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West Maitland - 1864-5 (Roll: 1,247)
Nominations: Monday, 12 December 1864, Polling: Tuesday, 13 December 1864
Candidate Votes Votes %
Green, Peter 328 37.57
Lee, Benjamin (Elected) 444 50.86
Liddell, Andrew 100 11.45
Rochester, George 1 0.11
Formal Votes 873
Informal Votes 19 2.13
Total Votes / Turnout 892 71.53
Persons Voting / Turnout 891 71.45
Notes: Sitting MP Elias Carpenter Weekes did not contest the election. According to his ADB entry, his former roll as Treasurer attracted much odium over the Cowper government's attempt to disguise a growing budget deficit. Benjamin Lee's ADB entry carries interesting comment on the 1864 campiagn in West Maitland. 'In December 1864 Lee contested the Legislative Assembly seat of West Maitland as a free trader in an unusually violent campaign. The three candidates had almost identical policies but published abusive personal squibs. Lee denied such charges as seeking the local police magistracy, employing only Protestants and reducing wages on the company's wharf. He dispensed free grog and won by 116 votes after a riotous week.'
Source: Report of nominations, SMH 14 December 1864, p.7 col.3-6, and Maitland Mercury 13 December, pp.2-3. Most reliable results appear to be Maitland Mercury 15 December 1864, p.2 col.5, though the total for Liddell is corrected 17 December, p.3 col.2.