The 1890 New Zealand general election was one of New Zealand's most significant. It marked the beginning of party politics in New Zealand with the formation of the Liberal Government, which was to enact major welfare, labour and electoral reforms, including giving the vote to women.
All 74 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority
Results of the election.
It was also the first election in which there was no legal plural voting. Multi-member electorates were re-introduced in the four main centres and the 'country quota' (which gave more weight to rural votes) was increased to 28%.
Following the election and the resignation of the previous government headed by Harry Atkinson, John Ballance formed the first Liberal Party ministry, taking office on 24 January 1891. At this stage no formal party organisation existed, but the formation of the Liberal ministry signalled the end of the system by which governments were made up of a loose and unstable coalition of independent MPs and the beginning of the 'party system'.
Electoral redistribution Edit
In December 1887, the House of Representatives voted to reduce its membership from general electorates from 91 to 70. The 1890 electoral redistribution used the same 1886 census data used for the 1887 electoral redistribution. In addition, three-member electorates were introduced in the four main centres. This resulted in a major restructuring of electorates, with 12 new electorates created. Of those, four electorates were created for the first time: Te Aroha, Halswell, Dunedin Suburbs, and Palmerston. The remaining eight electorates had previously existed and were re-created through the 1890 electoral redistribution: City of Auckland, City of Christchurch, City of Dunedin, City of Wellington, Ellesmere, Franklin, Geraldine, and Westland.
74 MPs were elected to the 11th session of the New Zealand Parliament. The Māori electorates voted on 27 November and the European (now known as General) electorates on 5 December. There were 183,171 voters registered in the sixty-two European electorates, which returned a total of 70 members. This figure includes 13,668 voters in the six electorates where there was an unopposed return. 136,337 valid votes were cast in European electorates, including additional votes cast in the four three-member electorates.
Party totals Edit
Note that as the election was held before the establishment of formal political parties, the figures should only be regarded as an approximate indication of the division of political opinion.
|Party||Candidates||Total votes||Percentage||Seats won|
Votes summary Edit
Mackie and Rose suggest there was a 74.4% turnout, based on valid votes cast as a percentage of the registered electors. The official turnout figure is 80.4%, calculated on a different basis (see the Elections New Zealand official results web-site link below for further details of the changing methods used to calculate the official turnout).
The Māori vote, for the remaining four seats, was held on 27 November. Maori electorates did not have electoral rolls so their voting figures and percentages are not included above.
Electorate results Edit
The following table shows the results of the 1890 general election. Six European members were returned unopposed.
- Lawry stood in support of the Atkinson Ministry but changed allegiance to the Liberals in 1891
- The affiliation of many of the Maori candidates is unknown or uncertain
- Sydney Taiwhanga won the election and, despite having died on election day, was declared elected. Taiwhanga also stood in Eastern Maori and came third
- Final results were not reported in contemporary media
- Final results were not reported in contemporary media
See also Edit
- Atkinson, Neill (2003), Adventures in Democracy: A History of the Vote in New Zealand, p.81
- McRobie 1989, pp. 54ff.
- "The New Parliament". Otago Witness. No. 1921. 11 December 1890. p. 17. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 14 November 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- "The General Election, 1890". National Library. 1891. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
- "Parliamentary candidates". The Press. Vol. XLVIL, no. 7722. 29 November 1890. p. 5. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
- "Obituary". The Press. Vol. LVI, no. 16961. 9 October 1920. p. 3. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "Bruce Electoral District". Bruce Herald. Vol. XXI, no. 2219. 28 November 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Election Notices". Otago Daily Times. No. 9975. 29 November 1890. p. 3. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Mr Greenwood's Dry Humour". Observer. Vol. X, no. 618. 1 November 1890. p. 4. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "Public Notices". Grey River Argus. Vol. XXXIX, no. 6871. 26 September 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Hawke's Bay Electorate". Hawke's Bay Herald. Vol. XXVIII, no. 9544. 2 December 1893. p. 3. Retrieved 30 November 2013.
- "Election News". The Evening Post. Vol. XL, no. 127. 26 November 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "General Election". Inangahua Times. Vol. XV, no. 20881. 17 November 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Ashley Electoral District". The Press. Vol. XLVIL, no. 7721. 28 November 1890. p. 8. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Marsden Electoral District". The Northern Advocate. 29 November 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 26 June 2012.
- "Gore". Otago Witness. No. 1918. 20 November 1890. p. 30. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Oliver, Steven. "Kate Wyllie". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
- "The Contest in Parnell". Auckland Star. Vol. XXIV, no. 280. 25 November 1893. p. 4. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
- "History of The Timaru Herald". The Timaru Herald. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "The Maori Representation". Otago Witness. No. 1920. 4 December 1890. p. 15. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Election News". The Marlborough Express. Vol. XXVI, no. 321. 28 November 1890. p. 4. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Telegrams". Inangahua Times. Vol. XV, no. 20887. 1 December 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "By Telegraph". The Southland Times. No. 11568. 28 October 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
- "Maori Electorates". The Press. Vol. XLVIL, no. 7694. 28 October 1890. p. 6. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- Mackie, Thomas T.; Rose, Richard (1991). The International Almanac of Electoral History (3rd ed.). Macmillan.
- McRobie, Alan (1989). Electoral Atlas of New Zealand. Wellington: GP Books. ISBN 0-477-01384-8.
- Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.