Wellington City mayoral election, 1875

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Wellington City mayoral election, 1875
Wellington COA.gif
15 December 1875 1876 →

  William Hutchison, 1882.jpg William Gisborne, circa 1895.jpg
Candidate William Hutchison William Gisborne
Party Independent Independent
Popular vote 658 586
Percentage 52.89 47.11

Mayor before election

William Sefton Moorhouse

Elected Mayor

William Hutchison

The Wellington City mayoral election, 1875 was the first election for the Mayor of Wellington held by public vote. The election was won by William Hutchison, who beat William Gisborne.

Background[edit]

Initially, councillors elected one of their own as mayor towards the end of the year, and the role was usually awarded to the most senior councillor. The system changed with the introduction of The Municipal Corporations Acts Amendment Act, 1875, as that legislation stipulated that mayors had to be elected at large (i.e. by eligible voters).[1]

The incumbent mayor, William Sefton Moorhouse, did not stand again, and a farewell dinner was given for him on 1 December.[2] William Gisborne was a strong candidate for the role, but he fell out with the public over him favouring denominational education. In addition, he then announced himself as a candidate for the 1875 general election in the City of Wellington electorate, and that triggered a concerted effort to find a suitable opponent. A 'less than optimal' candidate was eventually secured in William Hutchison, who had been in Wellington for less than two years, and whose newspaper, the Tribune, had failed during that time.[3] One of the local newspapers, The Evening Post, was a very strong supporter of Gisborne, and lost no opportunity to outline the failings of Hutchison to the public.[4]

Election results[edit]

Wellington mayoral election, 1875[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent William Hutchison 658 52.89
Independent William Gisborne 586 47.11
Majority 72 5.79
Turnout 1244

The election was held on 15 December.[6] Hutchison beat Gisborne, and The Evening Post commented that this came as no surprise as Gisborne's stance on education had been misrepresented and twisted without scruple.[7] The defeat caused Gisborne to withdraw from the general election.[3] In December 1876, Hutchison was re-elected unopposed for a second term as mayor.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Municipal Corporations Acts Amendment Act 1875". University of Auckland. 21 October 1875. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Dinner to the Mayor". The Evening Post. XII (131). 1 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Wellington". The Star (2425). 30 December 1875. p. 3. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  4. ^ "Evening Post". The Evening Post. XII (138). 9 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  5. ^ "The Mayoralty Election". The Evening Post. XII (143). 15 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  6. ^ "City Council". The Evening Post. XII (139). 10 December 1875. p. 3. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Evening Post". The Evening Post. XII (144). 16 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  8. ^ "Election for Mayoralty". Auckland Star. VII (2134). 11 December 1876. p. 3. Retrieved 31 March 2016.