1912 Wellington City mayoral election

The 1912 Wellington City mayoral election was part of the New Zealand local elections held that same year. In 1911, elections were held for the Mayor of Wellington plus other local government positions. Thomas Wilford, the incumbent Mayor, resigned due to ill health and did not contest the ensuing election. David McLaren was elected to office as the new Mayor of Wellington, beating three other contenders and becoming the city's first Labour Mayor. The polling was conducted using the standard first-past-the-post electoral method.

1912 Wellington City mayoral election
Wellington Coat Of Arms.png
← 1911 25 April 1912 1913 →
Turnout10,333 (34.40%)
  David McLaren.jpg Augustus Biss.jpg
Candidate David McLaren Augustus Biss
Party United Labour Independent
Popular vote 4,235 2,634
Percentage 40.98 25.49

  John Smith Jr., 1890s.jpg Robert Alexander Wright.jpg
Candidate John Smith Robert Wright
Party Citizens League Independent
Popular vote 1,907 1,557
Percentage 18.45 15.06

Mayor before election

Thomas Wilford

Elected Mayor

David McLaren

BackgroundEdit

Thomas Wilford had been Mayor of Wellington since his election in 1910.[1] An ailing Wilford stood for re-election in 1911 and was unopposed for office. However, his illness worsened and he almost died after complications during an operation for appendicitis from which his health was to never truly recover. Wilford was forced to travel to England for medical treatment.[2] For several months councillor John Smith had acted as Mayor on his behalf before Wilford formally resigned. Smith decided to stand for the position proper himself in the ensuing election. After serving for 11 years as a Wellington City Councillor and 12 years as a member of the Hospital Board, David McLaren stood for the mayoralty.[3]

ResultsEdit

The following table gives the election results:

1912 Wellington mayoral election[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
United Labour David McLaren 4,235 40.98
Independent Augustus Biss 2,634 25.49
Citizens League John Smith 1,907 18.45
Independent Robert Wright 1,557 15.06
Majority 1,601 15.49
Turnout 10,333 34.40

OutcomeEdit

As a result of his victory, McLaren became the first Labour mayor of a major city in New Zealand.[5] Due to McLaren's win at the polls for mayor his seat on the city council was declared vacant. A by-election was held for it a month later where his colleague in the labour movement, Edward Tregear, was successful in winning.[6]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ "Mayoral Elections". The Evening Post. Vol. LXXIX, no. 99. 28 April 1910. p. 8. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  2. ^ Butterworth, Susan. "Wilford, Thomas Mason - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  3. ^ Taylor, Kerry. "McLaren, David - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  4. ^ "The Mayoral Elections". Taranaki Daily News. Vol. LIV, no. 254. 26 April 1912. p. 5. Retrieved 23 May 2016.
  5. ^ Gustafson 1980, p. 42.
  6. ^ Howe, K.R. "Tregear, Edward". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 June 2016.

ReferencesEdit