Cambridge University (UK Parliament constituency)

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Cambridge University
Former University constituency
for the House of Commons
1603–1950
Number of members two

Cambridge University was a university constituency electing two members to the British House of Commons, from 1603 to 1950.

Boundaries, Electorate and Election Systems[edit]

This university constituency was created by a Royal Charter of 1603. It was abolished in 1950 by the Representation of the People Act 1948.

The constituency was not a geographical area. Its electorate consisted of the graduates of the University. Before 1918 the franchise was restricted to male graduates with a Doctorate or MA degree. Sedgwick records that there were 377 electors in 1727. For the 1754-1790 period Namier and Brooke estimated the electorate at about 500.

The constituency returned two Members of Parliament. Before 1918 they were elected using the block vote. From 1918, the MPs were elected by the Single Transferable Vote method.

History[edit]

In the early 18th century the electors were mostly Tory. However the Whig ministers of King George I were able to persuade the King to use the royal prerogative power to confer doctorates, so from 1727 the University returned Whig representatives. Oxford University, where the King did not have the same prerogative power, remained safely Tory (indeed often Jacobite) in sympathies.

The leading mid-18th century Whig politician, the Duke of Newcastle, was Chancellor of the University from 1748-68. He "recommended" suitable candidates to represent the institution in Parliament. This practice continued under his successor, another Whig Duke and Prime Minister (1768–1770), the Duke of Grafton (Chancellor 1768-1811). However Grafton was less prominent as a politician than Newcastle had been and less attentive to the University. As a result some of Grafton's choices were criticised, notably that of the Duke's friend Richard Croftes.

Croftes was atypical of a University MP: he was neither the son of a peer (like the Hon. John Townshend, the Marquess of Granby and Grafton's own son the Earl of Euston), a distinguished lawyer-politician (such as William de Grey, James Mansfield and Sir Vicary Gibbs) nor a prominent political figure (like William Pitt and Lord Henry Petty).

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries Pittite/Tory candidates began to be elected. At the start of this political development some of the Pittite MPs, like William Pitt himself (MP for the University 1784-1806), called themselves Whigs. As time passed the division between the 19th century Tory and Whig parties became clearer.

The future Prime Minister, Viscount Palmerston, retained his seat as a Whig after he left the Tory ranks. However by 1831 he was defeated. After Palmerston ceased to represent the University he was elected by a territorial constituency. From then until the 1920s all the University MPs were Tory/Conservative.

Even after the introduction of the single transferable vote in 1918, most Cambridge University MPs continued to be Conservatives.

Members of Parliament[edit]

This is a list of people who have been elected to represent this University in the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

1603 to 1660[edit]

  • Constituency created 1603
Year First member Second member
1604 Nicholas Styward Henry Mountlow
Styward replaced by Barnaby Gough
1614 Sir Miles Sandys Sir Francis Bacon
1621 Robert Naunton Barnaby Gough
1624 Sir Robert Naunton Barnaby Gough
1625 Sir Robert Naunton Sir Albert Morton
1626 Thomas Eden Sir John Coke
1628-1629 Thomas Eden Sir John Coke
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned
Apr 1640 Thomas Eden Henry Lucas
Nov 1640 Thomas Eden Henry Lucas
Eden died 1644 replaced by Nathaniel Bacon
1648 Lucas secluded in Pride's Purge
1654 Henry Cromwell (one seat only)
1656 Richard Cromwell (one seat only)
1659 John Thurloe Thomas Sclater

1660 to 1784[edit]

Year Member Party Member Party
1660 Apr George Monck Thomas Crouch
1660 Jun William Montagu
1661 Sir Richard Fanshawe
1667 Sir Charles Wheler, 2nd Baronet
1679 Sir Thomas Exton James Vernon
1681 Robert Brady
1689 Sir Robert Sawyer Isaac Newton
1690 Edward Finch
1692 Henry Boyle
1695 George Oxenden
1698 Anthony Hammond
1701 Isaac Newton
1702 Arthur Annesley
1705 Dixie Windsor
1710 Thomas Paske
1720 Thomas Willoughby
1727 Edward Finch Thomas Townshend
1768 Charles Yorke
1770 William de Grey
1771 Richard Croftes
1774 Charles Manners, Marquess of Granby
1779 James Mansfield
1780 Lord John Townshend

