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Labour, with Mr. T. H: McCombs as its candidate, experienced no difficulty in retaining the Lyttelton seat at the by-election yesterday. Mr. McCombs had a majority of 1752 votes over the National Political Federation candidate, Mr. M. E. Lyons. Both Mr. E. L. Hills (Independent Labour) and Mr. G. S. Hamilton (Independent) polled insufficient votes to save their deposits, Mr. Hills•.receiving 103 votes and Mr. Hamilton 46 Votes. , The result of the voting was as follows:— T. H. McCombs (Labour) 5437 ■. M. E. Lyons (Nationalist) 3685 E. L. Hills (Independent Labour) 103 G.S. Hamilton (Independent) .. 46 Majority for McCombs 1752 The by-election was made necessary by the death of Mrs. E. R. McCombs, ■' mother of the successful candidate yesterday. Lyttelton has had three re 4 presentatives during the life of the present Parliament—the late Mr. J. McCombs, the late Mrs. McCombs, and Mr. T. H.. McCombs—and is' probably the first electorate in history to be ■ successively represented by father, mother, and son. ', ..The roll for the by-election contained 13,662 names, and only ,-9271 electors exercised their right to vote. . In addition, there are 421 absentee votes to be counted, but these cannot affect the result. • .. The first return to be received by the Chief Electoral Officer (Mr. G. G. Hodgkins) last evening was from the most distant part of the electorate-^ Chatham Islands. The return, received by radio, gave Mr. Lyons a lead of 36 and his advantage was increased by returns from some of the _ smaller booths. Returns from the larger centres,- however, soon changed the position, and Mr. McCombs steadily gained on his opponent. ~A significant feature of the poll was that in some rural districts Mr. Mc- ■ Combs improved on the vote given his mother in 1933. He gained at Akaroa, Governor's Bay, Little Akaloa, Port Levy, Takamatua,. and Wainui. Mr. Lyons improved on the vote recorded for Mr. F. W. Freeman in 1933 by the small margin of ten. He gained votes at Colombo Street, Diamond Harbour, Governor's Bay, Heathcote, Le Bon's Bay, Lyttelton, Mount Pleasant, Opawa, Port Levy, Sumner, Teddington, and two of the three Woolston booths. In . some of the rural districts, however, the Government vote was considerably reduced, notably at Duvauchelle, where Mr. Lyons polled 42 against the . 86 polled by Mr. Freeman in 1933. On the other hand, the1 Labour vote fell by only sixteen. '■ ■ THE NEW MEMBER Mr. McCombs was born at Fendalton, "Christchurch, in ,1905, and educated at the Fendalton Primary School, the Christchurch and Waitaki Boys' -, High Schools, and Canterbury University College. Mr. McCombs won the Charles Cook Memorial Research Scholarship in 1928, m graduated master of science with tibnours in chemistry in 1929, and won the National Research Scholarship, 1929-30. He is 'an associate member of the Institute of Chemistry of Great Britain' and " Ireland, and also,of the Institute. of Chemistry of New N Zealand. In 1930 the president of the Chemical Society of Great Britain, in the course of a . presidential address, described and \ commended Mr. McCombs's thesis which had been published in the society's journal. In 1931 Mr. McCombs took a post-graduate course at jhe Christchurch Teachers': Training College. He has had the following teaching appointments: Christchurch Technical College, 1932-33; Lyttelton District High School, February,- 1934; and Seddon Memorial Technical Col- ( : lege, Auckland, - 193,4-35. Mr. Me- 1 'Combs for several years took a pro- ] minent part in V.M.C.A. boys' work in' Christchurch. While at the Christchurch Boys' High School he led the ( school-debating team, and at the uni- ] ~ versity in 1925 won'the prize for impromptu speaking. In athletics Mr. 5 McCombs was a member of the Christchurch Boys' High School second | Rugby fifteen, and represented Canter- ■ bury University College in hockey j and rowing, gaining blues in these , .sports! , j ,■.;"■ . ■ • ■ ■ ' i EEDUCED MAJORITY ; -it " i i :;. MINISTER'S COMMENT 1 •' ] Commenting on the result of the , ■ poll last night, the Acting Prime Mm- : ister (the' Hon. Sir Alfred Ransom) ! ". said:— ] "There is little more to be said at the moment than to congratulate Mr. ; McCombs on achieving success at his J first effort. Not only has he retained for. his party a seat that had come to be regarded, as a Labour stronghold, but "he has followed in the footsteps of his parents, thus making a unique record of successive family representation in New Zealand's Parliament. , : It is true that his majority is almost , a thousand votes less than the aggregate polled for his mother, the late ( Mrs. Elizabeth McCombs, two years ago, and that fact may be attributed . fairly to the calibre of his main op- ' ponent. "Beyond any doubt Mr. Lyons, as the Government Party's candidate, de- r serves praise for the courageous man- i ncr in which he contested the seat, ,'and also for {he substantial measure , of support he secured. He fought - alone and fought well, showing clear- ■ ly in his platform work a keen knowledge of political problems and an , appreciation of the abnormal difficul- , ties' which have confronted the Government throughout a long period of , world-wide depression, a depression which in this country necessitated a dutiful exercise of a policy inevitably unpopular, although demonstrably . beneficial. "It may be observed that the results ' of the contest show that the electorate had practically no interest at all in socalled independence in politics. The r two Independent candidates failed to C gain 150 votes between them. The v contest was almost entirely confined r to the Labour and Government candi- c dates. Labour won, but its majority c wa's cut down. There is probably as rJ much or as little political significance s

