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March 02, 2021, 12:07:52 AM

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  British Elections 1918-1945
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Author Topic: British Elections 1918-1945  (Read 53308 times)
Filuwaúrdjan
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« on: February 24, 2010, 04:54:23 PM »

Thread for the discussion of, well, British elections in the interwar period plus '45. Setting this thread up now because I'll be trying to make maps at a fairly local level of constituencies during this period (there's quite a lot online that can be used as bases for this now, though its a little more complicated for borough constituencies). Thread can also be used for random discussion of electoral patterns from the period.
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2010, 04:56:15 PM »

Cool. Cool
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2010, 05:03:24 PM »

% vote Labour in Dudley 1918-1945.

1918: 39.8*
1921b: 50.7*
1922: 39.8*
1923: 9.5
1924: 47.9*
1929: 47.6
1931: 43.1*
1935: 45.1*
1945: 62.8*

Bold = Labour win, Asterix = Two Horse Race.

So, yeah, I'm not quite sure which of those is the strangest. I knew that Dudley was (and is) a weird place, but...

Btw, some high Labour profile candidates in Dudley during this period. Oliver Baldwin (Stanley's son) in 1924 and 1929 and William Wedgwood Benn in 1935. The victor of '45 was the unreal George Wigg.

Oh, a note on by-elections. 1921 was caused by the Tory incumbent being appointed to the Cabinet (that was one hell of weird rule). 1941 did not have a Labour candidate (obviously). However, a man advocating 'aerial reprisals against Germany' came within under 2,000 votes of winning.
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k-onmmunist
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2010, 05:59:42 PM »

How did women vote as a constituency in this period? I remember reading they trended Liberal at first but the majority later voted Conservative from 1924 onwards.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 06:19:42 PM »

How did women vote as a constituency in this period? I remember reading they trended Liberal at first but the majority later voted Conservative from 1924 onwards.

There's no way of telling, though we can be quite sure that they didn't vote as women (much as women don't vote as women now), so in some ways the question is moot. Smiley

It was generally believed that women were more likely to vote Conservative than men throughout most of the period. This is, I think, mostly based on the assumption that the wives of Union members were less likely to vote Labour than Union members and that active Anglicans (overwhelming female, then as now) were more likely to vote Tory. Maybe canvassing data comes into it, but I'm not sure.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2010, 06:43:22 PM »

Shropshire!



This is percentage majorities, obviously. Standard keys, though I'll actually post keys up tomorrow (hopefully) to remove all confusion. There's a bigger version in the gallery.

Notes

1. Tories were unopposed in Ludlow in 1918, 1923 and 1924, and in Oswestry in 1935. A Coalition Liberal was unopposed in Wrekin in 1918.

2. Said Coalition Liberal died and his seat was won by a Bottomley-backed Independent in 1920. Said Independent then died and his seat was won by another Bottomley backed Independent, who then joined the Tories and didn't run for re-election. No Tory candidates ran in those by-elections.

3. Brief descriptions of the constituencies...

Oswestry: covered the north of the county. Rural and agricultural, but with small scale manufacturing in various small towns (especially Oswestry itself and Market Drayton) and a tiny coalfield on the border with Wales. It also had an unusually high Nonconformist population for an English constituency that was consistently Tory (though the Liberals came fairly close in '23). This is because Oswestry did not vote as if it were an English constituency.

Shrewsbury: covered the centre-west of the county. Main town was (of course) Shrewsbury, which was still a fairly bourgeois town in those days and was traditionally Tory. Also included a large rural, agricultural area. It seems likely that the Liberal vote was mainly rural (certainly the area around Chirbury has a long Liberal tradition), though I'm not entirely sure.

Wrekin: covered the centre-east of the county. Unlike the rest of Shropshire this was pretty industrial, though still obviously rural. Important towns included Wellington (mostly middle class, probably quite Tory), Oakengates (industrial, usually Labour) and the various old industrial communities around the Gorge (Broseley, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, Dawley, etc. Again, usually Labour). Also plenty of market towns like Much Wenlock, Newport and Shifnal; these would have been Tory.

Ludlow: covered the south of the county. A very, very rural constituency with an economy dominated by agriculture. Seat was controlled by the family of the Earl of Plymouth for most of the period. I suspect that the best area for non-Tories was Bridgnorth (a carpet-weaving town back then) and various tiny rural-industrial towns.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2010, 06:53:26 PM »

Thanks for that Al.

1. ... A Coalition Liberal was unopposed in Wrekin in 1918.

2. Said Coalition Liberal died and his seat was won by a Bottomley-backed Independent in 1920. Said Independent then died and his seat was won by another Bottomley backed Independent, who then joined the Tories and didn't run for re-election. No Tory candidates ran in those by-elections.