1784 to 1950[edit]

Year Member Party Member Party
1784 William Pitt the Younger 1 Earl of Euston Whig
1806 Lord Henry Petty Whig
1807 Sir Vicary Gibbs Tory
1811 The 3rd Viscount Palmerston Tory
1812 John Henry Smyth Whig
1822 William John Bankes Tory
1826 Sir John Singleton Copley Tory Whig
1827 Sir Nicholas Conyngham Tindal Tory
1829 William Cavendish Whig
1831 Henry Goulburn Tory William Yates Peel Tory
1832 Conservative Charles Manners-Sutton Conservative
1835 Hon. Charles Law Conservative
1850 Loftus Wigram Conservative
1856 Spencer Horatio Walpole Conservative
1859 Charles Jasper Selwyn Conservative
1868 Alexander Beresford Hope Conservative
1882 Henry Cecil Raikes Conservative
1887 Sir George Stokes, Bt Conservative
1891 Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb 2 Conservative
1892 Sir John Eldon Gorst Conservative
1906 Samuel Henry Butcher Conservative John Frederick Peel Rawlinson Conservative
1911 Sir Joseph Larmor Conservative
1918 Co. Conservative 3 Co. Conservative 3
1922 James Ramsay Montagu Butler Ind. Liberal 4 Conservative
1923 Sir George Geoffrey Gilbert Butler 5 Conservative
1926 Sir John James Withers Conservative
1929 Godfrey Harold Alfred Wilson Conservative
1935 Sir Kenneth William Murray Pickthorn Conservative
1940 Dr. Archibald Vivian Hill Ind. Conservative 4
1945 Henry Wilson Harris Independent

Notes:-

  • 1 Pitt called himself a Whig, but is usually retrospectively regarded as a Tory since most of his followers (whether their background was in the Whig or Tory tradition) came to call themselves the Tory Party in the decade after Pitt's death.
  • 2 Jebb died on 10 December 1905 - seat vacant at dissolution.
  • 3 Co. is an abbreviation for Coalition.
  • 4 Ind. is an abbreviation for Independent.
  • 5 Butler died on 2 May 1929 - seat vacant at dissolution.

Elections before 1715[edit]

Election by Block Vote 1715-1918[edit]

1710s1720s1730s1740s1750s1760s1770s1780s1790s1800s1810s1820s1830s1840s1850s1860s1870s1880s1890s1900s1910s

Elections in the 1710s[edit]

General Election 26 January 1715: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Hon. Dixie Windsor Unopposed N/A N/A
Tory Thomas Paske Unopposed N/A N/A

Elections in the 1720s[edit]

  • Death of Paske
By-Election 19 December 1720: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Thomas Willoughby 176 55.17 N/A
Whig Hon. Henry Finch 143 44.83 N/A
Majority 33 10.34 N/A
Turnout 319 N/A N/A
Tory hold Swing N/A
  • Note (1722): Stooks Smith gives Willoughby 319 votes.
General Election 22 March 1722: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Hon. Dixie Windsor Unopposed N/A N/A
Tory Thomas Willoughby Unopposed N/A N/A
General Election 22 August 1727: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch 221 37.14 N/A
Whig Hon. Thomas Townshend 198 33.28 N/A
Tory Hon. Dixie Windsor 176 29.58 N/A
Turnout 595 (377 voted) 79.70 N/A
Registered electors 473
  • Note (1727): Unusually, for a pre-1832 election, Stooks Smith records the total number of electors for the constituency as well as the number who voted; so a turnout figure can be calculated.

