Finsbury Central (UK Parliament constituency)

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Finsbury Central
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
18851918
Number of members one
Replaced by Finsbury
Created from Finsbury

Finsbury Central was a parliamentary constituency centred on the Finsbury district of North London. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post system.

History[edit]

The constituency was created when the two-member Finsbury constituency was divided by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election. It was abolished for the 1918 general election, when it was replaced by a new single-member Finsbury constituency.

Boundaries[edit]

Finsbury Central in the Metropolitan area, showing boundaries used from 1885 to 1918.

The constituency was created, in 1885, as a division of the parliamentary borough of Finsbury, in the historic county of Middlesex to the north of the City of London. The Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 provided that the constituency was to consist of the parish of St James and St John, Clerkenwell.[1]

The seat was mostly located in the Clerkenwell district, with a detached portion at Muswell Hill containing about 5% of the population. The two areas were connected for historic reasons. The Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910, explains that the Knights of St John had once owned more than half of Finsbury Central, including a deer park at Muswell Hill.

In 1889 Clerkenwell was severed from Middlesex to become part of the County of London.

In 1894, when the lower tier of local government in Middlesex was altered, the Muswell Hill area formed part of the Hornsey Urban District, which became the Municipal Borough of Hornsey in 1903.

In 1900 the lower tier of local government in London was rationalised. The old local boards and parish vestries were replaced, in the Clerkenwell area, by the Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury.

The local government changes did not affect the parliamentary boundaries until the redistribution of 1918, when the Central division ceased to be a separate constituency.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1885 Howard Spensley Liberal
1886 Frederick Thomas Penton Conservative
1892 Dadabhai Naoroji Liberal
1895 William Frederick Barton Massey-Mainwaring Conservative
1906 William Charles Steadman Liberal-Labour
1910 (Jan) Martin Archer-Shee Conservative
1918 constituency abolished: see Finsbury

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election December 1910: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Martin Archer-Shee 3,335 54.3
Liberal Felix Rosenheim 2,804 45.7
Majority 531 8.6
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing +1.5
William Charles Steadman
General Election January 1910: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Martin Archer-Shee 3,559 52.8
Lib-Lab William Charles Steadman 3,187 47.2
Majority 372 5.6
Turnout
Conservative gain from Lib-Lab Swing +8.3

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Lib-Lab William Charles Steadman 3,493 55.5
Conservative Edward Alfred Goulding 2,799 44.5
Majority 694 11.0
Turnout 8,279 76.0
Lib-Lab gain from Conservative Swing +8.7
General Election 1900: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Frederick Barton Massey-Mainwaring 2,872 53.2
Liberal J. Benson 2,523 46.8
Majority 349 6.4
Turnout 8,523 63.3
Conservative hold Swing -3.1

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1895: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Frederick Barton Massey-Mainwaring 3,588 56.3
Liberal Dadabhai Naoroji 2,785 43.7
Majority 803 12.6
Turnout 8,911 71.5
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +6.3
General Election 1892: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Dadabhai Naoroji 2,959 50.0
Conservative Frederick Thomas Penton 2,956 50.0
Majority 3 0.0
Turnout 8,311 71.2
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +0.1

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1886: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Frederick Thomas Penton 2,245 50.1
Liberal Howard Spensley 2,240 49.9
Majority 5 0.2
Turnout 7,462 60.1
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +0.6
General Election 1885: Finsbury, Central
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Howard Spensley 2,362 50.5
Conservative Saul Isaac 2,314 49.5
Majority 48 1.0
Turnout 7,462 62.7

References[edit]

  1. ^ Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, Sixth Schedule