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RANKING in importance with the 1935 election when the Labour landslide set in, the election, to-morrow which has been dictated by the undeniable unrest so widespread throughout the Dominion will bring no less than 291 candidates before the electors for selection to the 80 available seats in Parliament. The six recognised parties which are contesting the issue are made up as under: Labour 77 candidates, National 77, Democratic Labour 54, Peoples Movement 25, Real Democracy Movement 17 and Fighting Forces League 3. The 38 Independents include Independent Labour candidates (6), Independent National (2), Conservative (1), Liberal (1), Christian Pacifist (1), Peace Candidate (1), and Social Democrat (1). There are only two uncontested seats Awarua and Mataura, which are held by National members in the persons of Brigadier J. Hargest (now a military internee in Switzerland) and Capt. T. L. Mac Donald, an officer recently repatriated from overseas. Besides these two the only other seat not being contested by Labour is Nelson, which is held at present by Mr 11. Atmore (Independent). The National Party on the other hand has not nominated candidates for Kaipara, Palmerston North or Buller, but are supporting Independent Nationalists in the first two electorates. The mushroom Democratic Labour Party, which came rapidly into being following the open defaction when Mr J. A. Lee was expelled from Labour's ranks is vigorously contesting 54 seats mainly in the North Island, though the larger southern cities have found representatives as well. Similarly most of the independents sponsored by the Peoples Movement are in the North Island, while the Real Democracy champions are mainly situated in the Auckland Province. Seats in Christchurch and elsewhere also have their quota. An interesting comparison with past elections shows that in 1931 there were 203 candidates, 1935 there were 265 & in 1938 only 176. The greatest feature to-day is the multiplicity of parties indicating the same restive spirit which preceded the 1935 elections when again six major parties contested the issue. The contest in the Bay of Plenty has been kept down to the two main parties Labour and National, a sharp contrast with most other electorates which have produced four, five and six candidates, rising to the record figure of nine for the Northern Maori seat. The nominations included no less than 10 women candidates, half of whom are seeking seats in the Auckland Metropolitan area The last two contests in the Bay of Plenty have provided an interesting comparison. In 1938, the late Lieut. A. G. Hultquist (Labour) polled 4964 votes against Mr W. Sullivan's (National) 4795 a bare majority of 169 votes. In 1941 at the by-election caused by Lieut. Hultquist's death on active service Mr W. Sullivan polled 4675 against C. Mill's (Labour) 3024 the majority for Sullivan being 1651. The fact that Mr Sullivan on being elected to office failed to poll as many votes as in 1938 when he was narrowly defeated is attributable to two reasons, the number of voters away on active service and the lack of interest attached to a by-election as compared with a general one. To-morrow will tell the tale.

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Bibliographic details

TO-MORROW'S ELECTION, Bay of Plenty Beacon, Volume 7, Issue 9, 24 September 1943

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TO-MORROW'S ELECTION Bay of Plenty Beacon, Volume 7, Issue 9, 24 September 1943