Second Ballot Act 1908
The Second Ballot Act 1908 was an electoral system in place from 1908 to 1913 in New Zealand. It applied to elections to the House of Representatives. It was used in the 1908 and 1911 general elections, and a number of by-elections. It was introduced by the Liberal Government under Joseph Ward, who feared that the emergence of the Independent Political Labour League (IPLL) would split the vote on the political left and thus be beneficial to the conservative opposition, who in 1909 formed the Reform Party. Ward expected that this electoral mechanism would result in all second ballots to be between Liberal and conservative (Reform) candidates. In the Wellington East electorate, however, two Liberal candidates received similar votes and both were eliminated in the first ballot. This left the Labour candidate, David McLaren, face a conservative candidate and with many liberal voters transferring their allegiance to McLaren, he became the only candidate of the IPLL who was ever elected to the House of Representatives.
The following by-elections were held using the Second Ballot Act:
|Electorate and by-election||Date||Incumbent||Cause||Winner|
|Thames||1909||4 February||James McGowan||Appointed to Legislative Council||Edmund Taylor|
|Rangitikei||1909||16 September||Arthur Remington||Death||Robert Smith|
|Auckland East||1910||16 June||Frederick Baume||Death||Arthur Myers|
|Christchurch North||1911||17 August||Tommy Taylor||Death||Leonard Isitt|
|Egmont||1912||17 September||Thomas Mackenzie||Resignation||Charles Wilkinson|
|Grey||1913||17 & 24 July||Arthur Guinness||Death||Paddy Webb|
|Lyttelton||1913||9 & 16 December||George Laurenson||Death||James McCombs|
- Foster, Bernard John (22 April 2009). A. H. McLintock (ed.). Second Ballot System (1908–13). Wellington: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 7 August 2013. Check date values in:
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- Gustafson, Barry (1980). Labour's path to political independence: The Origins and Establishment of the New Zealand Labour Party, 1900–19. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-19-647986-X.
- "Declaration of Result of Poll and Notification of Second Ballot". Grey River Argus. 24 July 1913. p. 1. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "Mr McCombs Returned". Northern Advocate. 17 December 1913. p. 4. Retrieved 13 August 2011.