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Willoughby - By-election (Roll: 12,459)
Ind Democrat gain from Labor Party
Nominations: Thursday, 2 September 1915, First Ballot: Saturday, 18 September 1915, Second Ballot: Saturday, 25 September 1915
Not contested by both major parties, Second ballot required, Second Ballot changed primary result
Candidate Party Votes % 2nd Ball %
Boland, Michael John Australiam Democrat 4 0.10
Chambers, John Leslie Labor Party 1,753 42.41 2,660 43.25
Clark, Edward Mann Independent 216 5.23
Haynes, John (Elected) Ind Democrat 1,659 40.14 3,491 56.75
Redgrave, Thomas Bede Independent 232 5.61
Willson, John George Independent 269 6.51
Formal Votes 4,133 6,151
Informal Votes 84 1.99 56 0.90
Total Votes / Turnout 4,217 33.85 6,207 49.82
Cause Category: Killed in action
Notes: Labor's Ted Larkin had a distinguished sporting pedigree. He had captained the Newtown Rugby Union club and played for Australia in the first Rugby Union test against the All Blacks in 1903. He defected to the newly formed Rugby League and became the first full-time official of the infant code in 1908. While NSWRL Secretary he convinced the Catholic school hierarchy to adopt Rugby League, and the Catholic school system has remained a bedrock of Rugby League to this day. He resigned as NSWRL secretary in 1913 to stand as a Labor candidate for Willoughby, becoming the first Labor MP elected from the north side of the harbour. Larkin enlisted at the outbreak of the First World War. When struck by illness in Egypt, he was offered passage home but insisted on embarking with the AIF's 1st Battalion to the Dardanelles, drawing praise from Australia's official war historian Charles Bean. At dawn on April 25, 1915, the 1st Battalion landed at Gallipoli and Sergeant Larkin's platoon scaled the heights to Pine Ridge where, late in the afternoon of that historic day, his life ended in a hail of Turkish machine-gun fire. The City Cup final of 1915 was turned into a testimonial for Larkin and raised 171 and one shilling to aid his widow and two sons. (Roy Masters, SMH 26 April 2004) Given the circumstances, Liberal Leader Wade agreed to a truce, but this did not prevent Independent Liberal John Haynes nominating and winning at the second ballot. This produced claim and counterclaim between Holman and Wade about unscrupulous tactics. (See Holman's comments SMH 21 September, p.8 col.8, with numerous comments on subsequent days. See also Evatt pp269-270.) Haynes had been defeated for Liberal pre-selection at the 1913 state election.
Source: First ballot, SMH 20 September 1915, p.10 col.5, second ballot 27 September, p.10 col.4, including booth details. Roll also sourced from SMH.