr. Clinkard and Mr. Moncur about evenly. New Candidate for Waitomo. Waitomo has not had an election for seven years, when Mr. W. J- Broadfoot (United) defeated Mr. J. C. Rolleston (Reform) by 522, with a Labour candidate losing'his deposit. Last time Mr. Broadfoot was returned unopposed as a Coalition supporter, Mr. Rolleston agreeing to stand down altogether. Since then Mr. Rolleston has left the district but there are two anti-Govern-ment candidates in the field, Mr. J. Jones (Labour) and Mr. J. H. Penniket, who, like Mr. Sexton in Franklin, is standing as Independent Country party. Labour's chances in a rural electorate where its candidate has lost his deposit each time are not taken seriously, but Mr. Penniket who is a voung man with a host of personal friends, has strong backing amongst the old "Rollestonites" and with the farmers and townspeople, who have felt the effects of the depression severely, as the King Country has never been a wealthy district. On the other hand, Mr. Broadfoot has done more for the district in his seven years than any of his predecessors and this is bound to tell with those people whose outlook is local rather than national. The question Waitomo electors are asking themselves is, "Will Labour poll enough votes to spoil Mr. Penniket's chances? At present no one can find the answer. Such is the position in South Auckland at present. It must be borne in mind that the Democrat party has not yet announced its full list of candidates.
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SOUTH AUCKLAND., Auckland Star, Volume LXVI, Issue 202, 27 August 1935
SOUTH AUCKLAND. Auckland Star, Volume LXVI, Issue 202, 27 August 1935
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