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Surry Hills - By-election (Roll: n.a.)
Liberal Party gain from Independent
Nominations: Saturday, 14 July 1906, Polling: Saturday, 21 July 1906
No absolute majority for winning candidate
Candidate Party Votes Votes %
Bruntnell, Albert (Elected) Liberal Party 1,109 30.47
Jones, James Independent 3 0.08
Lawton, Henry Labor Party 888 24.40
Meagher, Richard Denis Independent 961 26.40
Norton, John (Defeated) Independent 679 18.65
Formal Votes 3,640
Informal Votes 40 1.09
Total Votes / Turnout 3,680 0.00
Cause Category: Resignation - Other
Notes: Independent MP for Surry Hills, John Norton, launched a personal attack on William Holman (Labor, Cootamundra) and challenged Holman to resign his seat and contest it against him. Holman accepted the challenge and both members resigned causing by-elections. Surry Hills was held a week before Cootamundra, Norton defeated by Albert Bruntnell, by which time Norton had also withdrawn from the contest in Cootamundra. (Rydon Spann and Nelson) Evatt adds further details to the incident. It arose during an Address in Reply debate which the Speaker had circumscribed by not allowing direct discussion on the recently completed Lands Royal Commission into bribery allegations against Crick and Willis. Evatt argues that Norton's attack was most likely an attempt to remove Labor's best debater in Holman from the chamber while the Royal Commission was discussed. Evatt also says Norton withdrew from Cootamundra early, leaving Holman to fight the by-election against a well-known Liberal. (Evatt pp131-144)
Source: Daily Telegraph, 24 June 1906, p.1 col.6, published declaration by Returning Officer.