Elections in the 1730s[edit]

General Election 29 April 1734: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Thomas Townshend 222 30.33 -2.95
Whig Hon. Edward Finch 209 28.55 -8.59
Whig -. Goodrick 174 23.77 N/A
Tory Hon. Dixie Windsor 137 17.35 -12.23
Turnout 732 N/A N/A
  • Note (1734): Goodrick was an Opposition Whig

Elections in the 1740s[edit]

General Election 6 May 1741: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Hon. Thomas Townshend Unopposed N/A N/A
By-Election 23 July 1742: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig hold Swing N/A
General Election 26 June 1747: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Hon. Thomas Townshend Unopposed N/A N/A

Elections in the 1750s[edit]

General Election 17 April 1754: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Hon. Thomas Townshend Unopposed N/A N/A
  • Seat vacated when Finch was appointed to an office
By-Election 14 June 1757: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1760s[edit]

  • Seat vacated when Finch was appointed to an office
By-Election 14 January 1761: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig hold Swing N/A
General Election 27 March 1761: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Hon. Edward Finch Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Hon. Thomas Townshend Unopposed N/A N/A
General Election 19 March 1768: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Hon. Charles Yorke Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Hon. Thomas Townshend Unopposed N/A N/A

Elections in the 1770s[edit]

By-Election 1 February 1770: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan William de Grey Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
By-Election 4 February 1771: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Richard Croftes 76 62.81 N/A
Non Partisan William Wynne 45 37.19 N/A
Majority 31 25.62 N/A
Turnout 121 N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
General Election 10 October 1774: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Marquess of Granby Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan Richard Croftes Unopposed N/A N/A
By-Election 10 June 1779: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan James Mansfield 157 35.68 N/A
Non Partisan Hon. John Townshend 145 32.95 N/A
Non Partisan Lord Hyde 138 31.36 N/A
Majority 12 2.73 N/A
Turnout 440 N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1780s[edit]

General Election 9 September 1780: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan James Mansfield 277 27.10 N/A
Non Partisan Hon. John Townshend 247 24.17 N/A
Non Partisan Lord Hyde 206 20.16 N/A
Non Partisan Richard Croftes 150 14.68 N/A
Non Partisan Hon. William Pitt 142 13.89 N/A
Turnout 1,022 (546 voters) N/A N/A
  • Note (1780): Stooks Smith records Townshend as getting 237 votes.
  • Seat vacated on Townshend being appointed to an office
By-Election 3 April 1782: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Hon. John Townshend Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
  • Seat vacated on Townshend being appointed to an office
By-Election 11 April 1783: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Hon. John Townshend Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
By-Election 26 November 1783: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan James Mansfield Unopposed N/A N/A
Non Partisan hold Swing N/A
General Election 3 April 1784: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Non Partisan Rt Hon. William Pitt 351 31.65 +17.76
Non Partisan Earl of Euston 299 26.96 N/A
Non Partisan Hon. John Townshend 278 25.07 +0.90
Non Partisan James Mansfield 181 16.32 -10.78
Turnout 1,109 (588 voters) N/A N/A
  • The 1784 election was broadly a contest between the new government of Pitt and the ousted Fox-North Coalition, in which both Townshend and Mansfield had held office.

Elections in the 1790s[edit]

General Election 1790: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Rt Hon. William Pitt 510 42.50 +10.85
Whig Earl of Euston 483 40.25 +13.29
Whig Lawrence Dundas 207 17.25 N/A
Turnout 1,200 (684 voters) N/A N/A
  • Note (1790): Party labels in the 1790-1832 period follow Stooks Smith, who classifies Pitt and his Pittite supporters as Tories without regard to what they would have actually called themselves.
  • Seat vacated on Pitt being appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
By-Election 1792: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Rt Hon. William Pitt Unopposed N/A N/A
Tory hold Swing N/A
  • Seat vacated on Euston being appointed to an office
By-Election 1794: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Earl of Euston Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig hold Swing N/A
General Election 1796: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Rt Hon. William Pitt Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Earl of Euston Unopposed N/A N/A

Elections in the 1800s[edit]

General Election 1802: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Rt Hon. William Pitt Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Earl of Euston Unopposed N/A N/A
By-Election 1804: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Rt Hon. William Pitt Unopposed N/A N/A
Tory hold Swing N/A
  • Death of Pitt
By-Election February 1806: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Lord Henry Petty 331 54.80 N/A
Whig Viscount Althorp 145 24.01 N/A
Tory The Viscount Palmerston 128 21.19 N/A
Majority 186 30.79 N/A
Turnout 604 N/A N/A
Whig gain from Tory Swing N/A
  • Palmerston was a Peer of Ireland
General Election 1806: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Rt Hon. Lord Henry Petty Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig Earl of Euston Unopposed N/A N/A
General Election 1807: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Earl of Euston 324 26.75 N/A
Tory Sir Vicary Gibbs 312 25.76 N/A
Tory The Viscount Palmerston 310 25.60 N/A
Whig Rt Hon. Lord Henry Petty 265 21.88 N/A
Turnout 1,211 (631 voters) N/A N/A

