Marsden was a former parliamentary electorate, in the Whangarei District and in the Northland Region of New Zealand, which existed from 1858 to 1972. Upon its abolition, Marsden was replaced with the Whangarei electorate.
The initial 24 New Zealand electorates were defined by Governor George Grey in March 1853, based on the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 that had been passed by the British government. The Constitution Act also allowed the House of Representatives to establish new electorates, and this was first done in 1858, when four new electorates were formed by splitting existing electorates. Marsden was one of those four electorates, and it covered the northern area split off from the Northern Division electorate.
The electorate was mixed urban and rural, around the city of Whangarei.
The electorate existed from 1858 to 1972, and the first election was held on 29 November 1859, which was during the term of the 2nd Parliament. James Farmer was the first representative. The second representative was John Munro, who was elected on 27 December 1860, and served the whole term of the 3rd Parliament.
All subsequent representatives have always served full terms.
Thompson acquired the labels 'Marsden Thompson' and 'the member for roads and bridges' in Parliament. He was known for his devotion to the interests of his district, which was desperately in need of good roads, and his only reason for being a Liberal was that the government was the only source of funding for roads and bridges (as with many other Liberals representing country electorates). He was pro-freehold (land), and was opposed to Liberal policies such as labour legislation and old age pensions. In 1908, when he stood unsuccessfully for Auckland West against a sitting Liberal member, he was once more an Independent, and his programme – freehold (land), acquisition of Maori land and opposition to prohibition had not altered.
Alfred Murdoch unsuccessfully contested the Marsden electorate in the 1919 election as an independent Liberal against the incumbent from the Reform Party, Francis Mander. Mander retired at the 1922 election, and Murdoch was elected. At the next election in 1925, Murdoch was defeated by William Jones of the Reform Party, but Murdoch defeated Jones in turn in 1928 when he stood for the United Party. After two parliamentary terms, Murdoch was defeated in 1935 by Jim Barclay of the Labour Party. In 1943, Murdoch, now standing for the National Party, defeated Barclay and won the electorate back, and held it until he retired in 1954.
Members of Parliament
|Social Credit||John Geoffrey Rawson||2,715||16.03||-5.00|
|Labour||O J Lewis||4,830||27.56|
|Social Credit||John Geoffrey Rawson||3,686||21.03||-7.03|
|Labour||O J Lewis||4,943||30.74|
|Social Credit||John Geoffrey Rawson||2,252||14.00|
|Labour||John Swanson Reid||4,353||28.65|
|Social Credit||Robert Arthur McQuillian||2,132||14.03|
|Labour||Mervyn Allan Hosking||5,818||38.65||+7.18|
|Social Credit||William Rodney Lewin Vallance||994||6.60||-5.75|
|Ind. Social Credit||Eva Hill||332||2.20||-16.44|
|Labour||Mervyn Allan Hosking||4,517||31.47||-4.30|
|Social Credit||Eva Hill||2,676||18.64|
|Independent||William Rodney Lewin Vallance||1,768||12.32|
|Labour||Mervyn Allan Hosking||5,030||35.77|
|Labour||Douglas L. Ross||5,470||38.47|
|Democratic Labour||Ernest Petty||398||3.37|
- Registered electors refers to civilian voters only; nationwide, 93,295 servicemen also cast valid votes although their names did not appear on electoral rolls.
|Independent Liberal||St. Claire Jounneaux||163||1.50|
|Labour||William Henry Chetham||1,299||14.60|
|Independent||Albert Hugh Curtis||198||2.23|
|Independent Liberal||Alfred Murdoch||3,387||40.70||-10.22|
|Labour||Arthur Shapton Richards||897||10.78|
|Independent Liberal||Alfred Murdoch||3,752||50.92||+14.90|
|Independent Liberal||Alfred Murdoch||2,118||36.03|
|Independent Labour||Alexander McLean||850||14.46|
|Independent||Albert Hugh Curtis||604||10.27|
|Independent Liberal||Robert Thompson||2,205||59.42|
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- Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
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