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Paddington - By-election (Roll: n.a.)
Retained by Labor Party
Nominations: Friday, 18 July 1919, Polling: Saturday, 26 July 1919
Not contested by both major parties
Candidate Party Votes % 2nd Ball %
Birt, John Edward (Elected) Labor Party 2,678 88.12
Jones, James Independent 153 5.03
Silvey-Reardon, Arthur Socialist 208 6.84
Formal Votes 3,039
Informal Votes 0 0.00
Total Votes / Turnout 3,039 0.00
Cause Category: Death
Notes: Writ issued by Governor due to the Speaker's position being vacant. L.J.O'Hara had been elected at the previous by-election on 24 May, but died on 14 June without having been sworn in as an MP. He had been attending the Labor conference the week before his death, but after leaving conference on the Thursday, was struck down with pneumonic influenza and died on the Saturday. While the 'Spanish flu' had swept the world at the end of the First World War, it arrived late in Australia and was a major public health crisis at this time. (SMH report on death, 16 May 1919, p.8 col.5) Evatt (p355) provides a different story, suggesting O'Hara was already in the death throws of consumption when he was elected.
Source: SMH 29 July 1919, p.5 col.8, published declaration by returning officer. Report of result, SMH 28 July, p.8 col.7.