Elections in the 1810s[edit]

By-Election March 1811: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory The Viscount Palmerston 451 56.66 N/A
Whig John Henry Smyth 345 43.34 N/A
Majority 106 13.32 N/A
Turnout 796 N/A N/A
Tory gain from Whig Swing N/A
By-Election 1812: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig John Henry Smyth Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig gain from Tory Swing N/A
General Election 1812: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory The Viscount Palmerston Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig John Henry Smyth Unopposed N/A N/A
General Election 1818: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory The Viscount Palmerston Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig John Henry Smyth Unopposed N/A N/A

Elections in the 1820s[edit]

General Election 1820: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory The Viscount Palmerston Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig John Henry Smyth Unopposed N/A N/A
  • Death of Smyth
By-Election 1822: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory William John Bankes 419 45.59 N/A
Tory Lord Harvey 281 30.58 N/A
Whig James Scarlett 219 23.83 N/A
Majority 138 15.02 N/A
Turnout 919 N/A N/A
Tory gain from Whig Swing N/A
General Election 1826: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Sir John Singleton Copley 772 32.88 N/A
Whig The Viscount Palmerston 631 26.87 N/A
Tory William John Bankes 508 21.64 N/A
Tory Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn 437 18.61 N/A
Turnout 2,348 (1,293 voters) N/A N/A
By-Election May 1827: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Sir Nicholas Conyngham Tindal 479 55.89 N/A
Tory William John Bankes 378 44.11 N/A
Majority 101 11.79 N/A
Turnout 857 43.93 N/A
Registered electors 1,951
Tory hold Swing N/A
  • Note (1827): Unusually for a pre-1832 election Stooks Smith provides a total electorate figure, so a turnout percentage can be calculated. See the 1727 result above for another instance.
  • Seat vacated on the appointment of Tindal as Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas
By-Election June 1829: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig William Cavendish 609 56.86 N/A
Tory William John Bankes 462 43.14 -0.97
Majority 147 13.73 N/A
Turnout 1,071 N/A N/A
Whig gain from Tory Swing N/A

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General Election 1830: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig The Viscount Palmerston Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig William Cavendish Unopposed N/A N/A
By-Election November 1830: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig The Viscount Palmerston Unopposed N/A N/A
Whig hold Swing N/A
General Election 1831: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Tory Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn 805 28.26 N/A
Tory William Yates Peel 804 28.22 N/A
Whig William Cavendish 630 22.11 N/A
Whig The Viscount Palmerston 610 21.41 N/A
Turnout 2,849 N/A N/A
General Election 12 December 1832: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Charles Manners-Sutton Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 2,319 N/A N/A
  • Note (1832): Manners-Sutton was the Speaker of the House of Commons.
General Election 6 January 1835: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Charles Manners-Sutton Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 2,319 N/A N/A
  • Manners-Sutton created 'The 1st Viscount Canterbury'.
By-Election 21 March 1835: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Hon. Charles Law Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 25 July 1837: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Hon. Charles Law Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 2,613 N/A N/A
  • Note (1837): McCalmont's Parliamentary Poll Book classifies Law as a Peelite between this election and that of 1847.

Elections in the 1840s[edit]

General Election 30 June 1841: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Hon. Charles Law Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 2,873 N/A N/A
  • Note (1841): McCalmont's Parliamentary Poll Book classifies Goulburn as a Liberal Conservative and Law as a Peelite for this election.
  • Goulburn appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer.
By-Election 15 September 1841: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 3 August 1847: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Hon. Charles Law 1,486 31.74 N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn 1,189 25.40 N/A
Conservative Viscount Feilding 1,147 24.50 N/A
Liberal John George Shaw-Lefevre 860 18.37 N/A
Turnout 3,800 61.61 N/A
  • Note 1 (1847): 3,800 registered electors; 4,682 votes cast; minimum possible turnout estimated by dividing votes by 2. To the extent that electors did not use both their votes, the figure will be an underestimate.
  • Note 2 (1847): McCalmont's Parliamentary Poll Book classifies Goulburn as a Liberal Conservative and Law as a Peelite for this election.

