East Sydney by-election, 1903

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A by-election was held for the Australian House of Representatives electorate of East Sydney in New South Wales on 4 September 1903, a Friday. It was triggered by the resignation of George Reid on 18 August 1903. The writ for the by-election was issued on 20 August, nominations for candidates closed on 27 August.


At the time of his resignation, Reid was the leader of the Free Trade Party and the first Australian Opposition Leader. He resigned in protest on the day that a bill was passed in the parliament regarding the allocation of electoral boundaries for the state of New South Wales.[1]


East Sydney by-election, 1903[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Free Trade George Reid 1,697 82.70 +14.67
Protectionist William Maguire 259 12.62 +12.62
Independent John Blake 96 4.68 +4.68
Total formal votes 2,052 98.99 +2.32
Informal votes 21 1.01 −2.32
Turnout 2,073 15.06 −46.65
Free Trade hold Swing +14.67


Reid was returned as member for East Sydney with an increased majority. He was the first member of the House of Representatives to resign, and is currently the only person in federal parliamentary history to win back their own seat in a by-election after resigning.


  1. ^ "FEDERAL POLITICS". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 19 August 1903. p. 7. Retrieved 30 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Commonwealth By-elections 1901–82. Canberra: Australian Electoral Commission. 1983. 

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