Is this Horatio Bottomley, the patriotic fraudster?

Wrekin: covered the centre-east of the county. Unlike the rest of Shropshire this was pretty industrial, though still obviously rural. Important towns included Wellington (mostly middle class, probably quite Tory), Oakengates (industrial, usually Labour) and the various old industrial communities around the Gorge (Broseley, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, Dawley, etc. Again, usually Labour). Also plenty of market towns like Much Wenlock, Newport and Shifnal; these would have been Tory.

This period was long before Telford was built of course.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2010, 07:16:31 PM »
« Edited: February 24, 2010, 09:53:25 PM by Country Matters »

Is this Horatio Bottomley, the patriotic fraudster?

That's the one, yes.

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Yeah, even 45 was a bit less than thirty years before serious development started in 'Telford'. There were still a few active collieries in the area during this period. A different world, in many ways.
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 09:41:33 PM »

Excellent stuff Al. Any chance for some stuff on Scotland and Cornwall during this time period?

(Of course this calls for a similar thread on France!)
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Хahar 🤔
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« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2010, 12:06:39 AM »

Ah, well, this sort of thing is a bit harder to come by for France, now, isn't it?
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« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2010, 07:49:54 AM »

Ah, well, this sort of thing is a bit harder to come by for France, now, isn't it?

Of course, such a thread for France would cover a vaster period, like 1871 to 2010.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2010, 07:59:04 AM »

Excellent stuff Al. Any chance for some stuff on Scotland and Cornwall during this time period?

Do you mean random statistics, maps-and-stuff or both? The answer is "yes" to all of the above, of course.
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2010, 08:10:44 AM »

Excellent stuff Al. Any chance for some stuff on Scotland and Cornwall during this time period?

Do you mean random statistics, maps-and-stuff or both? The answer is "yes" to all of the above, of course.

Mostly maps and some random statistics (which aren't too obscure). All's good, both ways.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2010, 06:59:22 AM »

The main key:



It is worth noting that party label did not appear on the ballot during this period, which can cause confusion in a few cases. Anyway...

CPGB: Communist Party of Great Britain. I will be going against the usual convention and using this colour for the few CPGB candidates elected with Labour support in the early 1920s, as well as for CPGB candidates elected without such formal endorsements.

ILP, etc: Independent Labour Party. Colour will be used for ILP candidate after the break with Labour in the early 30s, for CommonWealth candidates, and, probably, for Independent Labour candidates.

Labour: self explanatory, but will also include National Socialist Party* candidates in 1918.

NDP, NLab: National Democratic & Labour Party candidates in the early 20s and National Labour candidates in the 30s. Traitors to the cause. NDP was basically ex-Labour member who supported the First World War and the Coalition with great enthusiasm. National Labour were the followers of Judas MacDonald.

CoLib, etc: the colour used for any Liberal organisation outside the official party and headed by David Lloyd George. Coalition Liberal in 1918, National Liberal in 1922 and Independent Liberal in 1931.

Liberal: the official Liberal Party.

National Liberal: the right-wing of the Liberal Party broke away during the 1931 crisis. They eventually merged with the Tories in 1948, though some Tory candidates were known as National Liberal & Conservative until the 1960s.

Con, etc: basically the Tories, but things were more complicated than that during this period. It also includes Coalition Conservatives in 1918 and Unionists in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Birmingham. I'm also using the colour to include the small group of anti-Socialist candidates (including a failed ex-Liberal cabinet minister called Churchill) who ran as 'Constitutionalist' in 1924, and for candidates described simply as 'National' in 1931 and 1935.

And now to add to any confusion that might exist... party colours during this period weren't uniform. While most CLPs used red by this period, Labour in Newcastle continued to use green (and would do so until the 1970s) and I don't think it was the sole exception. A lot of local Liberal parties used blue, and in Northumberland the Tories (hilariously) used red due (IIRC) to the influence of the Percy family, while in Cumberland the Tories often used yellow (again, an aristocratic link). Not that I'll be using local colours on any maps, mind.

*The right wing of the old (Marxist) SDF. The left wing ultimately became the CPGB.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2010, 08:20:30 AM »



Again, there bist a bigger map in 't gallery.

Notes

1. A Coaliton/National Liberal was unopposed in Northern in 1918 and 1922. A National Liberal was unopposed in St. Ives in 1931 and 1935 and a Liberal (none other than Isaac Foot) was unopposed in Bodmin in 1931.

2. There were actually two official Liberal candidates in Camborne in 1923. I've coloured it as if it were unopposed.

3. The defeated Liberal ran as a Constitutional candidate in 1924 and has been coloured accoridng to the conventions set out earlier.

