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Sydney-Phillip - By-election (Roll: n.a.)
Retained by Protectionist
Nominations: Tuesday, 15 October 1895, Polling: Thursday, 17 October 1895
No absolute majority for winning candidate
Candidate Party Votes Votes %
Copeland, Henry (Elected) Protectionist 423 47.32
Dumbrell, William Alfred Ind Free Trade 1 0.11
Hanrahan, James Vincent Ind Protectionist 4 0.45
Hodgson, Ralph Free Trade 303 33.89
Wilson, James Labor Party 163 18.23
Formal Votes 894
Informal Votes 7 0.78
Total Votes / Turnout 901 0.00
Cause Category: Resignation - Other
Notes: RD Meagher resigned over his part in the Dean case. Dean had been charged and found guilty of trying to murder his wife. Despite Meagher having coaxed a private confession out of Dean, Meagher still engaged in a long-running political defence of Dean, ending in a Royal Commission that overturned the judgment. Meagher was unwise enough to brag privately on his success. Forced to admit he had known of Dean's guilt, Meagher resigned from Parliament. While not found guilty of perverting the course of justice, Meagher was struck off the roll of solicitors, and spent the rest of his political career trying to be re-instated. (See Meagher's ADB entry.) Note that Henry Parkes had fully intended to contest this by-election, setting out his platform in a speech reported in the SMH 14 October, p.3 col.5. However, he withdrew from the contest the same day, reported SMH 15 October, p.5 col.5. The report included the bitter text of his letter declining to run because the contest had become bogged down in petty local issues rather than his grand vision of Federation.
Source: SMH 19 October 1895, p.1 col.7, published declaration by the Returning Officer. Note that both Dumbrell and Hanrahan retired from the contest.