THE GENERAL ELECTIONS
»L ♦ v \p SELWYN DTSTRICT. The most exciting and closely contested of any of the elections for the General Assembly was virtually brought to a close yesterday in the Helwyn district. From the first moment at which Mr Reeves entered the field in opposition to the old member, Mr Stevens, the greatest activity prevailed on both sides, and the fnct that the successful candidate hoists a majority of one vote only shows the z?al and energy which must hare been displayed. No previous election for the new Parliament had excited so much interest outside the district, the immediate cause being that the chief difference between the two candidates was in the matter of protection ; and it is not too much to say that the result was anxiously awaited throughout the whole of th§_province. ~- The polling took place yesterday at the Selwyn Road Board office, Leeaton, and the Courtenay Schoolroom, Halkett's Road. The recording of votes commenced at 9 a.m. and closed at the usual hour of four o'clock. During the intermediate hours, the immediate locality of each polling booth was quite in a ferment. Each candidate had a sufficiency of vehicles in his service, and indefatigable committee men to direct the hunting-up of dilatory voters. The electors resident at a distance from the district were also looked after with the greatest care, a large muster of such supporters of each candidate being conveyed to the polling booths, traps starting from Christchurch at an early hour in the morning. The spirit which characterised this section of the electors was of an exceptionable kind, as will readily be inferred from the fact that more than one of Mr Reeves' supporters undertook a journey of nearly one hundred miles to record their votes. In polling these nonres'dent voters each candidnte had his detachment conveyed to the booth where he was likely to be weakest ; thus Mr Reeves' supporters were driven to Lees ton, and Mr .Stevens' to Halkett Road. StSLeeston, being the chief polling booth, was naturally accepted aB the head-quarters of both parties, and both candidates were present during the day. The discussion of general matters of political interest, but more especially^of protection, was freely indulged in by numerous small groups of voters, and though considerable warmth was shown, the greatest good feeling prevailed on both sides. t/-Shortly a<W four o'clock, Mr E. J. I*e? -roe Returning Officer em -rged from the polling boothj and said that although he should not make the official declaration of the result of the poll until the following evening, he would so far satisfy the anxiety of those assemb'ed, as to state that for that portion of the district the votes recorded were— for Mr Stevens, 69 ; and for Mr Reeves, 66. The result was hailed with some cheering, but as no decided opinion could be formed of the position of the respective candidates at the other polling booth, it was of but short duration. V A special messenger wag, however, known 'to he on his way from Hal «ett- Road, and his arrival was very anxiously aw«ited. In about two hours afterwards, he galloped up to Loe's Hotel, and stated the polling at the Cnurtenay end of the district to have been — for Mr Reeves, 36 ; and for Mr Stevens, 32. This made the totals for the whole district, Reeves 102 Stevens 101 ...... i..^( was hailed with most demonstrative cheering by Mr Reeves' friends, who in the heat of the excitement seized their candidate and carried him out on to the road, where further cheering ensued. The official declaration being fixed for the following evening, there were of course, no speeches ; and after a free interchange of congratulations, the electors gradually dispersed.
Permanent link to this item
THE GENERAL ELECTIONS, Star, Issue 838, 2 February 1871
THE GENERAL ELECTIONS Star, Issue 838, 2 February 1871
Using This Item
See our copyright guide for information on how you may use this title.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Christchurch City Libraries (1910-1920).