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THE MAYORALTY

MR. WRIGHT RE-ELECTED

A HEAVY POLL

The poll, for the Mayoralty resulted in ' the return of the sitting Mayor, Mr. R. A. Wright, M.P., with a majority of 254 on the first count over the Labour candidate, .MivP.'Fraser, M.P. A total of 25,637 votes was polled out of 43.337 on the district electors' roll. The figures were :— Wright 10,830 Fraser '. 10,576 M'Kenzie 4,231 j Detailed returns are as follow:— i

The contest for the Mayoralty was one of the closest ever recorded in Wellington, and the result was in doubt until the last return was received. The first booth count notified to the chief returning officer came to hand eighteen minutes after the close of the polling from Roseneath, Schoolroom, and was followed at intervals of a few minutes by returns from St. Paul's Schoolroom, Tinakori road, \and Kearney's Tea Rooms, Tinakori road. At this stage Mr. Fraser led , with 291 votes to Mr. Wright's 276, Mr. M'Kenzie being 117. Five more results placed Mr. Wright in the lead with 1131, as against 668 to Mr. Fraser, and 413 to Mr. M'Kenzie. Twenty minutes later, after the receipt of five more booth groups, including the . main booth at the Town Hall the figures were 3970 and 3091 for Messrs. Wright/ arid Fraser respectively. The majorities f6r the Labour candidate notified from Sydney street, Abel Smith street, Queen's Wharfs-and Vivian street left him 700 odd behind the sitting Mayor, with eight returns to come. Mr. Fraser gradually drew up dn his opponent with the following six returns, and at 9.10 p.m., whon only two returns were incomplete, the figures were; Fraser, 10,277; M'Kenzie, 4128; 'Wright, 10,524. A period of anxious waiting ensued for about half an hour till the Karori voting added 80 votes to Mr. Wright's total. The only outstanding return was that from the Masonic Hall, Adelaide road, which was delayed until half-past ten, and gave Mr. Wright a final majority of 254 votes. CANDIDATES' SPEECHES. The result was unofficially announced by the returning officer (Mr. James Ames) at the entrance of the Town Hall as scon as the last return was to hand. Addressing the small crowd that had gathered, the Mayor thanked the electors for re-electing him to the honourable position of Mayor, and also expressed thanks to his committee for their excellent work, to which he attributed his victory. . He had won by a, very narrow margin, and a tremendous ballot had been taken despite the weather; so far as he could remember it was the largest municipal poll ever held in Wellington. Mr. Fraser had been close up all along the line, and had polled about 3000 more votes than he had secured at the last council election, showing that he and his friends had worked very hard irv deed. (Applause.) Mr. Frnser'had foupht a clean, square fight. (Hear, hear.) He had hit hard at times, but he had at

