Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

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Chap. XV.]              Election Incidents.                           203'
the desire to become a member of the Council of my own County and stood in November 1888 for St. Mary's Ward, East-Bourne, being the ward of my place of residence. Though I had pitted against me a strong candidate, Alderman G. Boulton, on the strength of my canvass I may confidently say that I should have beaten him. But a curious complication upset all the arrangements and calculations. It was found at a late stage, that provision had not been made of separate voting-lists for the St. Mary's and West Wards, and the Local Government Board decided that for the first elections the 2 Wards should be treated as one, and this fusion of the Wards carried with it a fusion of the voting-lists and of the candidates. This brought into the field against me a strong and ambitious Meads candidate, Alderman W. E. Morrison, who coalesced with Alderman Boulton and therefore I had to fight 2 strong candidates single-handed. Against such a combination, my success was evidently imperilled as the poll in the result showed:—
Morrison           .. .. .. .. 593
Chambers            .. .. .. ..471
Majority—Morrison over Chambers 112 Boulton over Chambers 45
Now notice the following analysis of persons voting,. 945 in all:—
For Chambers .. .. .. .. 471
Against.. .. .. .. .. 474
Majority against Chambers .. 3
These figures show the advantage under ordinary circumstances of candidates of a party being as numerous as there are seats to be filled, even supposing that the other candidates of either party are not such strong candidates as the principal candidate of the party. This axiom applies to Parliamentary, and indeed, to all elections of whatever sort. I acted upon it at a by-election a few weeks later to fill the two vacancies caused by Boulton and Morrison, who were Aldermen of the
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