New Zealand general election, 1855


New Zealand general election, 1855
1855 general election
New Zealand
1853 ←
members
26 October – 28 December 1855
→ 1860–61
members

All 37 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
  First party


  Henry Sewell, ca 1872.jpg


Leader Henry Sewell
Party Independent


Leader's seat Town of Christchurch
Last election 37 seats
Seats won 37
Seat change steady
Popular vote N/A
Percentage N/A
Swing N/A

Prime Minister before election

Office Established

Prime Minister-designate

Henry Sewell
Independent

The 1855 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 2nd term. It was the second national election ever held in New Zealand, and the first one which elected a Parliament that had full authority to govern the colony.

Contents

Background

The first New Zealand elections had been held after the passage of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The 1st Parliament did not have the ability to appoint the executive branch (Cabinet) of the New Zealand government, however, and a major dispute arose between Parliament and the Governor. In the 2nd Parliament, Parliament gained the powers it sought — for this reason, some see the 1855 elections, not the 1853 elections, as the beginning of New Zealand democracy.

At the time of the 1855 elections, there were no political parties in New Zealand. As such, all candidates were independents. Governments were formed based on loose coalitions, with prospective Prime Ministers needing to seek support from enough individual MPs to command a majority. This means that nobody could truly be said to have "won" an election — a government usually rose or fell based on its ability to make deals with MPs, not on election results.

The election

In the 1855 elections, voting occurred on a different day for each individual seat. The first seat was elected on 26 October, and the final seat was elected on 28 December. An estimated 9,891 people were eligible to vote, although records are poor for some areas. The number of electoral districts was 24, with some districts electing multiple MPs. The total number of seats was 37.[1] Some parts of the colony were not part of any district, and did not have representation in Parliament.[2]

Results

NewZealandElectorates1853-Labeled.png

Member Electorate Province MP's term Election date
Beckham, ThomasThomas Beckham City of Auckland Auckland First 02011-10-27 27 October[3]
Bell, DillonDillon Bell Hutt Wellington First 02011-11-16 16 November[3]
Brittin, DingleyDingley Brittin Christchurch Country Canterbury First 02011-12-20 20 December[4]
Brodie, WalterWalter Brodie Auckland Suburbs Auckland First 02011-10-27 27 October[4]
Brown, CharlesCharles Brown Grey and Bell New Plymouth First 02011-11-08 8 November[4]
Campbell, JohnJohn Campbell City of Auckland Auckland First 02011-10-27 27 October[5]
Cargill, JohnJohn Cargill Dunedin Country Otago Second 02011-12-11 11 December[5]
Cargill, WilliamWilliam Cargill Dunedin Country Otago First 02011-12-11 11 December[5]
Carleton, HughHugh Carleton Bay of Islands Auckland Second 02011-11-24 24 November[5]
Clifford, CharlesCharles Clifford City of Wellington Wellington Second 02011-11-13 13 November[6]
Cuff, JohnJohn Cuff Akaroa Canterbury First 02011-12-28 28 December[7]
Daldy, WilliamWilliam Daldy City of Auckland Auckland First 02011-10-27 27 October[7]
Domett, AlfredAlfred Domett Town of Nelson Nelson First 02011-11-12 12 November[8]
East, AlfredAlfred East Omata New Plymouth First 02011-11-10 10 November[8]
Elliott, CharlesCharles Elliott Waimea Nelson First 02011-11-19 19 November[8]
Featherston, IsaacIsaac Featherston City of Wellington Wellington Second 02011-11-13 13 November[9]
FitzGerald, JamesJames FitzGerald Town of Lyttelton Canterbury Second 02011-12-21 21 December[10]
Fitzherbert, WilliamWilliam Fitzherbert City of Wellington Wellington First 02011-11-13 13 November[10]
Fox, WilliamWilliam Fox Wanganui and Rangitikei Wellington First 02011-11-27 27 November[11]
Graham, RobertRobert Graham Southern Division Auckland First 02011-10-26 26 October[12]
Greenwood, JosephJoseph Greenwood Pensioner Settlements Auckland Second 02011-10-27 27 October[12]
Hall, JohnJohn Hall Christchurch Country Canterbury First 02011-12-20 20 December[13]
Henderson, ThomasThomas Henderson Northern Division Auckland First 02011-10-27 27 October[14]
Lee, WalterWalter Lee Northern Division Auckland Second 02011-10-27 27 October[15]
Ludlam, AlfredAlfred Ludlam Hutt Wellington Second 02011-11-16 16 November[15]
Macandrew, JamesJames Macandrew Town of Dunedin Otago Second 02011-12-11 11 December[16]
Merriman, FrederickFrederick Merriman Auckland Suburbs Auckland Second 02011-10-27 27 October[17]
Parker, CharlesCharles Parker Motueka and Massacre Bay Nelson First 02011-11-08 8 November[18]
Richmond, WilliamWilliam Richmond Town of New Plymouth New Plymouth First 02011-11-05 5 November[19]
Sewell, HenryHenry Sewell Town of Christchurch Canterbury Second 02011-12-18 18 December[20]
Smith, JohnJohn Smith Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay Wellington First 02011-11-26 26 November[21]
Stafford, EdwardEdward Stafford Town of Nelson Nelson First 02011-11-12 12 November[22]
Taylor, CharlesCharles Taylor Southern Division Auckland Second 02011-10-26 26 October[23]
Travers, WilliamWilliam Travers Waimea Nelson Second 02011-11-06 6 November[24]
Ward, DudleyDudley Ward Wellington Country Wellington First 02011-11-15 15 November[25]
Wells, WilliamWilliam Wells Wairau Nelson First 02011-11-19 19 November[26]
Williamson, JohnJohn Williamson Pensioner Settlements Auckland First 02011-10-27 27 October[27]

Notes

  1. ^ "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. http://www.elections.org.nz/elections/resultsdata/elections-dates-turnout.html. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Wilson 1984.
  3. ^ a b Scholefield 1950, p. 95.
  4. ^ a b c Scholefield 1950, p. 97.
  5. ^ a b c d Scholefield 1950, p. 99.
  6. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 100.
  7. ^ a b Scholefield 1950, p. 102.
  8. ^ a b c Scholefield 1950, p. 104.
  9. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 105.
  10. ^ a b Scholefield 1950, p. 106.
  11. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 107.
  12. ^ a b Scholefield 1950, p. 109.
  13. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 111.
  14. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 113.
  15. ^ a b Scholefield 1950, p. 120.
  16. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 121.
  17. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 126.
  18. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 131.
  19. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 136.
  20. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 138.
  21. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 139.
  22. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 140.
  23. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 143.
  24. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 144.
  25. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 146.
  26. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 147.
  27. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 148.

References

  • Scholefield, Guy Hardy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840-1949. Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840-1984 (4 ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 

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