4. Brief descriptions of the constituencies... won't be much on voting patterns, as I don't really know enough (besides, personal votes probably account for quite a lot anyway...).

Northern: the northern Cornish coast. Overwhelmingly rural and agricultural (pastoral), with the exception of a few fishing towns, small resorts and the traditionally important town of Launceston on the Devon border.

Bodmin: the other constituency in eastern Cornwall. Again, rural and agricultural. Included the traditional county town of Bodmin and the Plymouth suburbs of Saltash and Torpoint. This would once have included some mining, but not by this point.

Penryn & Falmouth: the one that went Labour in 1945. A very diverse constituency, that included the port of Falmouth, the administrative centre of Truro, St Austell (dominated by Kaolin quarries), and some areas once dominated by metal mining. I think (though will have to check) that the long-dead Cornish copper industry was based in this area. Labour strength would have come from the more industrial areas, not sure about the Tories and Liberals (but then that's always been confusing in Cornwall). The Labour M.P elected in 1945 later re-emerged as a right-wing Tory M.P for South Dorset in the 60s and 70s.

Camborne: the centre of the collapsed Cornish tin mining industry. The great collapse had come in the mid 19th century, but the final collapse (with the exception of South Crofty) came during this period. Main towns included Camborne, Redruth and Helston. I think Redruth was the most Labour, but am not entirely sure. Labour came very close in 1945 and (!!!!!!) 1918 and had an amusingly solid quarter of the vote for most of the period in between. 1918 was almost certainly a fluke, turnout was 41%, but I do intend (one of these days) to find out if there was something else going on.

St. Ives: Lands End to Lizard. Main towns included Penzance and St Ives. The area was then dominated by the fishing industry (though it included some tin mining areas... again... long dead by this point) and had had seriously weird politics (even by Cornish standards) since the end of the 19th century.
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k-onmmunist
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2010, 08:20:53 AM »

This will be very interestng.
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2010, 09:55:28 AM »

Trugarez Al. I know Cornwall votes LibDem to this day partly because of Liberal tradition, but what was the original cause way back when of this Liberal tradition? Celtic fringe opposition to the English-Anglican Tories? Local dynasties allied with the Liberals?
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2010, 10:15:41 AM »

It's not Anglican.
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2010, 10:27:58 AM »

Trugarez Al. I know Cornwall votes LibDem to this day partly because of Liberal tradition,

That's really only true of eastern Cornwell; further west, the Liberal tradition collapsed during the postwar period. Contemporary LibDem success there has a lot more to do with David Penhaligon than anything else.

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Well... basically...

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afleitch
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2010, 03:31:22 PM »
« Edited: February 27, 2010, 04:10:50 PM by afleitch »

I have a blank Scotland map kicking about somewhere...

EDIT: Aha.

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« Reply #20 on: February 28, 2010, 11:11:28 AM »
« Edited: March 02, 2010, 11:06:09 AM by Country Matters »

Are those dots inside what I would call Angus, Fife West, Fife East and Stirlingshire the BURGHS we hear so much about in the 1970's?
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afleitch
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« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2010, 11:41:27 AM »

Are those dots inside what I would call Angus, Fife West, Fife East and Stirlingshire the BURGHS we hear so much about in the 1970's?

Yes; smaller burghs were grouped toghether into District of Burgh's

1918 saw;

Ayr D.B (Ayr, Ardrossan, Irvine, Prestwick, Saltcoats,Troon)D
Dumbarton D.B (Dumbarton, Clydebank)
Dunfermline D.B (Dunfermline, Cowdenbeath, Inverkeithing, Lochgelly)
Kirkcaldy D.B (Kirkcaldy, Buckhaven, Methil and Innerleven, Burntisland, Dysart, Kinghorn)
Montrose D.B (Montrose, Arbroath, Brechin, Forfar, Inverbervie)
Stirling and Falkirk D.B (Stirling, Falkirk, Grangemouth)

Not shown of course are the Combined University seats.
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afleitch
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« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2010, 01:10:06 PM »

I've done 1918 for Scotland with Al's colour sceme...an awful lot of brown. At least it won't last Cheesy. Will post it soon.
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afleitch
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« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2010, 01:30:11 PM »

Tester using Als colour scheme. Where candidates are unnopossed they are coloured in the 'highesty' colour of the range.



And sticking to unform colours...for the eyes



Though once the Liberals implode and Labour start showing up it won't be necessary Smiley
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Filuwaúrdjan
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« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2010, 01:35:42 PM »

Now you have to describe all the constituencies in one go! Cheesy
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