Lowestoft (UK Parliament constituency)

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Lowestoft
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
County Suffolk
Major settlements Lowestoft
18851983
Number of members One
Replaced by Waveney
Created from East Suffolk

Lowestoft was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Lowestoft in Suffolk. 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 voting system. It was more often won by the Conservative Party than not, although its representatives include two from the Liberal Party and one from the Labour Party.

History[edit]

The constituency was created for the 1885 general election, and abolished for the 1983 general election.

Boundaries[edit]

Throughout its existence, the Lowestoft constituency covered the North-Eastern corner of Suffolk and, although encompassing some rural areas, drew the majority of its voters from the towns of Lowestoft, a resort and fishing port, and Beccles; it also included the smaller towns of Bungay and Southwold, with its brewing interests.

Southwold is now in the Suffolk Coastal constituency.

The constituency established in 1885, which was formally named The Northern or Lowestoft Division of Suffolk (and was sometimes referred to simply as "Suffolk North"), also included the town of Halesworth and the rural areas in between. In the boundary changes of 1918, when the constituency became simply the "Lowestoft Division of Suffolk" or Suffolk, Lowestoft, Halesworth was transferred to the neighbouring Eye division; the constituency was now defined as consisting of the boroughs of Lowestoft, Beccles and Southwold, the Bungay and Oulton Broad Urban Districts (the latter of which was a suburb of Lowestoft itself), the Mutford and Lothingland and Wangford Rural Districts and eight parishes in Blything Rural District.

At the 1950 general election, Halesworth was once more placed in the revised Lowestoft County Constituency, but it otherwise underwent only minor changes to reflect local government reorganisation. It was now defined as consisting of Lowestoft, Beccles and Southwold boroughs, Bungay and Halesworth Urban Districts and Lothingland and Wainford Rural Districts. These boundaries were not altered in the boundary review implemented in 1974.

The constituency was revised in 1983 and renamed Waveney, as its new boundaries were now identical with those of the local government district of that name. The new constituency was very similar to the old Lowestoft one except that about 10,000 voters had been transferred to Norfolk by a movement of the county boundaries.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1885 Sir Savile Crossley Liberal
1886 Liberal Unionist
1892 Harry Seymour Foster Conservative
1900 Lt Colonel Francis Lucas Conservative
1906 Edward Beauchamp Liberal
1910 (January) Harry Seymour Foster Conservative
1910 (December) Sir Edward Beauchamp Liberal
1918 Coalition Liberal
1922 Sir Gervais Rentoul Conservative
1934 by-election Pierse Creagh Loftus Conservative
1945 Edward Evans Labour
1959 James Prior Conservative
1983 constituency abolished, became Waveney

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Prior 33,376 50.46%
Labour A Lark 25,555 38.63%
Liberal B Skelcher 6,783 10.25%
Ecology T Pye 435 0.66%
Majority 7,821 11.82%
Turnout 82,733 79.95%
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Prior 25,510 42.43%
Labour DA Baker 23,448 39.00%
Liberal P Hancock 11,165 18.57%
Majority 2,062 3.43%
Turnout 76,936 78.15%
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Prior 26,157 40.89%
Labour DA Baker 22,553 35.26%
Liberal P Hancock 15,261 23.86%
Majority 3,604 5.63%
Turnout 76,350 83.79%
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1970: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Prior 28,842 50.69%
Labour DA Baker 23,319 40.98%
Liberal DR Crome 4737 8.33%
Majority 5,523 9.71%
Turnout 72,320 78.68%
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Prior 24,063 46.03%
Labour M D Cornish 23,705 45.34%
Liberal DR Crome 4,513 8.63%
Majority 358 0.68%
Turnout 62,881 83.14%
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Prior 23,976 47.80%
Labour R H Atkins 21,272 42.41%
Liberal C G A Steele 4,911 9.79%
Majority 2,704 5.39%
Turnout 60,775 82.53%
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Prior 24,324 51.58
Labour Edward Evans 22,835 48.42
Majority 1,489
Turnout 49,653 64.4
Conservative gain from Labour Swing −3.1
General Election 1955: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Edward Evans 23,587 52.12
Conservative J T Griffiths 21,672 47.88
Majority 1,915 4.23
Turnout 56,850 79.61
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1951: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Edward Evans 23,591 50.91
Conservative A H Willetts 22,744 49.09
Majority 847 1.83
Turnout 56,582 81.89
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1950: Lowestoft
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Edward Evans 20,838 44.83
Conservative P G Whitefoord 17,516 37.68
Liberal Ruth Crisp English 8,132 17.49
Majority 3,322 7.15
Turnout 55,456 83.83
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Lowestoft

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Edward Evans 12,759 42.1
Conservative Pierse Creagh Loftus 10,996 36.3
Liberal Lt. M.P. Crosse 6,545 21.6
Majority 1,763 5.8
Turnout 44,679 67.8
Labour gain from Conservative Swing

General Election 1939/40: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935: Lowestoft[1]

Electorate 49,871

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Pierse Creagh Loftus 21,064
Labour Frederick John Wise 13,348
Majority 7,716
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
Lowestoft by-election, 1934[2]

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Pierse Creagh Loftus 15,912 47.9 -19.9
Labour Reginald William Sorensen 13,992 42.1 +9.8
Liberal William Smith 3,304 10.0 +10.0
Majority 1,920
Turnout 48,900 67.9
Conservative hold Swing -14.9
General Election 1931

Electorate 47,737

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Sir Gervais Squire Chittick Rentoul 22,886 67.8
Labour Edward John Cecil Neep 10,894 32.3
Majority 11,992
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Lowestoft[3]

Electorate 40,356

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Sir Gervais Squire Chittick Rentoul 13,624 39.8
Liberal Albert Edward Owen-Jones 10,707 31.3
Labour B W R Hall 9,903 28.9
Majority
Turnout 34,234 84.8
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1924: Lowestoft[4]

Electorate 36,321

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Gervais Squire Chittick Rentoul 13,422 50.6
Labour Robert Arthur Mellanby 6,570 24.8
Liberal Frederick Graham Paterson 6,532 24.6
Majority
Turnout 26,524 73.0
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1923: Lowestoft[5]

Electorate 35,881

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Gervais Squire Chittick Rentoul 11,103
Liberal Frederick Graham Paterson 8,362
Labour Robert Arthur Mellanby 4,788
Majority
Turnout
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1922 : Lowestoft[6]

Electorate 35,012

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Gervais Squire Chittick Rentoul 14,154 n/a
National Liberal Brograve Campbell Beauchamp 6,205 n/a
Labour Robert Arthur Mellanby 4,511 n/a
Majority n/a
Turnout n/a
Unionist gain from National Liberal Swing n/a

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918 Lowestoft[7]

Electorate

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a
  • denotes candidate who was endorsed by the Coalition Government.

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906: Lowestoft[8]

Electorate 14,002

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Edward Beauchamp 6,510 57.0 +17.0
Conservative Francis Alfred Lucas 4,905 43.0 -17.0
Majority 1,605 14.0 34.0
Turnout 11,415 81.5 +15.0
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +17.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  2. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  3. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  4. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  5. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  6. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  7. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  8. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)

Coordinates: 52°27′N 1°41′E / 52.45°N 1.68°E / 52.45; 1.68