Crewes unsuccessfully contested the 1884 election in the Christchurch North electorate against Julius Vogel. At the 1887 election, Crewes contested the Sydenham electorate against Richard Molesworth Taylor. They received 392 and 766 votes respectively, so Taylor entered the 10th New Zealand Parliament.
In 1890, Crewes went to live in Wellington and settled in Newtown. In the 1902 election, Crewes made a last attempt to enter Parliament. He contested the Newtown electorate, but withdrew his nomination before polling day. He died in Wellington on 29 December 1925.
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