THE CHRISTCHURCH ELECTION.
[From the Lyttelton Times.]
. The local Conservatives appear to be very jubilant over the prospect of divisions in the ranks o£ the Liberal Party at the approaching election for the city. They do not pretend that a majority of the electors are in sympathy with their politics ; they merely cling to the hope that their opponents may bef oplish enough to continue their dissensions until the day of the poll, and bo open the way for the success of a Conservative candidate. This does not betray a very lofty conception of popular representation, Hut the party that has always opposed the progress of the masses cannot be expected to entef.aip j any. particular repugnance" to the application of the principle of divide and conquer. •'But the Conservatives are building high hopes on a very slender foundation. "At tiie last elections," they tell us, "tHe Ministerial influence in almost eveiy constituency was strong enough to ensure only one man standing. But the infection of parliamentary ambition has spread, and Mr Seddon "#ill find it hard to keep in check his following." To test the accuracy of" this statement we need only turn to the records of the htpt contest in the constituency that Is again engaging the attention vpf the electors.' In If ovember, ' lw3, there were eleven candidates tlot the three Christchurch seats-~ei^fit Liberals and three Conseiyativek It would be difficult tp conceive] _*, state of affairs more favourable to the Opposition. The Liberals were pt_|ctically unorganised, and the Profijbitionists, who had nominated candidates of their own, were certainly quite as strong as they are tp-daiy. But what was the result? TWee Liberals were returned, with the Minister of Education attheir head, ajod the Conservative candidates .'.occupied the':lowest;pontion^\Qh,.thQ.''pp..l.'7 V''^'e.figures are of such interest and sig|u- , ficance at, the present moment, that we make no apology fori , r-_l^i , 'oduQi_ijg. them --rßeeves (L) 543J6, iSmitn ■ ; '(ii>* Md; Collins <L) 3850y <L) 3580' Hoare (L) 3098, Bradbury (L) 2943, Taylor (L) 2043, Hoban (L), 1975, Davie (C) 1846, Evison (0) 1753, George (C) 1646. We may fairly assume that the constituency is just as Liberal— using the term in its broadest sense — now as it was two -years ago. No qne : jiail*; lioneßtiy' claim that the i'reacttbn 1 ' which has been so persistently predicted by the .Conservative Press has even commenced. The tendency is all the other way. The very divisions which afford the Opposition so much satisfaction are really the result of certain sections wishing to move faster than the rest of the party. Of course their impatience constitutes an element ot danger. It is possible for jthe largest majority to be frittered away in factious divisions, but we do mot believe for a moment that the Liberal electors of Christchurch are silly enough to commit such an egregious blunder. In the meantime the donservatives themselves are by no means agreed upon a course of action. One section wants to nominate a candidate of its own, another wishes to join' the Prohibitionists in supporting Mr T. E. Taylor, and a third is anxious to make-terms withthe licensed victuallers. Altogether they appear to be in no better plight than they were on the eve of. the general electidi?.i' lt will be well, however, for the Liberal Party to lose no. time: in repairing th*? divisions in its own ranks. A sub- . stantial victory now—rwhich is easily witbin the reach of the party— wpuld practically settle -the representation of the city for the next four years.
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THE CHRISTCHURCH ELECTION., Star, Issue 5457, 8 January 1896
THE CHRISTCHURCH ELECTION. Star, Issue 5457, 8 January 1896
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