Elections in the 1850s[edit]

  • Death of Law.
By-Election 4 October 1850: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Loftus Wigram Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 10 July 1852: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Goulburn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Loftus Wigram Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 4,063 N/A N/A
  • Note (1852): McCalmont's Parliamentary Poll Book classifies Goulburn as a Liberal Conservative for this election.
  • Death of Goulburn.
By-Election 11 February 1856: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole 886 67.89 N/A
Liberal Hon. George Denman 419 32.11 N/A
Majority 467 35.79 N/A
Turnout 4,552 28.67 N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 28 March 1857: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Loftus Wigram Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 4,552 N/A N/A
By-Election 4 March 1858: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 29 April 1859: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Charles Jasper Selwyn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 4,566 N/A N/A

Elections in the 1860s[edit]

General Election 11 July 1865: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Charles Jasper Selwyn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 5,184 N/A N/A
By-Election 11 July 1866: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
By-Election 22 July 1867: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Charles Jasper Selwyn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
By-Election 24 February 1868: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Beresford Hope 1,931 57.97 N/A
Conservative A. Cleasby 1,400 42.03 N/A
Majority 531 15.94 N/A
Turnout 5,184 64.26 N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 16 November 1868: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Beresford Hope Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 5,435 N/A N/A

Elections in the 1870s[edit]

General Election 2 February 1874: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Beresford Hope Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 5,855 N/A N/A

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election April 1880: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Beresford Hope Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Spencer Horatio Walpole Unopposed N/A N/A
Turnout 6,161 N/A N/A
  • Resignation of Walpole.
By-Election 23–28 November 1882: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Cecil Raikes 3,491 72.85 N/A
Liberal James Stuart 1,301 27.15 N/A
Majority 2,190 45.70 N/A
Turnout 6,371 75.22 N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 24 November 1885: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Beresford Hope Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Cecil Raikes Unopposed N/A N/A
General Election 2 July 1886: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Alexander Beresford Hope Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Cecil Raikes Unopposed N/A N/A
By-Election 13 August 1886: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Henry Cecil Raikes Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
  • Death of Beresford Hope.
By-Election 17 November 1887: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Prof. George Gabriel Stokes Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

  • Death of Raikes.
By-Election 9 October 1891: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Prof. Richard Claverhouse Jebb Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election July 1892: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Prof. Richard Claverhouse Jebb Unopposed N/A N/A
General Election 13 July 1895: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Prof. Richard Claverhouse Jebb Unopposed N/A N/A

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1 October 1900: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Sir Richard Claverhouse Jebb Unopposed N/A N/A
  • Death of Jebb - seat vacant at dissolution.
General Election 18 January 1906: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Samuel Henry Butcher 3,050 39.72 N/A
Conservative John Frederick Peel Rawlinson 2,976 38.76 N/A
Free Trade Rt Hon. Sir John Eldon Gorst 1,653 21.53 N/A
Turnout 4,063 65.8 N/A
  • Note (1906): Turnout is as in Craig.

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 15 January 1910: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Samuel Henry Butcher Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative John Frederick Peel Rawlinson Unopposed N/A N/A
General Election December 1910: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Samuel Henry Butcher Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative John Frederick Peel Rawlinson Unopposed N/A N/A
  • Death of Butcher.
By-Election 11–16 February 1911: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Joseph Larmor 2,308 50.24 N/A
Free Trade Harold Cox 1,954 42.53 N/A
Independent Conservative T.E. Page 332 7.23 N/A
Majority 354 7.71 N/A
Turnout 7,129 64.44 N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Election by Single Transferable Vote 1918-1950[edit]

General Elections, from 1918 when most constituencies polled on the same day, were on different polling days than for territorial constituencies. The polls for university constituencies were open for five days.

