Dunedin Central was a parliamentary electorate in the city of Dunedin in Otago, New Zealand from 1881 to 1890 and 1905 to 1984.
The previous electoral redistribution was undertaken in 1875 for the 1875–1876 election. In the six years since, New Zealand's European population had increased by 65%. In the 1881 electoral redistribution, the House of Representatives increased the number of European representatives to 91 (up from 84 since the 1875–1876 election). The number of Māori electorates was held at four. The House further decided that electorates should not have more than one representative, which led to 35 new electorates being formed, including Dunedin Central, and two electorates that had previously been abolished to be recreated. This necessitated a major disruption to existing boundaries.
Thomas Bracken, who at the 1879 election had unsuccessfully contested the City of Dunedin electorate, was the first representative.At the 1884 election, Bracken was defeated by James Benn Bradshaw, but Bradshaw died during the term (on 1 September 1886) and Bracken won the resulting by-election. He served for the rest of the term and then retired.
The 1887 election was contested by Edward Cargill and Frederick Fitchett,and won by Fitchett. Fitchett served one term and then retired. The electorate was abolished at the end of the term in 1890.
When the electorate was recreated for the 1905 election, the election was won by John A. Millar of the Liberal Party, who had represented various Dunedin electorates since 1893. At the next election in 1908, Millar successfully stood in the Dunedin West electorate.
The Dunedin Central electorate was won by James Arnold in that year, who was also of the Liberal Party.At the 1911 election, Arnold was beaten by Charles Statham. Statham was a representative of the Reform Party, but became an Independent in 1919. Statham resigned after the 1914 election, after irregularities in the counting of the vote turned a 12-vote lead for his competitor Jim Munro into a 12-vote loss. Munro, who represented the United Labour Party, and Statham contested the resulting 1915 by-election, which was narrowly won by Statham. He continued to represent the electorate until his retirement in 1935.
Peter Neilson of the Labour Party won the 1935 election. He served for three terms before he retired in 1946. [ citation needed ]He was succeeded by Labour's Phil Connolly in the 1946 election, who served six terms before he retired. Brian MacDonell of the Labour Party won the 1963 election and served seven terms until 1984, when the electorate was abolished. MacDonell then failed to get selected by Labour for the Dunedin West electorate and then stood as an Independent, but he was unsuccessful.
The electorate was represented by nine Members of Parliament:
Independent Liberal Liberal–Labour Reform Labour
|1881 election||Thomas Bracken|
|1884 election||James Benn Bradshaw|
|1886 by-election||Thomas Bracken (2nd period)|
|1887 election||Frederick Fitchett|
|(Electorate abolished 1890–1905)|
|1905 election||John A. Millar|
|1908 election||James Arnold|
|1911 election||Charles Statham|
|1935 election||Peter Neilson|
|1946 election||Phil Connolly|
|1963 election||Brian MacDonell|
|(Electorate abolished in 1984; see Dunedin West)|
|National||Nancy Ruth King||5,493||30.59|
|Social Credit||D A Hood||2,798||15.58|
|National||M B Ablett||5,780||31.57|
|Social Credit||C Howard||2,649||14.46|
|Social Credit||Zorina Vujcich||1,327||7.37|
|Socialist Unity||John Lindsay||32||0.17|
|Social Credit||Colin Aberdeen||1,058||6.50||-2.35|
|New Democratic||Christopher John Murphy||119||0.73|
|Socialist Unity||Jack Marston||105||0.64|
|National||Margaret Mary Reichwein||5,616||32.81|
|Social Credit||Colin Aberdeen||1,515||8.85||-1.99|
|Phoenix Party||Gerald Williams||418||2.44|
|National||J E Farry||6,312||40.57|
|Social Credit||Colin Aberdeen||1,687||10.84||+1.30|
|National||George Robert Thorn||6,469||41.19|
|Social Credit||Colin Aberdeen||1,499||9.54||+3.18|
|Communist||John Leslie Marston||96||0.61|
|Social Credit||Colin Aberdeen||951||6.36|
|Social Credit||Mary King||850||5.46||-11.65|
|Social Credit||Mary King||2,320||17.11|
|National||Leonard James Tobin Ireland||5,698||39.58|
|Democratic Labour||A P Peat||686||4.76|
|National||William John Meade||5,280||36.45|
|United Labour||Jim Munro||3,926||49.33||-0.62|
|United Labour||Jim Munro||3,732||49.91|
|Independent||Charles Robert Chapman||80||9.54|
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