The 1935 Christchurch City mayoral election was held on 8 May. The incumbent, Dan Sullivan of the Labour Party narrowly beat the conservative candidate, Hugh Acland, a surgeon and World War I veteran. The election attracted nationwide attention, as Christchurch was a Labour-stronghold and due to Acland's widespread popularity, it was regarded as a test whether Labour could potentially win the November 1935 general election.
In 1935, the voting system returned to the initially used first-past-the-post after a ranked voting system had been tried for some years. The country experienced the Great Depression at the time, with high unemployment. Sullivan had been the city's mayor since 1931, when he beat William Hayward.
- Dan Sullivan
Dan Sullivan was first elected to Christchurch City Council in 1915. He had first stood for the House of Representatives in the 1908 election and in 1919, he decisively beat the Minister of Public Health, George Warren Russell, in the wake of the 1918 flu epidemic. Since then, Sullivan had been representing the Avon electorate. Sullivan stood for mayor in 1923 but was beaten by James Arthur Flesher. A Labour Party politician, he was regarded as a moderate.
- Hugh Acland
Sir Hugh Acland was from a prominent Canterbury family. The youngest of John Acland's 11 children, he was a grandson of Christchurch's first bishop, Henry Harper. John Acland was a member of the Legislative Council for a third of a century. Just prior to the election, the engagement of his son Jack was announced to Kit Ormond; her family was equally prominent in New Zealand, and her grandfather, John Davies Ormond, had been Superintendent of Hawke's Bay Province. Hugh Acland was a prominent surgeon who served with the New Zealand Medical Corps during World War I. Acland was knighted in the 1933 Birthday Honours for services to medicine. Acland stood in the election for the conservative Citizens' Association.
Sullivan's selection for the 1935 mayoralty election was announced on 1 February. John Beanland and Ernest Andrews were rumoured as possible candidates for the Citizens' Association, but Acland's candidacy was announced on 25 February.
Sullivan beat Acland by a small margin, with the election resulting in a record turnout. There were significant differences between the preliminary results released on the evening of the election, and the final results three days later.
|Citizens'||Charles Edward Jones||19,463||48.89|
|Citizens'||Alfred Charles Sandston||19,265||48.40|
|Labour||Thomas Henry Butterfield||17,432||43.79|
|Citizens'||Arthur Graham Jamieson||17,147||43.07|
|Citizens'||Frank Driessen Sargent||16,991||42.68|
|Labour||George Thomas Thurston||16,198||40.69|
|Citizens'||James Seymour Middleton||16,007||40.21|
|Citizens'||John Gordon Leslie Vernon||15,009||37.70|
|Labour||John David Carey||13,624||34.22|
|Labour||Joseph William Roberts||12,878||32.35|
|Labour||Arthur Edwin Tongue||12,582||31.61|
|Labour||William Patrick Hickey||11,323||28.44|
|Labour||Alfred John Beauchamp||11,298||28.38|
|Independent Labour||Tommy Armstrong||11,169||28.06|
|Independent||Lancelot Charles Walker||6,849||17.20|
|Independent||Charles Seymour Trillo||4,417||11.09|
|Independent||George Thomas Baker||3,840||9.64|
|Independent Labour||Charles Henry Cole||3,452||8.67|
|Independent Labour||Edward Leslie Hills||3,395||8.52|
|Independent Labour||Jack Selwyn Edwin Wiggs||2,873||7.21|
|Socialist||William Henry Bayard||1,624||4.08|
|Socialist||Herbert Henry Dunkley||1,615||4.05|
The Labour Party won the November 1935 general election and Sullivan was appointed cabinet minister. Sullivan reluctantly resigned from the mayoralty in February 1936, as the heavy workload of a cabinet minister was incompatible with remaining mayor. The resulting by-election on 11 March 1936 was narrowly won by the deputy-mayor, John Beanland, who represented the Citizens' Association. Beanland beat Labour's candidate, John Archer who had previously been mayor from 1925 to 1931.
- "The Municipal Elections". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21423. 15 March 1935. p. 19. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- Watson, James. "Sullivan, Daniel Giles". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- Maling, Peter B. "Acland, Hugh Thomas Dyke". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 7 January 2012.
- McLintock, A. H., ed. (22 April 2009) [originally published in 1966]. "Acland, John Barton Arundel". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
- "News For Women". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21399. 15 February 1935. p. 2. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- Boyd, Mary. "Ormond, John Davies". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- Welch 2015, p. 35.
- "The Municipal Elections". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21424. 16 March 1935. p. 20. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Mr Sullivan for Mayoralty". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21387. 1 February 1935. p. 12. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Candidates for Mayoralty". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21388. 2 February 1935. p. 16. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "The Mayoralty". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21407. 25 February 1935. p. 10. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Sir Hugh Acland to stand". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21407. 25 February 1935. p. 12. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "The Elections". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21471. 13 May 1935. p. 12. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
- "Christchurch City Council". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21473. 15 May 1935. p. 21. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
- "By-Elections for Council". The Press. Vol. LXXI, no. 21647. 4 December 1935. p. 10. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "The By-Election". The Press. Vol. LXXII, no. 21730. 12 March 1936. p. 12. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "Mayor's Reduced Majority". The Press. Vol. LXXII, no. 21732. 14 March 1936. p. 18. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- "City Council Election". The Press. Vol. LXXII, no. 21701. 7 February 1936. p. 12. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
- Welch, David (June 2015). Chippenham Lodge: Linked in History. Christchurch: Heartwood Community Inc. Te Ngakau O Te Rakau.