Bristol South East (UK Parliament constituency)

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Bristol South East
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
19501983
Number of members one
Replaced by Kingswood
Bristol East
Created from Bristol East

Bristol South East was a constituency[n 1] in the city of Bristol that returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.[n 2]

The constituency was created for the 1950 general election, mainly from the Bristol East constituency, and abolished for the 1983 general election which saw the revival of Bristol East. In boundary changes for the February 1974 general election, part of the constituency's territory was transferred to the new seat of Kingswood.

Sir Stafford Cripps, won the seat comfortably from holding its main predecessor in 1950, and continued in government with the new seat for just over six months (he was at the time Chancellor of the Exchequer) before resigning from Parliament on health grounds. The last Member of Parliament was Tony Benn who was a Secretary of State (for Industry from 1974-5 then for Energy from 1975-1979), in the latter role the country saw the Winter of Discontent and power shortages. Benn ran in the near-overlapping replacement seat, Bristol East in 1983 and was defeated by Conservative Jonathan Sayeed.[n 3]

Boundaries[edit]

1950-1974: The county borough of Bristol wards of Brislington, St George East, St George West, and Stockwood; and the urban district of Kingswood.

1974-1983: The county borough of Bristol wards of Brislington, Knowle, St George East, St George West, Stockwood, and Windmill Hill.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1950 Sir Stafford Cripps Labour
1950 by-election Tony Benn Labour
1961
(on petition)
Malcolm St Clair Conservative
1963 by-election Tony Benn Labour
1983 constituency abolished: see Bristol East

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 24,878 45.4 −3.7
Conservative J.P. Godwin 22,988 41.9 +7.5
Liberal N.W.H. Tatam 6,371 11.6 −5.4
National Front J.D. Dowler 523 1.0 −0.5
More Prosperous Britain Tom Keen 66 0.1 N/A
Majority 1,890 3.5
Turnout 54,826 78.4 +2.2
Labour hold Swing −5.6
General Election October 1974: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 25,978 49.1 +2.1
Conservative J.P. Godwin 16,605 31.4 −1.6
Liberal R.S. Wardle 8,987 17.0 −0.5
National Front R. J. Bale 775 1.5 +0.2
World Middle Classes Party (WMPC) R. R. Goding 457 0.9 N/A
Marxist-Leninist (England) P. Rowe 79 0.2 N/A
Majority 9,373 17.7
Turnout 52,881 76.2 −5.7
Labour hold Swing +1.9
General Election February 1974: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 26,540 47.0 −8.4
Conservative Norman G. Reece 18,628 33.0 −11.6
Liberal D. R. Grayson 9,870 17.5 N/A
National Front R.J. Bale 757 1.3 N/A
Social Democrat J.H. Robertson 668 1.2 N/A
Majority 7,912 15.0
Turnout 56,463 81.9 +9.9
Labour hold Swing +1.6
General Election 1970: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 29,176 55.4 −6.0
Conservative Norman G. Reece 23,488 44.6 +6.0
Majority 5,688 10.8
Turnout 52,664 72.0 −4.2
Labour hold Swing −6.0

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

  • The 1961 by-election was caused by Tony Benn inheriting a hereditary peerage thus making him ineligible to serve in parliament. Benn stood in the by-election anyway, but due to his ineligibility, the Conservative St Clair was declared the winner. St Clair promised to resign if Benn became eligible to take his seat again, which he did after renouncing his peerage in 1963. Benn was then elected in a further by-election.
General Election 1966: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 30,851 61.4 +1.2
Conservative C.J.R. Pope 19,435 38.6 −1.2
Majority 11,416 22.8
Turnout 50,286 76.2 −1.7
Labour hold Swing +1.2
General Election 1964: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 29,117 60.2 +4.0
Conservative R.S. O'Brien 19,282 39.8 −4.0
Majority 9,835 20.4
Turnout 48,399 77.9 −1.5
Labour hold Swing +4.0
Bristol South East by-election 1963
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 20,313 79.7 +10.2
National Fellowship Conservative Edward Martell 4,834 19.0 N/A
Independent M. P. Lloyd 287 1.1 N/A
Independent G. Pearl 44 0.2 N/A
Majority 15,479 60.7 +21.7
Turnout 25,478 42.2 −14.5
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
Bristol South East by-election 1961
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 23,275 69.5 +13.3
Conservative Malcolm St Clair 10,231 30.5 −13.3
Majority 13,044 39.0 +17.6
Turnout 33,506 56.7 −24.7
Labour hold Swing +4.0

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 26,273 56.2 −3.3
Conservative Malcolm St Clair 20,446 43.8 +3.3
Majority 5,827 12.4
Turnout 46,739 81.4 +3.5
Labour hold Swing −3.3
General Election 1955: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 25,257 59.5 −5.5
Conservative R. G. Cooke 17,210 40.5 +5.5
Majority 8,047 19.0
Turnout 42,467 77.9 −5.9
Labour hold Swing −5.5
General Election 1951: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 30,811 65.0 +2.4
Conservative J.L. Lindsay 16,555 35.0 +8.2
Majority 14,256 30.0
Turnout 47,366 83.8 −1.2
Labour hold Swing −2.9
Bristol South East by-election, 1950
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Tony Benn 19,367 56.7 −5.9
Conservative J. L. Lindsay 12,018 35.2 +8.4
Liberal Doreen Marjorie Gorsky 2,752 8.1 −1.4
Majority 7,349 21.5 −14.3
Turnout 34,137 61.1 −23.9
Labour hold Swing −7.2
General Election 1950: Bristol South East
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sir R. Stafford Cripps 29,393 62.6 N/A
Conservative R. E. Simms 12,590 26.8 N/A
Liberal Fred J. Goudge 4,463 9.5 N/A
Communist J. F. Webb 524 1.1 N/A
Majority 16,803 35.8 N/A
Turnout 46,970 85.0 N/A
Labour win (new seat)

Notes and References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
  2. ^ As with all constituencies from the 1950s the constituency elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of elections which are held at least every five years.
  3. ^ Tony Benn returned to the House of Commons at a by-election in 1984, elected to serve Chesterfield.
References