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CAMPAIGN PROSPECTS

WHAT OCR "SPECIALS" THINK. THE OUTLOOK AT WELLINGTON. Just a, few flfcti'ijr remarks on electoral prospects a* they appear heiv at present. Undoubtedly .Mr Fletcher ;md tho Hun, F. M. I!. Fisher intend going "eves out" for Central. .Mr Fletcher is no orator, having a poor platform style, but ht? is direct, insi;:ti'(it. and evidently determined to oust I lie. .Minister o{ Marine. Ho h:is i*_i up the Labor bogey, but is only just feeling hi* way, and is meeting with considerable success. Mr Fisher, who is an old rampa.igner. is blessed with ;v cuttiut; tongue, but many well-known supporters of Labor have changed their jilkklmj to thin electorate, and "Bob,'' as he is known, may esusiiy puli flown the Ministerial odifi'V.

Mr David M'Laifn i.s well up against I)r Newman for Wellington Fast. Ho hat! a very strmm backing of ]>aboi\ besides a large nutulier of people who regard tho littl- 1 doctor a* of no particular political arcoun 1 .

Ar to the Suburbs, the situation is complicated by M: J. Iv. Fitzgerald (Liberal) and Mr F. T. Moore (Labor). both opposing Mr U. A. Wiight. who is brother-in-law of the editor of the 'Dominion.' Jf either of liis opponents were to draw out under arrangement. Mr Wright (Reform) would die i natural political death. Meanwhile lio 'nelic* on splitting of votes. Mr W. If. Field (Olnkit. who for rears

supported Sir JosopU Ward, i.s finding it ;i difficult ta.sk to explain why he should ] 1 fivo jrono over to ilpforiii. Mr James Kolx'ilfon \l..ibui). who Wfiirwl Mr Mass.'v's support at tho second ballot in 1911, so as to kepp the liberal candidate out for Olaki, proclaims himself «.ife. The R-efoim organisation will possibly beat him in the long run. In WVllimjton North the chances of Mr \V. 11. Tuinlml! (Liberal) appear to be impioving. Hi* wifo its a prominent Roman Catholic, belonging to the Johnston family, who know far mow. about politic* than he due«: but he is a hail-fellow-well-met with all c hisses, not attached to any creed, unless it 1«> that associated with, the totalisa.tor, but has the faculty of making himself popular. Mr TurnbuJl mav well look for whole-hearted support from a largo section of the community. The Hon. A. hj. llordman will, howevor, score a comfortable win. In. Oroiia. Mr Q. If. (iuthrio (Government Whip), whose re-election was regarded a-s certain till lecently, is visibly shaken by Mr .J. Morrison, who is making his •" marble good" all along tho line. Probably Mr Guthrie will bo found too strong in the final run. For the VTaipawa seat Mr A. E. Jul], of county council fame, is facing Mr Goo. Hunter, who got the number of racing permits increased in that constituency. The contest hinges, however, more on land aggregation. Mx Jul! is an old campaigner, though he has never been elected to a seat in Parliament, and he ie making the most of tho aggregation argument. Mr A. H. Hindmarsli (Labor) seems to have a good show for Wellington South. His blatant outspokenness and obrjoue honesty appeal to the proletariat.

I THE OUTLOQK IN NORTH CANTERBURY. More than ordinary interesting contests are in progress for the seats. The only one- upon whicft at present a prediction can be risked with tolerable accuracy is Kiccartou. There -Mr George Witty aits safely ensconced, altnougn tne R-eiorm candidate (Mr Bunn), a. practically unknown man, is said to be gaming ground. Still, Mr Witty is very solidiy entrenched, and 1 do not expect to tet him displaced. The week's campaigning has placed the other seats in an jiiU-i esung position, and raised some questions, t:ie luiJ consequences of which have not yet been fully a e Wit led. 1 snail proceed lo levicw them i in order.

