1914 Wellington City mayoral election

The 1914 Wellington City mayoral by-election was part of the New Zealand local elections held that same year. The polling was conducted using the standard first-past-the-post electoral method.

1914 Wellington City mayoral election
Wellington COA.gif
← 1913 25 May 1914 1915 →
  John Luke.jpg David McLaren.jpg John Glover.jpg
Candidate John Luke David McLaren John Glover
Party Citizens League United Labour Social Democrat
Popular vote 11,555 4,548 4,369
Percentage 56.44 22.21 21.34

Mayor before election

John Luke

Elected Mayor

John Luke


John Luke had been Mayor of Wellington since his election in 1913.[1] Luke sought re-election against former Mayor David McLaren who was defeated by Luke a year earlier and stood for the mayoralty once again.[2] The third contestant was John Glover, a newspaper editor, who entered the contest for the newly formed Social Democratic Party (SDP), a more radical labour party. The divisions were deepened by McLaren's statement that SDP ringleader Bob Semple (later a councillor) was "as free from political principles as a frog from feathers".[3] Glover's entry cut into McLaren's support base causing his polling to fall sharply from the previous two elections. Regardless of the divided labour vote, Luke won the contest with an outright majority.

The election came at the same time as the 1913 Great Strike, which began on the Wellington waterfront intensifying anti-Labour sentiment which assisted Luke in increasing his majority.[3]


The following table gives the election results:

1914 Wellington mayoral by-election[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Citizens League John Luke 11,555 56.44 +5.15
United Labour David McLaren 4,548 22.21 -26.50
Social Democrat John Glover 4,369 21.34
Majority 7,007 34.22
Turnout 20,472


  1. ^ "Wellington City Council". Free Lance. Vol. XIII, no. 671. 10 May 1913. p. 7. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  2. ^ Taylor, Kerry. "McLaren, David - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  3. ^ a b Betts 1970, pp. 133.
  4. ^ "Official Figures". Maoriland Worker. Vol. 5, no. 170. 6 May 1914. p. 8. Retrieved 17 August 2016.