1888 Hong Kong sanitary board election

The 1888 Hong Kong Sanitary Board election was held on 11 June 1888 for the two unofficial seats in the Sanitary Board of Hong Kong.[1]

1888 Hong Kong sanitary board election
Flag of Hong Kong (1876–1955).svg
11 June 1888 1891 →
Turnout187 (27.95%)
Nominee J. D. Humphreys J. J. Francis
Party Nonpartisan Nonpartisan
Popular vote 71 55
Percentage 37.97% 29.41%

Nominee Robert K. Leigh Alexander McConachie
Party Nonpartisan Nonpartisan
Popular vote 43 18
Percentage 22.99% 9.63%

Elected Members

J. D. Humphreys
J. J. Francis

Sanitary Board was set up in 1883 to supervise and control the practical sanitation of the colony. As its work involved interference with the private affairs of residents it was unpopular with property owners and with the Chinese generally. It could however only make proposals. Their implementation was a matter for the Government.

Originally it consisted solely of official members but subsequently provision was made for nominated unofficial members, and two members elected by ratepayers on the special and common jury lists. Of the 669 persons[2] on the jury lists for the year, 213 voted, with 187 valid ballots and 23 spoiled ballots.

It was the first ever election held in the history of Hong Kong. The elections continued as the Sanitary Board transformed into the Urban Council in 1936 and marked the beginning of the Hong Kong constitutional reform in the post-war period. The Daily Press hailed the occasion saying the day would be ranked as a day of note by the future historians of Hong Kong; for the first time the ratepayers of the Colony had been given a voice in the management of their own affairs.[2]

One of the candidates John Joseph Francis was a leading member of the Hong Kong Association founded in 1893 for improving and popularising the Government.

Overview of outcomeEdit

Sanitary Board Election 1888[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Nonpartisan John David Humphreys 71 37.97
Nonpartisan John Joseph Francis 55 29.41
Nonpartisan Robert Kennaway Leigh 43 22.99
Nonpartisan Alexander McConachie 18 9.63
Turnout 187 27.95
Registered electors 669


  1. ^ Greenwood, Walter (1986). "John Joseph Francis, citizen of Hong Kong, a biographical note". Journal of the Hong Kong Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (26).
  2. ^ a b c George B. Endacott (1964). Government and people in Hong Kong 1841-1962 : a constitutional history. Hong Kong University Press.