For the ten seats in this provincial district '(exclusive of Southland) there are twentyfour candidates. In only one district, WaiIhemo, has there been an uncontested election, whilst in Taieri, Waikouaiti, Bruce, and Wakatipu, where there are only two candidates for each seat, there will be a straight-out trial of strength between Ministerialists and the Opposition. OamaTu is in the singular position of having two declared Ministerialists only in the field, .■while the suffrages of the Caver3ham elec- ' tors are sought by an ardent Ministerialist and an Independent with pronounced Ministerial leaning. The City itself will run two complete tickets. The Labour and Liberal Federation combination comprises Messrs Millar, Arnold and Barclay, the two first-mentioned having been selected by Trade Unionists, while Mr Barclay is a nominee of the organisation which embraces all sections of Liberal thought outside the pale of unionism. This latter organisation is undeniably in strong sympathy with the liquor interest. The supporters of the Ministerial Unionist ticket are most sanguine of their ability to cany the entire ticket on Wednesday, and the factors on •which they build their hopes are : — (1) The \ enthusiasm with which their supporters, not •one of whom is a paid man, have rallied to theirstandard ; (2) the solidarity of Unionism which, they declare, has never been so marked since 1890 ; and (3) the completeness of their organisation. It must be admitted that the meetings of the Liberal candidates have been far more successful than those of their opponents. I consider^ however, that the late memfaers, Messrs Scobie Mackenzie, Millar and Sligo, will go back, but I am not able to , place them in order. If there is to be an alteration, it will be Mr Arnold replacing 'Mr Sb'go. »I regard Mr Morrison as quite safe for Caversham, but his majority will to much smaller than he or his friends ex-
pected when his opponent, Mr Warren, entered the field. In Waikouaiti, Mr E. G. Allen is opposed by Mr John White, solicitor, and brother-in-law of the Hon George M'Lean. The key of the position in this electorate is held at Port Chalmers, the headquarters of the Union Company's working staff. The battle rages really round the question of the Ocean n:ail services, and if Mr TOhite, during his campaign, has succeeded in persuading the compauy's employees that there is a real danger of the San Francisco contract passing into the hands of a foreign syndicate, then he will be proclaimed member for Waikouaiti. I still believe that Mr Allen will get the lion's share of the port vote. If so, Ravensbourne, the surrounding district, ancl'Waikouaiti will give him enough votes to ensure his re-election. The issue at Oamara is a personal one, as the candidates are both Ministerialists. Mr Duncan is quite safe to go back. Taieri is the only district where bitterness lias been imported into the contest. Mr Carncross was handicapped at the outset by having to suspend his campaign owing to the dangerous illness of his brother, which terminated fatally. In consequence, he had to abandon visiting and addressing several places, and though his friends proferred their assistance, he insisted on going through with the campaign single-handed. On the other hand, Mr Begg has been most assiduous, and covered an immense deal of ground, visiting every corner of the electorate, and making some stirring speeches. He is .one of the leaders of proliibition, and is in the forefront of the Bible in schools agitation, so that he may be counted on as likely to have the full strength; of the religious and temperance votes. The contest promised to be unusually keen, but on Saturday night, at Mosgiel, he apparently lost ground through having had a posse of police sent out from Dunedin in anticipation of disturbances, and the electors in the township are expected to resent this. Taking the tone of Mosgiel a» an indication, one may safely hazard the opinion that Mr Camcross will again represent Taieri, but he will not have many votes to spare. For Bruce, Mr James Allen is opposed by Mr Crawford Anderson, a farmer at the Kaitangata end of the district, and who for one Parliament represented the constituency. Mr Anderson will get the bulk of the Kaitangata and mining vote, but there is a general impression that Mr Allen will have no difficulty in retaining the seat. The withdi-awal subsequent to nomination of Mr John M'Neil, the second Opposition candidate for Clutha, iias materially strengthened the position of the late member. Mr Thomson has had most trouble in explaining away his vote on the Transvaal contingent, and his alleged apathy in regard to local works, but having lived nearly all his life in the electorate and been its representative in provincial days and almost continually since, he occupies a very strong position. The Ministerial candidate, on the other hand, is a comparative stranger, having only recently come into the district from Milton. ,A third candidate is Mr Malcolm, the Kelso schoolmaster, who will get only the vote of the. extreme prohibitionists. At Tuapeka, Mr Rawlins has the advantage of having two Ministerialists opposed to him. Mr Bennett, the County chairman, was the choice of the local Liberal Federation, but Mr Alex. Fraser would not accept their verdict, and once more is wooing the electors on his own account, with the consolation of knowing that, the only effect of his action will be to render doubly sure tie return of the late member, who, by all accounts, will poll more than the united votes of his opponents. At Wakatipu, Mr Fraser is opposed by Mr Kelly, but the contest is an unequal one. What will operate most against Mr Fraser is the fact that he has ceased to reside in the electorate, but, despite that drawback, he is so well known and respected that no one thinks his seat in the slightest jeopardy.
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OTAGO., Star, Issue 6661, 6 December 1899
OTAGO. Star, Issue 6661, 6 December 1899
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