A by-election was held for the House of Representatives of Howland constituency of Clarke on June 29, 1957.  This was triggered by the resignation of former Prime Minister and Independence Party leader Ben Goodwin, which occurred on May 20, 1957.  Elections to the Senate of Howland took place on the same day.  It was the first by-election to be held in Howland.

It was contested on the same boundaries drawn for Clarke at the 1955 House election.  At that election, the Independence Party won the seat over the Social Democrats with 67.33 percent of the vote on a two-party-preferred basis, making it Independence's safest seat.  The primary vote was also  in favor of Independence, at 53.17 percent, meaning the incumbent, Ben Goodwin, didn't need to go to preferences to win the seat.

The writ for the by-election was issued on May 23, 1957, with the rolls closing on June 2, 1957.  Candidate nominations closed on June 5, 1957, and were announced the following day.


A total of six candidates took part in the by-election:

  • Matthew Holness (CDP): businessman, contested Clarke for the Christian Democratic Party at the 1955 election.
  • Jacinta Ivey (PFP): local politican, contested Clarke for the Peace and Freedom Party at the 1955 election.
  • Daniel Jenkins (PRG): attorney, contested Clarke for the Progressives at the 1955 election.
  • Aaron Mulholland (CNS): forest ranger.
  • Craig Powell (IPH): former Senator (1949–1955) and Minister for Trade and Economic Affairs (1949–1953).
  • Howard Torres (HSD): former Senator (1949–1955).


Despite a swing toward the Social Democrats of six percentage points, Independence easily held the seat without the need to go to preferences.  In the final count, Independence ended on 61.23 percent of the TPP vote.

Clarke by-election, 1957
Party Candidate Primary
 % PV ±%
  Independence Party of Howland Craig Powell 7,108 52.07 –1.10
  Howland Social Democrats Howard Torres 4,001 29.31 +4.04
  Progressives Daniel Jenkins 1,012 7.41 +2.25
  Christian Democratic Party Matthew Holness 988 7.24 +0.13
  Conservationist Party of Howland Aaron Mulholland 425 3.11 +0.90
  Peace and Freedom Party Jacinta Ivey 117 0.86 +0.22
valid votes 13,651 98.63 +0.26
invalid votes 190 1.37 –0.26
turnout 13,841 83.13 –0.42
Two-party-preferred result
  Independence Party of Howland Craig Powell 8,358 61.23 –6.11
  Howland Social Democrats Howard Torres 5,293 38.77 +6.11
  Independence Party of Howland hold Swing –6.11

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