New Zealand general election, 1908

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New Zealand general election, 1908
New Zealand
1905 ←
17 November to 2 December 1908 → 1911
outgoing members ← → elected members

All 80 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 79.8%
  First party Second party Third party
  Joseph George Ward.jpg William Ferguson Massey 1919.jpg David McLaren.jpg
Leader Joseph Ward William Massey David McLaren
Party Liberal Independent Ind. Labour League
Leader since 6 August 1906 11 September 1903 1908
Leader's seat Awarua Franklin Wellington East
Last election 58 seats 22 seats 0 seats
Seats won 50 29 1
Seat change Decrease 8 Increase 9 Increase 1
Popular vote 209,821 199,332 16,974
Percentage 48.94% 46.50% 3.95%
Swing N/A N/A Increase 388.03%

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The Second Ballot Act of 1908, which did not apply to the Maori electorates, was repealed in 1913.

Summary of results[edit]

Party totals[edit]

Election results
Party Total votes Percentage Seats won
Liberal 209,821 48.94 50
Ind. Labour League 16,974 3.95 1
Socialist 2,521 0.58 0
Independent 199,332 46.50 29
428,648 80

Summary of resultsResults[edit]

The following are the results of the 1908 general election:


 Liberal    Opposition    Ind. Labour League    Independent Liberal    Independent  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1908[3]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates[nb 1]
Avon William Tanner George Warren Russell 541† William Tanner
Awarua Joseph Ward 2,183 William Morris
Bay of Islands Robert Houston Vernon Reed 265 John Charles Johnson
Bruce James Allen 1,393 Joseph Mosley
Christchurch South Harry Ell[nb 2] 1,273 Jim Thorn
Dunedin South James Frederick Arnold Thomas Sidey 1830 Robert Rutherford Douglas
Dunedin West (new electorate) John A. Millar 2,447 James Wright Munro
Franklin William Massey 1,187 John McLarin
Hawke's Bay Alfred Dillon 704 William Russell
Hurunui Andrew Rutherford George Forbes 597 Obed Clothier
Hutt Thomas Wilford 1,538 Richard Shortt
Invercargill Josiah Hanan 848 Arthur Paape
Napier Alfred Fraser Vigor Brown 1,035 Alfred Fraser
Nelson John Graham 14 Harry Atmore
Parnell Frank Lawry 219 Edward George Britton Moss
Waikato Henry Greenslade 493 Allen Bell
Waipawa Charles Hall 50 George Hunter
Waitemata Ewen Alison Leonard Phillips 903† William Joseph Napier
Wellington Central Francis Fisher 143 Thomas Hislop
Wellington East John Aitken David McLaren 427† Arthur Richmond Atkinson
Wellington Suburbs (new electorate) John Luke 1,150 Frank Moore
Māori electorates[nb 3]
Eastern Maori Sir Apirana Ngata Tiki Paaka
Northern Maori Hone Heke Hare te Rangi
Southern Maori Tame Parata Teone Hopere Wharewiti Uru
Western Maori Henare Kaihau 757 Pepene Eketone

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 Māori candidates is unknown or uncertain; note that the Second Ballot Act 1908 did not apply to Māori 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
Bay of Plenty1 William Herries William MacDonald James Gow
Buller James Colvin James Colvin Fergus Ferguson Munro
Chalmers1 Edmund Allen Edward Henry Clark Edmund Allen
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
Eden John Bollard John Bollard J W Shackelford
Egmont1 William Thomas Jennings Bradshaw Dive G P Wake
Ellesmere Heaton Rhodes Heaton Rhodes G Rennie
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 North1 Charles Hayward Izard Alexander Herdman F G Bolton
Wellington South1 New Electorate Robert Alexander Wright William Barber
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.