First, as to Avon. Between the onslaught of the Social Democrat* and the steady resistance oi ttie Kefoimcrs, Mi U. \\'. Kusseil is luting ground. J lie workers do not trust him. 'I ney want one of their own Kind in Parliament, and in -Mr Sullivan would cerlanuy nave a gooil representative. The iniK'hght so far hae chiefly been centred uj on tii«*c two gentlemen, but. Mr Acian<l lUetoim), though m the background, lias been uoing sound spade won;. Mr- Russell was baited last evening liy the ."wcia-l iJemociats, ami, becoming defiant, declared : " I beat you befoiv, and I'U beat you again." But it is very doubtful if he can make good his boast, weakened as he is on the one side by the antagonism of Labor, and he is being isappid on the other by his half-and-half views on the Defence question. Previous expressions of opinion against the Defence Act are being brought up against him, and the outcome in all probability will be that he will Kjsc the .-eai. Which of the other two—-Mr Sullivan (Social Democrat) or Mr Acland (Reform) —will gain the verdict it is as yet hard to say. but Mr Acland certainly has a very good chance.

In Christ-lurch Last, with a direct motion of m>-coulidence Criuied against him at his first meeting, the chances of Mr T. H. Davey (the late member) securing re-election on his Independent ticket aTe regarded jig hopeless. Mr Davey's meeting, whiile courteous, was franklyhostile, and the general opinion is that he is politically dead. The strongest opponent in the field so far is Mr Hiram Hunter (Social Democrat). As a serious politician he Is infinitely ahead of Dr Xhacker, who—not to put too fine a point upon it—is regarded merely as a political Merry-andrew. His advent, as 1 wrote the other day. seriously annoyed Mr Hunter, who promptly retaliated" by announcing Ihe agreement lietween Sir Joseph Ward and the Labor forces not to contest certain peai.r. Th.e unofficial intrusion of Dr Thacker was therefore a calamity, and thowed bad tactic* for Sir ■Joseph Ward's party. The outcome will be that Mr Hunter will ]os« a certain proportion of his strength. "With matter* so complicated, there now enter* a further element. A Reform candidate, hitherto lacking, is now announced, in the person of Mr S. D. MaeFarlane. an auctioneer, and a political "dark horse." So far he has had no opportunity of showing his paces, but I understand that he is a good platform man, and with luck in the way things at present stand he may pull off the seat. Matters in this electorate," however, are still too involved to justify any prediction being made.

In the Qvrietcmjrch South electorate the real duel ir. between Mr Harry El] and Mr O. R. Whiting (Social Democrat), with Mr F. B. Hughes (Ministerial) running as a rank outsider. The chances of Mr Ell axa generally regarded as pretty good. Rut Mr Whiting is by mo means an opponent to be despised, and with the diffusive eleii.ent of a third candidate- he might, possibly secure the verdict, on. the night of December 10. For I'hristchureh North Mr L. M. Isit.t will in all probability hold his place. The Reform partv are making a very big effort to ditsplr.ee "him. and have an acceptable, cj'.ndidate in the person of Mr H. F. Toogood, a young engineer, with some gift of language ; but whether he carries ere ugh metal to down such a veteran campaigner as Mi< Ifiitt is doubtful. One factor'that may weaken Mr Isitt's position a little is his outspoken opposition to the Bible-in-sehools Referendum. Its advocatef aro voting en bloc against him, and this fact may jeopardise hi* prospects, but t am inclinedi to think that he will win by a good margin. Though Mr J. .\. Petherick's candidature is not taken senously. he is being chiefly run as an antidote to Mr Isitt's Prohibition attitude. For- Ly Helton Mr J. M'Combs. on paper, ha« a, good hold thereon. His strength lieis in the personal weakness of his opponent, (Mr Miller), who is- a. very ineffective platform man. It is therefore a fight of one cause agjy'inst the other rather than of man against man. The bitterness of the last election has passed away somewhat, and Mr M'Combs is held to have done fairly well' in Parliament. Hut. at the. same time a very determined effort is being made 1o dislexlge him. It. will be remembered that last year he secured his election on the second ballot by only 223 votes, and with the Reformers all out that margin may lie. hridged. Matter? at present are so close that prophecy is risky ; but on the whole I think the odds are slightly in Mr M'Combs's favor.

Fur Kaiapoi Mr Biidrlo in ill-health is .-; Ptrongor man than Mr Bu'l<l<> well ; it:

other words, a strong sympathy votm may secure his return, whereas if he had been well Mi* Jones had a very i_'oorl chain.of dislodging him. Sir Joseph Ward spoke at Hiingiora nn Friday evening .11 Mr Bttddo's favor, and eulogised tlie sick man to good effect.

