New Zealand general election, 1855
All 37 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
The 1855 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 2nd term. It was the second national election ever held in New Zealand, and the first one which elected a Parliament that had full authority to govern the colony.
The first New Zealand elections had been held after the passage of the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The 1st Parliament did not have the ability to appoint the executive branch (Cabinet) of the New Zealand government, however, and a major dispute arose between Parliament and the Governor. In the 2nd Parliament, Parliament gained the powers it sought — for this reason, some see the 1855 elections, not the 1853 elections, as the beginning of New Zealand democracy.
At the time of the 1855 elections, there were no political parties in New Zealand. As such, all candidates were independents. Governments were formed based on loose coalitions, with prospective Prime Ministers needing to seek support from enough individual MPs to command a majority. This means that nobody could truly be said to have "won" an election — a government usually rose or fell based on its ability to make deals with MPs, not on election results.
In the 1855 elections, voting occurred on a different day for each individual seat. The first seat was elected on 26 October, and the final seat was elected on 28 December. An estimated 9,891 people were eligible to vote, although records are poor for some areas. The number of electoral districts was 24, with some districts electing multiple MPs. The total number of seats was 37. Some parts of the colony were not part of any district, and did not have representation in Parliament.
|Member||Electorate||Province||MP's term||Election date|
|Cuff, JohnJohn Cuff||Akaroa||Canterbury||First||28 December|
|Campbell, LoganLogan Campbell||Auckland, City ofCity of Auckland||Auckland||First||27 October|
|Beckham, ThomasThomas Beckham||Auckland, City ofCity of Auckland||Auckland||First||27 October|
|Daldy, WilliamWilliam Daldy||Auckland, City ofCity of Auckland||Auckland||First||27 October|
|Merriman, FrederickFrederick Merriman||Auckland Suburbs||Auckland||Second||27 October|
|Brodie, WalterWalter Brodie||Auckland Suburbs||Auckland||First||27 October|
|Carleton, HughHugh Carleton||Bay of Islands||Auckland||Second||24 November|
|Brittin, DingleyDingley Brittin||Christchurch Country||Canterbury||First||20 December|
|Hall, JohnJohn Hall||Christchurch Country||Canterbury||First||20 December|
|Sewell, HenryHenry Sewell||Christchurch, Town ofTown of Christchurch||Canterbury||Second||18 December|
|Cargill, JohnJohn Cargill||Dunedin Country||Otago||Second||11 December|
|Cargill, WilliamWilliam Cargill||Dunedin Country||Otago||First||11 December|
|Macandrew, JamesJames Macandrew||Dunedin, Town ofTown of Dunedin||Otago||Second||11 December|
|Brown, CharlesCharles Brown||Grey and Bell||New Plymouth||First||8 November|
|Ludlam, AlfredAlfred Ludlam||Hutt||Wellington||Second||16 November|
|Bell, DillonDillon Bell||Hutt||Wellington||First||16 November|
|FitzGerald, JamesJames FitzGerald||Lyttelton, Town ofTown of Lyttelton||Canterbury||Second||21 December|
|Parker, CharlesCharles Parker||Motueka and Massacre Bay||Nelson||First||8 November|
|Domett, AlfredAlfred Domett||Nelson, Town ofTown of Nelson||Nelson||First||12 November|
|Stafford, EdwardEdward Stafford||Nelson, Town ofTown of Nelson||Nelson||First||12 November|
|Richmond, WilliamWilliam Richmond||New Plymouth, Town ofTown of New Plymouth||New Plymouth||First||5 November|
|Henderson, ThomasThomas Henderson||Northern Division||Auckland||First||27 October|
|Lee, WalterWalter Lee||Northern Division||Auckland||Second||27 October|
|East, AlfredAlfred East||Omata||New Plymouth||First||10 November|
|Williamson, JohnJohn Williamson||Pensioner Settlements||Auckland||First||27 October|
|Greenwood, JosephJoseph Greenwood||Pensioner Settlements||Auckland||Second||27 October|
|Taylor, CharlesCharles Taylor||Southern Division||Auckland||Second||26 October|
|Graham, RobertRobert Graham||Southern Division||Auckland||First||26 October|
|Elliott, CharlesCharles Elliott||Waimea||Nelson||First||19 November|
|Travers, WilliamWilliam Travers||Waimea||Nelson||Second||6 November|
|Smith, JohnJohn Smith||Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay||Wellington||First||26 November|
|Wells, WilliamWilliam Wells||Wairau||Nelson||First||19 November|
|Fox, WilliamWilliam Fox||Wanganui and Rangitikei||Wellington||First||27 November|
|Clifford, CharlesCharles Clifford||Wellington, City ofCity of Wellington||Wellington||Second||13 November|
|Featherston, IsaacIsaac Featherston||Wellington, City ofCity of Wellington||Wellington||Second||13 November|
|Fitzherbert, WilliamWilliam Fitzherbert||Wellington, City ofCity of Wellington||Wellington||First||13 November|
|Ward, DudleyDudley Ward||Wellington Country||Wellington||First||15 November|
- "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- Wilson 1984.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 102.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 99.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 95.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 126.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 97.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 111.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 138.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 121.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 120.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 106.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 131.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 104.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 140.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 136.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 113.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 148.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 109.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 143.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 144.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 139.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 147.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 107.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 100.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 105.
- Scholefield 1950, p. 146.