1876 Christchurch mayoral election
1876 election1876 mayoral election20 December 1876Christchurchelected by voters on 20 December 1876first election
The 1876 Christchurch City mayoral election was the first election for the Mayor of Christchurch held by public vote.wikipedia
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The 1876 Christchurch City mayoral election was the first election for the Mayor of Christchurch held by public vote.
Since 1875, the mayor is elected by eligible voters and, after an uncontested election, the first election was held in the following year.
The election, held on 20 December, was won by James Gapes, who beat fellow city councillor Charles Thomas Ick. James Gapes was from Essex in England.
The mayor was for the first time elected by voters on 20 December 1876; until the previous year, the mayor was chosen from amongst the city councillors, and they usually elected the most senior councillor.
The election, held on 20 December, was won by James Gapes, who beat fellow city councillor Charles Thomas Ick.
The 20 December 1876 mayoral election was contested by James Gapes and Ick, with Gapes representing working class interests, whereas Ick represented the wealthier part of the population.
In December 1875, when the new act first applied, the incumbent mayor, Fred Hobbs, was the only candidate nominated.
The mayor was for the first time elected by voters on 20 December 1876.
The returning officer, Edward Bishop, thus declared Hobbs elected unopposed on 17 December 1875.
The StarChristchurch StarChristchurch Star-Sun
This was regretted by one of the local newspapers, The Star, as they regarded him as having "discharged his duties with a thoroughness and zeal which will not be readily equalled by his successor."
From December 1876 onwards, George Leslie Lee acted as returning officer for mayoral elections for many years.
Essex, EnglandCounty of EssexEssex County
James Gapes was from Essex in England.
Victoria StreetVictoria Street (Christchurch)Whately Road
He started a glass, paint and paperhanging business in Victoria Street and was a member of many organisations.
Sir John Cracroft Wilson
He was also known as a flutist, giving concerts together with Sir John Cracroft Wilson.
Christchurch CityChristchurch Town Councilcity council
Gapes was first voted onto Christchurch City Council as a city councillor in a February 1873 by-election.
Otago RegionOtago, New ZealandOtago Lakes
He came from Otago to Christchurch in 1870.
Gapes was defeated at the next mayoral election in December 1877 by Henry Thomson, but won another election as mayor in November 1880.
18 Dec 18781878
The 1875 was won unopposed by the incumbent, and the 1876 election was the first that was put to public vote.
local electionsdirectly electednationwide local elections
186521 July 1865inaugural election in 1865
A secret ballot based on the first-past-the-post voting system was used in Dunedin, in contrast to Christchurch and Wellington, where mayors were chosen by the city councillors amongst one of themselves until 1875.