1910s1920s1930s1940s

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Coalition Conservative John Frederick Peel Rawlinson 35.16 2,034  
Coalition Conservative Sir Joseph Larmor 32.69 1,891 1,986
Independent William Cecil Dampier Whetham 21.09 1,220 1,229
Labour John Collings Squire 11.06 640 641
Electorate: 9,282   Valid: 5,785   Quota: 1,929   Turnout: 62.32%

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John Frederick Peel Rawlinson 4,192 49.39 +14.23
Independent Liberal James Ramsay Montagu Butler 3,453 39.86 +39.86
Conservative Prof. William Ritchie Sorley 1,018 11.75 +11.75
Quota 2,888
Registered electors 13,592
Turnout 8,663 63.74
  • As two candidates achieved the quota only one count was necessary
General Election 1923: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Conservative Rt Hon. John Frederick Peel Rawlinson 40.85 4,207  
Conservative Sir George Geoffrey Gilbert Butler 27.61 2,844 3,560
Independent Liberal James Ramsay Montagu Butler 31.54 3,248 3,283
Electorate: 14,974   Valid: 10,229   Quota: 3,434   Turnout: 68.78%
General Election 1924: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Rt Hon. John Frederick Peel Rawlinson 4,569 38.60 -2.25
Conservative Sir George Geoffrey Gilbert Butler 4,026 34.01 +6.40
Independent Liberal James Ramsay Montagu Butler 3,241 27.38 -4.16
Quota 3,946
Registered electors 16,621
Turnout 11,836 71.21 +2.43
  • As two candidates achieved the quota only one count was necessary
  • Death of Rawlinson.
By-Election 13 February 1926: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative John James Withers Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
  • Death of Butler - seat vacant at dissolution.
General Election 1929: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2
Conservative John James Withers 39.76 6,356  
Conservative Godfrey Harold Alfred Wilson 31.71 5,069 6,046
Liberal Hubert Douglas Henderson 19.38 3,099 3,131
Labour Dr. A. Wood 9.15 1,463 1,480
Electorate: 23,978   Valid: 15,987   Quota: 5,330   Turnout: 66.67%

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Godfrey Harold Alfred Wilson Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative Sir John James Withers Unopposed N/A N/A
  • Resignation of Wilson.
By-Election 23 February 1935: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Kenneth William Murray Pickthorn Unopposed N/A N/A
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 1935: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir John James Withers 7,602 42.30 N/A
Conservative Kenneth William Murray Pickthorn 6,917 38.49 N/A
Labour H.L. Elvin 3,453 19.21 N/A
Quota 5,991
Registered electors 33,617
Turnout 17,972 53.46 N/A
  • As two candidates achieved the quota only one count was necessary
  • Death of Withers.

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

By-Election 19–23 February 1940: Cambridge University
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Conservative Dr. Archibald Vivian Hill 9,840 64.62 N/A
Independent Progressive John A. Ryle 5,387 35.38 N/A
Majority 4,453 29.24 N/A
Turnout 39,171 38.87 N/A
Independent Conservative gain from Conservative Swing N/A
General Election 1945: Cambridge University (2 seats)
Party Candidate  % 1st Pref Count 1 Count 2 Count 3 Count 4
Conservative Kenneth William Murray Pickthorn 46.18 10,202      
Independent Henry Wilson Harris 16.18 3,574 4,709 5,185 6,556
Independent Progressive John Boynton Priestley 22.82 5,041 5,128 5,238 5,745
Independent Dr. Charles Hill 10.13 2,238 3,092 3,595 eliminated
National Independent E.L. Howard-Williams 4.69 1,036 1,798 eliminated -
Electorate: 42,012   Valid: 22,091   Quota: 7,364   Turnout: 52.58%
  • Constituency abolished (1950)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1974)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press, revised edition 1977)
  • McCalmont's Parliamentary Poll Book: British Election Results 1832-1918 (8th edition, The Harvester Press 1971)
  • The House of Commons 1715-1754, by Romney Sedgwick (HMSO 1970)
  • The House of Commons 1754-1790, by Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke (HMSO 1964)
  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume II 1886-1918, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1978)
  • 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 "C" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Appleby
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
1784 - 1801
Succeeded by
Devizes
Preceded by
Devizes
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
1804 - 1806
Vacant
Title next held by
Northampton in 1809
Preceded by
Scarborough
Constituency represented by the Speaker
1832–1835
Succeeded by
Edinburgh