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Liverpool Plains - By-election (Roll: n.a.)
Liberal Party gain from Labor Party
Nominations: Wednesday, 2 August 1911, Polling: Wednesday, 16 August 1911
Candidate Party Votes % 2nd Ball %
Ashford, William George Labor Party 2,909 49.97
Perry, John (Elected) Liberal Party 2,912 50.03
Formal Votes 5,821
Informal Votes 91 1.54
Total Votes / Turnout 5,912 0.00
Cause Category: Resignation - Other
Notes: Labor's land policy was to prevent leasehold land being converted to freehold. When Land Minister Nielsen attempted to legislate in this way, H.E.Horne (Liverpool Plains) and W.F.Dunn (Mudgee) resigned in protest. This left the government temporarily without a majority. Holman as Acting Premier requested Parliament be adjourned until after the by-elections, but the Acting Governor declined this request. Rather than face a confidence vote, the Ministry and Speaker resigned leaving the Governor no choice but to adjourn Parliament. Liberal candidate John Perry won by 3 votes, but the result was later overturned by the Elections and Qualifications Committee, requiring a second by-election. (Rydon Spann and Nelson) In the mean time, with the numbers in the Assembly tied, Labor convinced Liberal Henry Willis to accept the position of Speaker. There were amazing scenes at the election on 24 August 1911, bitter debate continuing for hours until Holman again outwitted the Opposition by using the fact Willis was the only nominee to declare him elected and bring the debate to an end. (Evatt pp 215-220)
Source: Quirindi Gazette 25 August 1911, p.11 col.2, published declaration by Returning Officer, booths having been published the previous week, 18 August, p.9 col.1-2. Also see SMH 18 August 1911, p.9 col.8, with booth details published 17 August, p.10 col.1. Same totals from Elections and Qualifications Committee inquiry, which also included the 91 informal votes. (LAVP 1911-12, Vol.2 p.283). On a re-count, the Committee produced a total with both Ashford and Perry on 2915 with 82 informal votes, deciding to void the result.