For Huranul Mr (T. W. Forbes is generally regarded as a. practical certainty. Mr Banks may poll well, but I fancy that ho ■will not be able to " go the distance."' In Selwyn, with the Reform vote *nl:t between Messrs G. Sheat and .1. Hamlet the seat seems to be a gift for Mr Dickie. For EJlesniere little-fear if .entertained but that the popular will successfully <Ii«po:-e of his antagonist (Mr Free). The latter ha* expressed nntiigonism to the Defence .Act —an impolitic thing to do in thirsts troublous times. SOUTH CANTERBURY CHANCES. The election campaign in South Canter hurv is proceeding calmly and uueveui fully. Mr F. H. Smith, the Reform can didato for Tiniaru, who represented W.iitaki in the last j'arliatnent. opened tl:Tiniaru campaign on Tuesday night. ami the meeting, which has been described already in your columns, cannot be -aid i.i have enhanced his prospects apart fro:". the fact that Mr Smith's platform performances do not commend him. his chances arc prejudiced by a split in the Refoi.-.i party. Mr Smith is a three-fifths majority mrfu, and some of the leading lights of fh» party, who are also prominent in \olicense circles, have broken oil' relation, with the Reform League, and declared that thev/will not support Mr Smith. Mr James Craigie has not yet ;i<i dressed the electors, but has met liii friends, who are in great heart. An attempt is being made to undermine Mr Craigie's position by a few people wli<. wish him to he an out-nud-out supporter of the Liberal party led by Sir Joseph Ward rather than to maintain the measure of independence that he exercised during the last Parliament. It is reported that a meeting of Social Democrats on Wednesday night resolved to ask the Liberal and Labor forces to select a candidate as a straight-out supporter of Sir Joseph Ward. the reason given being llutt. Mr Craigie's independent attitude is not satisfactory. It is safe to say. however, that this move is very unlikely to produce any result, and I have the best of reasons for saying that the Leader of the Opposition is satisfied with the present position. Most people who discuss t-he Timani contest express the opinion-Hint lhc only question is how big Mr Craigie's majority will be.

\ 'There will be a straight-out contest i;i j Temuka between Mr ('. J. Talbot (Liberal! | and Mr C. K. Kerr 'lteform). Mr Talbot | is doing far better pint form work than his opponent, who will rely In ;> considerable ! extent on pergonal popularity. Mr Taij bnt, however. is not lacking on this score, and dispassionate opinion inclines to tlvbelief that he will win the «-iL for Hip I Opposition. Tli« Tcniukn content in being | run on very pleasing line-, the candidatemaintaining the friendship which has existed between them for rears past. The two candidates for Ashhnrton- -Mr W. Xosworthy and Mr W. S. Maslin—have spent a good deal of time in the southern portion of their wide electorate. I Tn Geraldiiie and the neighborhood Mr .Maslin's prospects are decidedly pood. lint it is most probable that Mr Xostrorthy will poll heavily in the His return may therefore be looked I'oi' 1 though the margin i> not iikoly to be r. big one. There is n fair pro-peel of the Wailaki scat reverting to the Opposition. Mr Xmton Francis, the P,eform candidate, will poll a big persona! vote at the Waimate end of the constituency, but Mr .lohn Anstey (ex-M.L.C.) appears to be the more popular choice in the southern country i district. During the. past. 10 days Mr j Anstey has been campaigning vigorously : on the south side of the Waitaki, and it j is considered that Mr Mas soy's visit to ' Kurow this week was an admission of Mr j Anstoy's strength in that locality. The. i electorate is a very trying one to work. j but Mr .Anstey is reported to he. thriving |on the strenuous campaign. In this re- ! sport he holds an advantage over Mr i Francis. From a quite unprejudiced standj point it seem ; >afc to predict a very keen ! fight for the Waitaki seat.

THE WEST COAST. The political i-ampaign. is just starting on the West Coast, but the indications point to the re-election of the threo ret'iri.ng members. Mr Toni Suldon has for his opponent Mr .1. .\. Murdoch. Mayor of Kumar."., who ha.o been a. prominent Scddciiito up to the present. In (Jrey Mr If. ] v . Michel is opposing Mr Webb, and will nut up a Ihefter iieht than at the second billot at the hye-elrr lion, but 1 hardly think he. will make up suflicient. leev.av to win.

Mr f'olviu should have an easy vidorv in Bulier. where he will get a. sofid vote against the Reformer, Mr C. Powell. chairman of the JJuller County Council.

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Bibliographic details

CAMPAIGN PROSPECTS, Evening Star, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

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2,285

CAMPAIGN PROSPECTS Evening Star, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

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