Elland by-election, 1899

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A by-election was held for the British House of Commons in the constituency of Elland on 8 March 1899. The seat became vacant following the retirement on grounds of ill-health of the sitting Member of Parliament, Thomas Wayman. The Liberal candidate was Charles Philips Trevelyan, opposed by the Unionist Philip Foster.

Important issues in the campaign included the Liberal demands for disestablishment of the Church of England, school building, and payment for Members of Parliament. According to The Times, "One of the Unionist placards told the electorate if they wanted their rates and taxes raised, if they wished to pay members of Parliament, and to build Board schools where they were not required, they must vote for Mr Trevelyan; but if they wanted peace, good trade, and their rates and taxes raised, then they ought to vote for Mr Foster".[1]

When the count, which took just two hours and seven minutes, was completed, the result was as expected: a hold for the Liberal Party, with a majority of around three times what it had been in the last election. Since the Conservative vote was only slightly less than the last time despite an increase of about 4-500 in the electorate, the Liberals claimed this as a sign that "radicalism was growing right through the West Riding".[2]

Trevelyan would go on to hold the seat until the general election of 1918, when running as candidate of the Independent Labour Party he lost to the Coalition Unionist candidate.

Elland by-election, 1899
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Charles Philips Trevelyan 6,041 54.4
Conservative Philip Staveley Foster 5,057 45.6
Majority 984 8.87
Liberal hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Times, "Election Intelligence", 9 March 1899
  2. ^ The Times, "Election Intelligence", 10 March 1899.