Bromley (UK Parliament constituency)

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Bromley
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County Kent
1918–February 1974
Number of members One
Replaced by Ravensbourne
Created from Sevenoaks

Bromley is a former borough constituency in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Its best-known MP was Harold Macmillan (Prime Minister 1957-1963).

Boundaries[edit]

This constituency covered the area based on the town of Bromley. It is part of the northern section of the historic county of Kent, which was included in Greater London after 1965.

The constituency, created in 1918, included the Municipal Borough of Bromley and the Urban Districts of Beckenham and Penge. There were some boundary changes in Kent in 1945, when an interim redistribution took place to divide constituencies with over 100,000 voters. This area was altered to include parts of the Municipal Boroughs of Beckenham and Bromley and the whole Penge Urban District.

From 1950 the constituency comprised the whole of the Municipal Borough of Bromley. The constituency was abolished in the redistribution which took effect in 1974. The London Borough of Bromley (a larger area than the previous Municipal Borough) was split into four seats.

History[edit]

This constituency consisted largely of prosperous leafy suburbia and was one of the Conservatives' strongest seats. The character of the area was one of prosperous small businesses, rather than commuting professionals.[citation needed]

Before 1918 this area was mostly the northern part of the Sevenoaks constituency. The first MP for this seat was Henry William Forster, the former member for Sevenoaks. In 1919 he was created the 1st Baron Forster and became Governor-General of Australia in 1920.

The next three MPs were first elected at by-elections (in 1919, 1930 and 1945 respectively).

In 1945 the sitting member died between the day of the election and the declaration of the result, so the opportunity arose for one of the Conservative former ministers defeated in the general election to return to the House of Commons representing an extremely safe seat. Future Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was the lucky beneficiary of the vacancy. He was the most famous MP for Bromley, serving from the 1945 by-election until his retirement in 1964, when he was succeeded by John Hunt. Hunt, on the left of the Conservative party, held the seat (renamed Ravensbourne in 1974) until 1997.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1918 Henry Forster Coalition Conservative
1919 by-election Cuthbert James Coalition Conservative
1922 Conservative
1930 by-election Sir Edward Campbell Conservative
1945 by-election Rt Hon Harold Macmillan Conservative
1964 John Hunt Conservative
Feb 1974 constituency abolished: see Ravensbourne

Election results[edit]

In the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: Bromley

Electorate 54,396

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Leonard Hunt 22,364 59.36
Labour John Francis Spellar 9,328 24.76
Liberal David E A Crowe 5,982 15.88
Majority 13,036 34.60
Turnout 37,674 69.26
Conservative hold Swing +4.3

In the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Bromley

Electorate 49,533

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Leonard Hunt 20,117 52.30
Labour Donald Speakman 10,290 26.75
Liberal Peter H Billenness 8,060 20.95
Majority 9,827 25.55
Turnout 38,467 77.66
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: Bromley

Electorate 49,915

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Leonard Hunt 20,417 52.55
Labour Joseph S Binns 9,090 23.40
Liberal W. Ivor Shipley 8,650 22.25
Independent Nuclear Disarmament A James W Haigh 461 1.19
Socialist (GB) Edmund Grant 234 0.60
Majority 11,327 29.15
Turnout 38,852 77.84
Conservative hold Swing

In the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Bromley

Electorate 48,937

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Maurice Harold Macmillan 27,055 69.99
Labour Albert James Murray 11,603 30.01
Majority 15,452 39.97
Turnout 38,658 79.00
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: Bromley

Electorate 47,954

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Maurice Harold Macmillan 24,612 68.21
Labour Gerald Bernard Kaufman 11,473 31.79
Majority 13,139 36.41
Turnout 36,085 75.25
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: Bromley

Electorate 48,486

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Maurice Harold Macmillan 25,710 65.43
Labour Thomas E M McKitterick 13,585 34.57
Majority 12,125 30.86
Turnout 81.04
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: Bromley

Electorate 47,369

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Maurice Harold Macmillan 23,042 57.26
Labour Mrs. J. R. Elliott 12,354 30.70
Liberal Peter W Grafton 4,847 12.04
Majority 10,688 26.56
Turnout 84.96
Conservative hold Swing

In the 1940s[edit]

Bromley by-election, 1945

Electorate 81,800

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Maurice Harold Macmillan 26,367
Labour Alexander Bain 20,810
Liberal Jaspar Carlisle Sayer 5,990
Majority 5,557
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1945: Bromley

Electorate 81,800

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Edward Taswell Campbell 26,108 44.91
Labour Alexander Bain 19,849 34.14
Liberal Maj. Jaspar Carlisle Sayer 12,177 20.95
Majority 6,259 10.77
Turnout 71.07
Conservative hold Swing

In the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Bromley

Electorate 90,532

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Taswell Campbell 39,741 67.46
Labour Charles Wye Kendall 11,800 20.03
Liberal Henry C Banting 7,370 12.51
Majority 27,941 47.43
Turnout 58,911 65.07
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1931: Bromley

Electorate 80,499

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Taswell Campbell 47,077 83.56
Labour BB Gillis 9,265 16.44
Majority 37,812 67.11
Turnout 56,342 69.99
Conservative hold Swing
Bromley by-election, 1930

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Taswell Campbell 12,782 32.4
Liberal Wilfred Gurney Fordham 11,176 28.4
United Empire Party V C Redwood 9,483 24.1
Labour Albert Edwin Ashworth 5,942 15.1
Majority 1,606 4.0
Turnout 39,383
Conservative hold Swing

In the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Bromley
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Cuthbert James 25,449 47.2
Liberal Wilfred Gurney Fordham 18,372 34.1
Labour Albert Edwin Ashworth 10,105 18.7
Majority 6,077 13.1
Turnout 53,926
Conservative hold Swing


Bromley by-election, 14 November 1945

Mr Harold McMillan, Conservative, 26,367 Mr A Bain, Labour, 20,810 Major J Sayer, Liberal,

References[edit]

  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press, revised edition 1977)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1950-1973, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Research Services 1983)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume III 1919-1945, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1979)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume IV 1945-1979, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1981)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 6)[self-published source][better source needed]

See also[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Saffron Walden
Constituency represented by the Chancellor of the Exchequer
1955–1957
Succeeded by
Monmouth
Preceded by
Warwick and Leamington
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
1957–1963
Vacant
Title next held by
Kinross and West Perthshire