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WIN FOR LABOUR

BY-ELECTION RESULT

MISS HOWARD'S LEAD

The Labour Party candidate, Miss Mabel Howard, won the Christchurch East by-election on Saturday, retaining the seat for Labour. Mr. H. E. Herring (Democratic Labour) was second, and Mr. M. E. Lyons (National) third. Details of the voting are as follows: — Miss Mabel Howard (Labour) .. 4280 Mr. H. E. Herring (Democratic Labour) 2471 Mr. M. E. Lyons (National) 2201 Mr. L. A. Efford ('"Peace"' candidate) 105 Mr. O. J. nF. McKee (Independent Socialist.) 19 Majority for Miss Howard . . 1809 The number of votes cast was 9076, out of an effective roll of 14,835. At the 1938 General Election there were two candidates, Mr. Armstrong (Labour) and Mr. Armour (National). Mr. Armstrong, who had a majority of 7179 votes, polled 10,561 votes and Mr. Armour 3382. Miss Howard's election brings the number of women members in the House of Representatives to four, the | other three being Mrs. Stewart (Labour, Wellington West), Mrs. Dreaver (Labour, Waitemata), and Mrs. Grigg (National, Mid-Canter-bury) . The Prime Minister (Mr. Fraser), who has returned to Wellington after taking part in the by-election campaign in support of Miss Howard, said last evening that the result was very satisfactory. "Miss Howard," he added, "will make an excellent member of Parliament, and her experience in industrial, social, and patriotic work will be very useful in the House of Representatives. She* won the admiration of everyone for the able manner in which she conducted her campaign. Such an endorsement of the Government's policy, both war and domestic, is very satisfactory." "A MYTH SHATTERED." A Press Association telegram from Christchurch says that, commenting on the result, Mr. J. A. Lee said the committee responsible for the Democratic Labour campaign had more cause for congratulation than any of the other

party committees. "The first Democratic Labour venture resulted' in the loss of our deposit. This time our party polled splendidly, if not successfully. A further transfer of 900 votes from Labour to Democratic Labour on the present figures would have won the seat. This transfer will occur rapidly everywhere." Mr. Lee claimed that his party had gained at least 2471 votes, while Labour had lost about 6000 and the Nationalists about 1000. If that process continued for a few months, he added, it would have remarkable results on New Zealand's political future. "Our party has shattered the myth of the monolithic structure of Labour's vote," said Mr. Lee. "Our party will be reorganised and will go forward at once. The Labour Party as constituted is doomed. It is obvious that preferential voting would probably have defeated Labour in one of its strongest seats and I look to the future with a confidence that must be lacking in Labour's ranks." MR. HOLLAND'S COMMENT. "The outstanding feature of the Christchurch East by-election is the ! landslide of public opinion against the Government," said Mr. Holland, Leader of the Opposition, in an interview. "To record only 41 per cent, of its 1938 vote and to have the third largest majority in New Zealand of over 7000 votes converted into an actual minority .of 500 is something to cause the I Prime Minister furiously to think. "In a desperate effort to retrieve its fast-waning popularity the. Labour j Party threw its heaviest artillery and ■everything right down to its lightest j pompoms into the campaign, with the i result of a fall of 6000 in the Labour vote, which speaks for itself. In 1938 Labour recorded 76 per cent, of the total votes cast, but on Saturday it received less than 50 per cent. Mr. Fraser had something to say during his participation in the campaign about the by-election being the real test, and the public will now await with much interest Mr. Fraser's announcement as to what he proposes to do in view of the landslide vote recorded. "Notwithstanding that a third candidate was in the field to divide the non-Government vote on Saturday che National Party actually scored a slightly increased percentage of the total votes cast than it did in 1938, and this is in one of the very strongest Labour constituencies in New Zealand. The result closely follows the drift in public opinion recorded in the Waipawa, Bay of Plenty, Waitemata and Christchurch South by-elections, in which the Government ran official candidates." CANDIDATES' REACTIONS. "I must say that I am not surprised at the result," said Miss Howard in a radio broadcast. "I expected it, though a section of the people did try to drive a wedge into the solid Labour vote." She thanked Mr. Lyons and Mr. Effovd for having fought such a clean fight. "I knew we were up against a tremendous hurdle when I entered this contest," Mr. Lyons said. "I thank those who voted for me, and I think their number will be increased somewhat when the final votes are counted." Mr. Herring said: "I am very disappointed at the result. I did hope there would be a bigger poll. Though I aru personally disappointed, this vote is a vast improvement on Waitemata where our candidate lost his deposit." Addressing a crowd of about 2500 outside the returning officer's rooms in Worcester Street, Miss Howard said"We told you last night what the result would be. Now I want to warn you once again against the danger of future splits within the Labour Party " Sho congratulated Messrs. Lyons and Efford. A voice: What about Herring? "No," said Miss Howard decidedly '•1 told you last night about Mr. Herring." (Cheers and boos.) Mr. Lyons, who had a mixed reception, said: "The writing is on the wall for the Government. The Labour majority of 7000 was reduced to a minority of 500 tonight." Uproar greeted this statement. ISSUE OF CARDS. Though a breach of the Electoral Am by the Labour Party was alleged on Saturday, no official protests have been made and it is understood that no other action is likely. Complaints were made that memorandum cards on which electors could record their roll number and bearing the photograph of Miss Howard, had been issued, and that these might influence voting, constituting a breach of the Electoral Act. The returning officer, Mr. C. J. Mo Cree. said any decision about possible proceedings rested with the police. Ho had given a warning that publication and distribution of the cards bearing the photograph might constitute an infringement. Mr. McCrce said the Labour Party organiser, Mr. Osborne,

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/EP19430208.2.34

Bibliographic details

WIN FOR LABOUR, Evening Post, Volume CXXXV, Issue 32, 8 February 1943

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1,069

WIN FOR LABOUR Evening Post, Volume CXXXV, Issue 32, 8 February 1943

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