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THE ELECTION -FOR GERALDINE.

The polling for the Geraldine election took place on Monday at Teinuka and Goroldino, resulting m tho return of Mr Wabefiold by tho casting voto of tho Returning Officer. Both towns wero crowded with electors and visitors from an early hour m tho morning, and, although party feeling ran high, and great enthusiasm was displayed by the supporters of the respoctivo candidates, complete order and good feeling prevailed throughout tho election. Towards four o'clock, tho hour fixed for tho close of the poll, the excitement became intense, all sorts of rumors, which wero manifestly baseless, being current as to the prospeots of this, that, or tho other candidate. At aboufrthrco o'olock, Mr Wakofleld, who had been absent at Chi'istchurch for some days, owing to a serious domostio aiUiction, arrived at Tomuka by a special train, and on appearing at tho election with tho Hon. Mr Stafford, was received with loud chcors. At a few minutes past four, a telegram from Geraldine announced tho poll there as follows : — Wakoflolcl, Gl; Hnyhurst, 12; Wilson, 10. A goneral impression then prevailed that no majority which either of his opponents could gain at Tomuka would turn tho balance against Mr Wakoflcld, but his supporters oventually discovered that thoy had imniensoly underrated Mr Hayhurst's strength. At about half-past four tho results of the Tomuka poll wero communicnre'.l to Hie public as follows : — Haylmrsi, 00; Wakefield, 41; Wilson, 34; tlms bringing the votes for Mr Wakefield and Mr Hayhurst to 102 each. For a few minutes an impression existed that Mr Huyluuvt had a majority, and his supporters cheered him loudly, shouting "Down with wool," " Down with Wakefiold," and other generous exclamations calculated to raise the drooping spirits of a dofeated candidate. "When, however, it was found that a tio had been polled, all parties cooled down considerably, mid tlic delicate question of "How ■will 'Daddy' vote?" was freely bandied from mouth to mouth. After a strict scrutiny by the Returning Officer and his deputy; the numbers as stated were found correct, and at half -past six Mr Woollcombo appeared m tho Torundah of the Courthouse, where ho found himself vis & vis with an eager crowd of fivo or six hundred peoplo. After stating the number of votes po.l'ed for each candidate^ and mentioning tho circumstance of the tie necessitating his giving a casting vote, he went on to say that, as Returning Officer, ho was obliged by law to decide an election where the number of votes for each of two candidates was tho same ; it must be remembered that as an olector of tho district he had virtually a right to vote for the candidate whom he thought tho beat. He knew ho had a somewhat painful and ombarrassing duty to perform, and that he should cause a soreness to & good many pooplo, but he could not help it. Ho had not voted as an olector at all, but ho should givo his casting voto as Returning Officer m favor of tho candidate whom ho really thought would beßt represent the electors. He should.voto for Edward Wakofiold, •whom he then declared to be duly elected. ?' .

The decision was received with vociforous cheers, -which were renewed and prolonged when the successful candidate appeared on the verandah. Mr Wakefield cordially thanked the electors for returning him, and dssired to express his gratitude for the kindness and farr-play -which ho had received from f riendß and foes alike, from one end of the district to the other. (A. voice: "Soft soap.") No. It was not soft soap. The election -was over, and he had nothing to gain or loso by the terms ho might employ m addressing his friends. He was speaking tho truth, and they knew ifc '.(Chews.) Ho did not ask any elector for his' vote, (a voice ;" That's true, Sir-), and the 102 votes he had gained wero purely voluntary. (Cheers). After a few further remarks, whioh \ wero interrupted by cheers and growla, and nearly brought to a

c'oso through the efforts of one or two stalwart electors to hoist the new member on their backs, Mr Wakefield retired, the crowd cheering nnd making energetic demonstrations of joy or disappointment, according to tho best of their feelings at the moment. Mr Hayhurst, who was receiver! with much enthusiasm, said ho thanked not only those who had Toted for him, but ail the electors, I for coming forward and taking part m the e'wlioii. Mr WakofiVld had the gift of the gab, siml he believed Unit was the only thing which had got him co many votes as ho had. lie believed, too, tliat one vote for Mr Wakefiold had been given wrongfully, an elector I having personated his father of, the same name. Mr Wilson, who was received with laughter and cries of " Old Honesty," thanked the forty-four electors who had voted for him. He hud too Btrong influences against him, what with Mr Wakefield's command of the Preen ("N0.n0," from the crowd), and Mr Hayhurst's local influence. Now that Mr Wakefield was, elected, he hoped he would rpform and not writo such scurrilous articles. (Laughter and uproar.) Mr Wakefield then re-appeared, and encountered loud cheers and cries of " Walk into them," " Give it 'em hot," '• Answer that," &c. Mr Wakefield avid he had no intention of answering anybody. He wished neither to maintain nor to create enmities. He only rose to propose a cordial vote of thnnks to the worthy gentleman who had preBided so ably and impartially ns Upturning Officer. (Loud cheers, aud cries of " Now then Billy," " Spit it. out, Daddy," &c.) Mr Woollcombe said ho was obliged for the vote of thanks. One of the candidates had said something about a vote being irregular, but he had nothing to do with that. He had asked all tho candidates to appoint serutincors. but they had agreed to leave it to him to decide as to the validity of votes. They, therefore, had nothing to complain of. Ho had merely done his duty, and satisfied himself that every person who voted was on the roll. Tho crowd slowly dispersed, the chief topic of conversation being the " doubtfid vote," to which Mr Hnylmrst Imcl referred. It soon became known that an attempt would be mudo to upset tho election, on the ground that a vote had been recorded by a person whose father of the same name, was really the registered olector. Mr J. White, Crown Solicitor, was understood to bo taking a very active part iv urging this objection, and, although it was commonly assorted that Mr Hayhurst had no deeiro to dispute tho validity of tho election, it was yefc maintained by many of Mr Wakefield's opponents, that Mr White would upset him yet. After careful investigation, wo are assured that tho vote m question was unimpeachable, the voter being able to prove registration. There is, wo bolieve, some flaw m tho description of tho qualification, but that, of course, does not at all affect the elector's right to vote. We believe a further objection to Mr Wakefield's election has been subsequently raised, on the alleged ground that the Eeturning Officer voted as an elector after tho close of tho poll; but this is disposed of by the simple fact that Mr Woollcombe never voted as an olector at all, but merely gave his casting vote as Returning Officer. Mr Wakefield's election is therefore, unassailable, and wo have to congratulate the Geraldino electors on their choice. They have undoubtedly secured for their member tSecjrfulidate who presented the most valid cltoK^s to their support ; and we triißt that nothiiVwill ever happen to cause the district of South Canterbury to regret the ' result of this most exciting election.

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/THD18751229.2.14

Bibliographic details

THE ELECTION -FOR GERALDINE., Timaru Herald, Volume XXIII, Issue 1301, 29 December 1875

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THE ELECTION -FOR GERALDINE. Timaru Herald, Volume XXIII, Issue 1301, 29 December 1875

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