New Zealand general election, 1908

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1908 general election
New Zealand
1905 ←
17 November to 2 December 1908 → 1911

All 80 seats in the House of Representatives of New Zealand
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 79.8%
  First party Second party
  Joseph George Ward.jpg No image.png
Leader Joseph Ward No Leader
Party Liberal Independent
Leader since 1906
Leader's seat Awarua
Last election 58 seats 22 seats
Seats won 50 29
Seat change Decrease 8 Increase 9
Popular vote 209,821 N/A
Percentage 48.63% N/A
Swing N/A N/A

Prime Minister before election

Joseph Ward

Prime Minister-designate

Joseph Ward

The New Zealand general election of 1908 was held on Tuesday, 17 November, 24 November and 1 December in the general electorates, and on Wednesday, 2 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 17th session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 537,003 (79.8%) voters turned out to vote.[1]

The Second Ballot Act 1908 provided for second or runoff ballots between the top two candidates where the top candidate did not get an absolute majority. The second ballot was held seven days after the first ballot except in ten large rural seats, where fourteen days were allowed. In 1908, 22 second ballots were held on 24 November and one (Bay of Plenty) on 1 December. At the 1911 election, all 30 second ballots were held seven days later.[2] Two 1909 by-elections (in Rangitikei and Thames) also required second ballots.

The Second Ballot Act of 1908, which did not apply to the Maori electorates, was repealed in 1913.


The following are the results of the 1908 general election:


 Liberal    Opposition    Ind. Labour League    Independent  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1908[3]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates[nb 1]
Christchurch South Harry Ell[nb 2] 1,273 Jim Thorn (Ind. Labour League)
Wellington East John Aitken David McLaren 427† Arthur Richmond Atkinson (Opposition)
Māori electorates[nb 3]
Eastern Maori Sir Apirana Ngata Tiki Paaka (N/A)
Northern Maori Hone Heke Hare te Rangi (N/A)
Southern Maori Tame Parata Teone Hopere Wharewiti Uru (N/A)
Western Maori Henare Kaihau 757 Pepene Eketone (N/A)

