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Northumberland - By-election (Roll: 2,439)
Independent gain from Protectionist
Nominations: Friday, 9 June 1899, Polling: Tuesday, 20 June 1899
Candidate Party Votes Votes %
Black, George Ernest Charles Independent 11 0.69
Duffy, Charles James Independent 33 2.07
Melville, William Bede Independent 3 0.19
Norton, John (Elected) Independent 838 52.57
Schey, William Francis Independent 2 0.13
Snape, William Independent 52 3.26
Wheeler, Henry Charles Free Trade 655 41.09
Formal Votes 1,594
Informal Votes 24 1.48
Total Votes / Turnout 1,618 66.34
Cause Category: Death
Notes: Death of Richard Stevenson. This by-election was held the same day as second federation plebiscite, and was completely ignored by the Sydney and Newcastle newspapers. The Gosford Time has had to be relied upon, and it is filled with considerable advertising for the candidates, none of which is very helpful in defining party labels. Wheeler has been given his traditional Free Trade label, others simple described as Independents. As at his previous victory in Sydney-Fitzroy at a by-election coinciding with the first Federal referendum, Norton ran vigorously against the Federal bill. This was despite accepting Barton's endorsement at the 1898 general election. Several adverts were taken out in the Gosford Times pointing out that Norton's stance on the Federal bill couldn't be trusted. However, the best feature of the campaign was the following wonderful quote from the Gosford Times. Describing it as a 'specimen of John Norton's voluptuous flow of abusive adjectives, which some people call good oratory', it quoted Norton as describing 'That rumpty, rotund, rubicund, roaring, raving, ranting, rancous rascal, Wriggler Reid and his equally conscientious colleague and concupiscent congener, Cocky Carruthers'. (Gosford Times, 9 June 1899, p.1 col.2)
Source: Gosford Times, 30 June 1899, p.3 col.3, published declaration by Returning Officer. Booths were published Gosford Times 23 June, p.1, but totals are slightly different from final figures.