Clapham by-election, 1918

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The Clapham by-election, 1918 was a by-election held on 21 June 1918 for the British House of Commons constituency of Clapham in South London.

The by-election was triggered by the elevation to the peerage of the serving Conservative Party Member of Parliament (MP), George Faber.

The Unionist (Conservative) candidate was Harry Greer. With the wartime coalition still in office, there was no other candidate from the major parties. However, Henry Hamilton Beamish, a member of the extremist Vigilante Society, ran as an independent with the support of the right-wing MP Noel Pemberton Billing.

The main issue in the by-election was Beamish's demand for the denaturalization and internment of all citizens of enemy countries in the United Kingdom, the closure of all foreign banks, and the wearing of a badge by all foreign aliens. Greer expressed the view that 'stronger measures were necessary' and published a letter from the Prime Minister, who said he was 'determined to take whatever action is shown to be necessary'. The Times reported unexpected support for Beamish in areas which were normally predominantly Conservative.[1] The result was a substantial but not huge majority for Greer.[2]


Clapham by-election, 1918
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Harry Greer 4,512 57.0
Independent Henry Hamilton Beamish 3,331 43.0
Majority 1,181 14.0
Turnout 7,843
Conservative hold Swing


  1. ^ The Times, 21 June 1918.
  2. ^ The Times, 22 June 1918.

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