ways hit according to the Marquis of Queensberry rules. He congratulated him on the fight he had put lip, and, above all, upon the irreproachable manner in which he had secured his votes. They differed in ideals and in political life, but he would say that the Labour Party deserved credit for the poll they had put up. They were a- pattern so far as energy and industry were conicerned, they worked determinedly, and they carried on in rain, hail, or sunshine. He expressed the opinion that if the weather experienced that morning had continued during the afternoon the result of the poll would have differed, because Mr. Fraser's supporters would have gone to the poll no matter how it rained or blew. "Perhaps I could not have said that for all those who have voted for me," he remarked. i A lady's voice : "Oh, yes, you could." Mr. Wright said he was deeply sensible of the honour conferred upon him, and he would strive during the next two years -to do his best- for all sections of the community. Life was too short for one to bear ill-will to anyone, whether they held different views or not. So far as he was concerned he would forget all about the voting by the next day. An elector: "You are in with a minority." Mr. Wright:. "That is perfectly true, but anyone else would have been in a. three-cornered contest. It' is hard to avoid that. That is the fault of our system, if you like, and the fact that there were three candidates contesting the election." He thought it was the duty of the Mayor to endeavour to hold the scales between all sections of the community, to strive to see that all parts of the city received fair treatment; to get the council to- attend to the citizens' interests firsthand to luxuries afterwards, if the money was avail, able; and, finally, to remember that he was the representative of no creed, class, or nationality, but the representative of all' sections of the community. (Applause.) After congratulating Mr. Wright, Mr. Fraser, who was received with enthusiasm, remarked that Mr. Wright's victory certainly bore out his statement about the energy of his committee. Mr. M'Kenzie had conducted his campaign in a gentlemanly manner—(applause)—and he (the speaker) trusted that now the election was over personal feeling would disappear altogether. Mr. Fraser said that the opinions he held upon social and economic questions were fundamental, and there was a gulf between him and his opponents in that respect. The vote cast for the Labour Party was a magnificent one—(hear, hear) —and if the party continued to grow in strength there would be nothing to stop it from achieving victory. He hoped there would be a- strong Labour representation in the council, and that the next two years would be successful ones for the new body. There were big problems to face, some of which he sincerely hoped would be faced either by the council itself or by the council and the National Government conjointly. Two matters loomed big in the city that should be attended to—housing 1 and unemployment—and he' trusted an endeavour would be made to grapple with them. Housing conditions were a disgrace to the city and to civilisation, and^he hoped a campaign, would soon be liunched with the object of alleviating unemployment. In conclusion, he said he had enjoyed the contest. The Labour Party enjoyed nothing better than a- keen fight, and so long as it ■ increased its vote it was satisfied. That night it was celebrating one of its greatest successes. (Applause.)

Mr. L. M'Kanzio briefly congratulated Mr. Wright, and thanked his committees for their work on his behalf. In parting with the council after twelve years of service ho was parting from his fellowcouncillors and from tho excellent officers of tho council. He hoped the ensuing two years would see many works brought to fruition, and that the best results would be achieved for the city. The gathering terminated with cheerß and counter-cheers.

The returns for the -local City Council, Harbour Board, and Hospital Board elections appear on another page.

Polling Booth. g M •■••■• ■£, V S Town Hall 1708 909 Bethune's .' 205' ' 191 Harcourt's 248- 19S Farmers' Institute ... 'Tl9 ■'■ 101 ; Oddfellows' Hall 129 115 Queen's Wharf .473 40 , Sydney street 327 234 Wadostown S6 SO Khandallah 43 51 Kaiwarra 95 19 Ngaio T7 56 St. Paul's,Tinakori-rd.. 138 59 Kearney's Tearooms, ■ ■ Tinakori road 76 S3 Northland ..:..... 66 45 Karori Council Chamrbers '..:..::....U......... ..-.72 .". 62 Jenkins's Store, Karori 54 44 Raroa road 41 21 Kelburn Kiosk 67 78 Aro street 238 55 Ohiro road 291 113 Washington avenue 97 .56 Abel Smith street ... ■ 764 '.' 161 Crhuzn.ee street ,m .'355 122 Vivian street, ...*..*, 533 84 Cambridge', 'ter/ace • % 632 ■ 240 •Newtown Library- ... 771 201 St. Thomas' Hall ... 746. 193 Adelaide road' ......... ■ 249 65 Island Bay ;.,. 231 87 Lyall Bay 149 71 Kilbirnie Hall .......;. 231 82 . Miramar Town Hall 190 37 ' Hataitai .....,::. 177,' 147 Roseneath 77 '25.Seatoun , -81 • 51' ' Worser Bay. ;:... 7 ,8 Ooekburn street,' Kilbirnie 159 87 Borough Office, Miramar 62 10 10,576 4231 : .1? 1846 578. 543 295 280 67 672 157 180 50 117 122 71 109 161 133 97 ' 447 53 291 127 395 288 193 591 519 628 .175 ■ ?28b 175 177 59 486 ' 84 ■ 156 27 163 31 10,830

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Permanent link to this item

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Bibliographic details

THE MAYORALTY, Evening Post, Volume CV, Issue 99, 27 April 1923

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1,379

THE MAYORALTY Evening Post, Volume CV, Issue 99, 27 April 1923

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