"A HARD FIGHT"
(By Telegraph—Press Association.) CHRISTCHURCH, June 4. For the by-election there were 15,590 names on the roll, of whom 11,271 cast valid votes., In addition, there were 314 postal votes and 232 absentee votes, which have not yet been credited.
Last October 13,775 votes were cast, out of 15.140 electors on the roll. The result then was:—Mr. Howard 9885, Mr. Ward 3890.
It was agreed by both candidates in the by-election that the only speeches to be given after the result was announced would be those over the air, but after this had been done Mr. Macfarlane was surrounded by a small crowd of admirers in Cathedral Square, the usual spot for election night addresses, and was persuaded to give another short one. He declined at first, but one man called for a show of hands on the proposition, and Mr. Macfarlane had to agree. THOSE WHO DID NOT VOTE. In his address over the air Mr. Macfarlane emphasised, as he did later in the Square, his belief that approximately 2000 Labour voters had refrained from voting through apathy engendered by their firm belief in the result being an easy win ior Labour.
He, paid a warm tribute, in the first place to all who helped him in his campaign, and congratulated Mr. Lyons on putting up a hard fight. "No doubt a large number of Labour supporters took the issue much too cheaply, and simply did not bother to vote. Had the full strength of Labour voters in the electorate gone to the poll the Labour vote would have seen, a much bigger majority," Mr. Macfarlane said. .'..'.
"I believe that when it is all finished, Labour will have a majority of 4000. Though the most desperate efforts ever made in the electorate were made in Christchurch to win the seat from Labour, the electorate has remained radical." Mr. Macfarlane said that the Government was being severely criticised, but, as ftie result of the by-election showed, the majority of the people were still behind Labour firmly. "WATCH AND WAIT." Mr. Lyons said: "As the candidate carrying the National Party banner in the contest, I want first to congratulate Mr. Macfarlane on the splendid vote he .secured. I am satisfied that the vote for the National Party was definitely better than that given the party in the General Election. The vote accorded the Labour Party has been reduced, and, in nearly every booth, the National Party vote has increased. I do take some satisfaction, while congratulating Mr. Macfarlane, at the thought that I obtained this vote off my own bat."
Mr. Lyons said it was not too much to assume that his own vote in the final analysis would be more than 4000. Had the contest been a few months later, he believed the result would have been far different.
"As Nationalists, however, we must watch and wait," he added.
In the Square, Mr. Macfarlane repeated his tribute to Mr. Lyons and described him as a hard critic, who fought hard. There had been no personal animosity engendered .in the fight.
Mr. Macfarlane, who, with Mrs. Macfarlane, was given cheers, said that later he would fulfil his pledge to live in the electorate. He was satisfied that" the Government would weather any storm.
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"A HARD FIGHT", Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 130, 5 June 1939
"A HARD FIGHT" Evening Post, Volume CXXVII, Issue 130, 5 June 1939
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