in that as there is in the defeat of Mr. J Lyons, who has no reason to be discouraged at the result." "NO SIGNIFICANCE" (By Telegraph.) (Special to the "Evening Post") DUNEDIN, This Day. The "Otago Daily Times," in. an editorial on the Lyttelton by-elec-tion, says:—"Mr. Lyons proved himself an able campaigner, but he could scarcely hope alone to achieve in the : way of personal contact what was , achieved by Mr. McCombs and a battalitan of prominent Labour members. ' Labour, of course, will claim this sue- ' 5 cess as an omen of change in the | country's political thought. It would ( be folly so to regard it. The Government may have suffered in some j degree the usual consequences of un- ( popular legislation, but the plain truth is that events have already largely ( proved the wisdom of its policies, the evidence in revenue buoyancy, in the j marked revival of trade and indus- 1 try, and in the continued high stand- : ing of the Dominion's credit overseas 1 being plain for all to see. No significance need be attached to the Lyttelton result as a pointer towards political trends or tendencies." ANALYSIS OF VOTING (By T. Lisle.) No surprise will be expressed at the t result of the Lyttelton by-election yes- v terday. Nor-should there ■ be, when f it is" remembered' that over 40 per c cent, of the votes are contained in « Labour's "stronghold"—Woolston and t Lyttelton. At the by-election in 1933 s the roll contained 13,911 names; that of yesterday 13,662. ' Of the votes re- s corded at the twenty-eight polling - n booths on the former occasion, Mrs. i McCombs polled 6073, Freeman (Coali- s tionist) 3483, Page (I. Lab.) 263, 73 d per cent, of electors voting. • Available figures for yesterday dis- n close that at the twenty-nine booths t, (an additional booth being opened at s Barry's Bay), McCombs (Lab.) polled a 5437, Lyons (Nationalist) 3685, Hills c (I. Lab.) 103, Hamilton (Ind.) 46, repre- ' senting 68 per cent, votes recorded. Four hundred and twenty-one absent, postal voters', etc., claims were issued, the result of which will probably slightly increase the Labour candidate's majority of 1752. It'will be seen that the Nationalist candidate has increased the vote polled by the Colition candidate in September, 1933, by 202 votes. Little need be said of the other two candidates—Messrs. Hills and Hamil- y t on _ w hose forfeiture of their deposit „ enhances the Consolidated Fund by p £20, or, say, 2s 8d for each of the c 149 votes received'by them. > ■ g An interesting feature of yesterday's 0 polling is the proximity, at a number t( of booths, of the votes for the Nationalist candidate and the Coalition candi- fj date in 1933. jAt three places he secured n the same number, at three booths 0 there was a difference of' 3 votes, and at eight booths there was a difference t c of 60 votes. In Woolston and Lyttelton the Government candidate polled a an increased vote of 166, and the Lab- a] our vote was reduced by 363. It f t would therefore appear that the c . smaller poll yesterday was mainly responsible for the Labour candidate's c . reduced majority. ti The seat was first won by the Labour Party in 1913 on the death of tl Mr. George Laurenson when the 'late ] c Mr. James McCombs, was successful, p and he represented the constituency until 1933, when Mrs. McCombs was returned by a majority of 2669. The electorate can now boast: of a; unique happening in having had as their Parliamentary "representative father, mother, and son. , , Whether a battalion of Labour members of Parliament in the electorate materially assisted his candidature is w unknown, but Mr. McCombs is to be tl congratulated on his signal victory; j r Mr. Lyons also, for his "lone-hand" d fight, is worthy of admiration as he £, must have realised the formidable task which he had undertaken. s ;

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LABOUR WINS Evening Post, Volume CXX, Issue 22, 25 July 1935

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