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ † in Majority column depicts electorates in which a second ballot was held.
  2. ^ Harry Ell was previously associated with the Liberal Party.
  3. ^ The affiliation of many of the Maori candidates is unknown or uncertain; note that the Second Ballot Act 1908 did not apply to Maori constituencies.
Electorate Incumbent Winner Second Place
Ashburton1 John McLachlan William Nosworthy Frederick Flatman
Auckland Central Alfred Kidd Albert Glover Alfred Kidd
Auckland East Frederick Baume Frederick Baume W Richardson
Auckland West Charles Poole Charles Poole R Thompson
Avon1 William Tanner George Russell William Tanner
Awarua Joseph Ward Joseph Ward W A Morris
Bay of Islands Robert Houston Vernon Reed J C Johnson
Bay of Plenty1 William Herries William MacDonald James Gow
Bruce James Allen James Allen J Mosley
Buller James Colvin James Colvin Fergus Ferguson Munro
Chalmers1 Edmund Allen Edward Henry Clark Edmund Allen
Christchurch East Thomas Davey Thomas Davey James McCombs
Christchurch North Charles Gray Tommy Taylor Charles Gray
Clutha Alexander Malcolm Alexander Malcolm Frank Isitt
Dunedin Central John A. Millar James Frederick Arnold J McDonald
Dunedin North1 Alfred Richard Barclay George Thomson Alfred Richard Barclay
Dunedin South James Frederick Arnold Thomas Sidey R R Douglas
Dunedin West New Electorate John A. Millar James Wright Munro
Eastern Maori Apirana Ngata Apirana Ngata Tiki Paaka
Eden John Bollard John Bollard J W Shackelford
Egmont1 William Thomas Jennings Bradshaw Dive G P Wake
Ellesmere Heaton Rhodes Heaton Rhodes G Rennie
Franklin William Massey William Massey J W McLarin
Geraldine1 Frederick Flatman Thomas Buxton W Jeffries
Gisborne1 New Electorate James Carroll G E Darton
Grey Arthur Guinness Arthur Guinness J Kerr
Grey Lynn George Fowlds George Fowlds O Nicholson
Hawke's Bay1 Alfred Dillon Alfred Dillon William Russell
Hurunui1 Andrew Rutherford George Forbes O F Clothier
Hutt Thomas Wilford Thomas Wilford R W Shortt
Invercargill Josiah Hanan Josiah Hanan A A Paape
Kaiapoi David Buddo David Buddo R Moore
Kaipara John Stallworthy John Stallworthy Alfred Harding
Lyttelton George Laurenson George Laurenson Henry Thacker
Manawatu1 John Stevens Edward Newman John Stevens
Manukau Frederic Lang Frederic Lang A A Creamer
Marsden Francis Mander Francis Mander J Harrison
Masterton Alexander Hogg Alexander Hogg J Hunter
Mataura Robert McNab George Anderson Robert McNab
Motueka Roderick McKenzie Roderick McKenzie F W G Smith
Napier Alfred Fraser Vigor Brown Alfred Fraser
Nelson1 John Graham John Graham Harry Atmore
Northern Maori Hone Heke Hone Heke Hare te Rangi
Oamaru Thomas Young Duncan Thomas Young Duncan J Mitchell
Ohinemuri1 Hugh Poland Hugh Poland Frederick Haselden
Oroua Frank Lethbridge David Guthrie O C Pleasants
Otaki William Hughes Field William Hughes Field B P Brown
Pahiatua1 Robert Beatson Ross Robert Beatson Ross J C Cooper
Palmerston1 William Wood David Buick William Wood
Parnell Frank Lawry Frank Lawry Edward George Britton Moss
Patea Walter Symes George Pearce Charles E. Major
Rangitikei Arthur Remington Arthur Remington R W Smith
Riccarton George Witty George Witty George Sheat
Selwyn Charles Hardy Charles Hardy Joseph Ivess
Southern Maori Tame Parata Tame Parata Teone Hopere Wharewiti Uru
Stratford New Electorate John Hine Walter Symes
Taieri Donald Reid Thomas Mackenzie J T Johnson
Taranaki Henry Okey Henry Okey William Malone
Taumarunui New Electorate William Thomas Jennings W T Bowater
Tauranga New Electorate William Herries J A Young
Thames James McGowan James McGowan E Deeble
Timaru1 William Hall-Jones James Craigie W D Campbell
Tuapeka1 William Chapple Robert Scott John MacPherson
Waikato Henry Greenslade Henry Greenslade Allen Bell
Waipawa Charles Hall Charles Hall George Hunter
Wairarapa J. T. Marryat Hornsby Walter Clarke Buchanan J. T. Marryat Hornsby
Wairau Charles H. Mills John Duncan Robert McArtney
Waitaki William Steward William Steward Francis Henry Smith
Waitemata1 Ewen Alison Leonard Phillips W J Napier
Wakatipu William Fraser William Fraser A Martin
Wallace John Charles Thomson John Charles Thomson D MacPherson
Wanganui1 James Thomas Hogan James Thomas Hogan George Hutchison
Wellington Central Francis Fisher Francis Fisher Thomas Hislop
Wellington North1 Charles Hayward Izard Alexander Herdman F G Bolton
Wellington South1 New Electorate Robert Alexander Wright William Barber
Wellington Suburbs1 New Electorate John Luke Frank Moore
Westland Tom Seddon Tom Seddon Henry Michel

Summary of changes[edit]


  1. ^ "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  2. ^ McLintock, A. H. (1966). "Second Ballot System (1908–13)". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "The General Election, 1908". National Library. 1909. pp. 1–34. Retrieved 14 April 2012.