I Want To Be Elected

Date: 07/05/2015 10:30

As Northern Irish voters go to the polls today, we look back at the Londonderry City by-election of 1913 and the battle between David C. Hogg and, the wonderfully-named, Colonel Hercules Pakenham.

It was an extraordinary contest between two extraordinary candidates. 73 year-old Hogg, a local shirt-manufacturer, was a Protestant and member of the Liberal Party, yet was selected as the Nationalist representative by the Catholic clergy. Pitted against him, Unionist candidate Pakenham was an Irish Unionist who had served previously as Governor General of India and held various army posts, not least as lieutenant-colonel and commanding officer of the London Irish Rifles.

Voting took place on 30 January. The result was exceptionally close. Ultimately only 57 votes separated the two men, with Hogg winning 2,699 votes (50.5%) to Pakenham's 2,642 (49.5%).

This newsreel footage, dated 01 February 1913, shows Pakenham in the aftermath of the announcement. He is seen, buoyed by a crowd of supporters, not betraying any obvious signs of disappointment. Nonetheless, the result represented a severe blow to Unionists, as it gave Nationalists a majority of seats (by one) in the nine-county province of Ulster.

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