Ormskirk (UK Parliament constituency)

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Ormskirk
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
County Lancashire
18851983
Number of members One
Replaced by West Lancashire, Knowsley North, St Helens North and Crosby
Created from South West Lancashire

Ormskirk was a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It was created by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 as a division of the parliamentary county of Lancashire. The constituency boundaries were changed in 1918, 1950, 1955 and 1974.[1]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1885 Arthur Bower Forwood Conservative
1898 by-election Arthur Stanley Conservative
1918 James Bell Labour
1922 Francis Blundell Conservative
1929 Sam Tom Rosbotham (Knighted 1933) Labour
1931 National Labour
1939 by-election Stephen King-Hall National Labour
1945 Harold Wilson Labour
1950 Ronald Cross Conservative
1951 Arthur Salter Conservative
1953 by-election Douglas Glover Conservative
1970 Harold Soref Conservative
Feb 1974 Robert Kilroy-Silk Labour
1983 constituency abolished: see West Lancashire, Knowsley North, St Helens North & Crosby

History[edit]

The constituency was a Labour - Conservative marginal for much of its history, changing hands several times between the two parties during its 98 year existence.

The seat was initially a safe Conservative seat under the influence of the Stanleys, the Earls of Derby. Indeed the seat was held for twenty years by Arthur Stanley, a younger son of the 16th Earl. The only serious challenge by the Liberal Party in this period was in 1910 when William Lever, the leading industrialist, contested the seat. Indeed this was the last time the Liberal Party would contest the constituency until the 1970s.

James Bell became the first non Conservative to be elected for this seat since its creation in 1885, principally due to a divided conservative vote between the Coalition Conservatives and the candidate of the National Farmers Union at the 1918 General Election. Francis Blundell regained the seat for the Conservatives in 1922 but was to lose it to Labour's Sam Tom Rosbotham in 1929.

Sam Tom followed Ramsay MacDonald when the Labour Party split in 1931, and then defended the seat successfully for National Labour in both 1931 and 1935. He was succeeded in 1939 by Commander Stephen King-Hall for National Labour.

In a repeat of 1918, the election of 1945 saw future Prime Minister, Harold Wilson elected when the Conservative Party opted to stand against the National candidate, Stephen King-Hall, and split the anti Labour vote. With Harold Wilson moving in 1950 to the newly created Huyton constituency, the seat saw a succession of Conservative Members who were then moved on to the House of Lords, until the election of the much respected Colonel Douglas Glover in the 1953 by-election.

The retirement of Douglas Glover in 1970 saw the election of the controversial figure of Harold Soref for the Conservatives who, however, was only to hold the seat for four years. Boundary changes brought in Kirkby New Town, leading to the election of the even more controversial Robert Kilroy-Silk for Labour.

The constituency ceased to exist with the implementation of the 1983 boundary changes. The sitting MP moved to the new Knowsley North seat.

Boundaries[edit]

1885 - 1918[edit]

The constituency, officially designated as South-West Lancashire, Ormskirk Division consisted of the town of Ormskirk and a number of surrounding parishes, namely:[1][2] Aintree, Aughton, Bickerstaffe, Croxteth Park, Dalton, Downholland, Halsall, Kirkby, Knowsley, Lathom, Litherland, Lunt, Lydiate, Maghull, Melling, Netherton, Ormskirk, Orrell and Ford, Prescot, Scarisbrick, Sefton, Simonswood, Skelmersdale & Upholland.

1918 - 1950[edit]

The Representation of the People Act 1918 reorganised constituencies throughout the United Kingdom. Boundaries were adjusted and seats were defined in terms of the districts created by the Local Government Act 1894. According to the schedules of the Act, the Lancashire, Ormskirk Division comprised:[3]

1950 - 1955[edit]

The Representation of the People Act 1948 redistributed parliamentary seats, with the constituencies first being used in the general election of 1950. The term "county constituency" was introduced in place of "division". Ormskirk County Constituency was redefined as consisting of the following districts:[4]

  • Formby Urban District
  • Ormskirk Urban District
  • Rainford Urban District
  • West Lancashire Rural District (except the parishes of Aintree and Ford)

This reflected local government boundary changes in 1931/32: Lathom & Burscough UD had been absorbed by Ormskirk UD and Sefton RD by West Lancashire RD.[1]

1955 - 1970[edit]

Following further council boundary changes in 1954, the remaining parishes from West Lancashire RD, (Aintree and Ford), were included in the constituency from 1955.[5]

1970 - 1983[edit]

From 1970 the seat was again redefined, to cover the urban districts of Formby, Kirkby, Ormskirk and Rainford, and West Lancashire Rural District.[6]

Abolition[edit]

The constituency was abolished by the Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983, which redrew constituencies based on the new counties and districts created in 1974.

The Ormskirk area became part of West Lancashire, Kirkby was included in Knowsley North, Rainford in St Helens North and Formby, Aintree and Melling in Crosby.[7]

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1979: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robert Kilroy-Silk 37,222 50.03 -0.3
Conservative Brian Keefe 36,364 48.87 +11.13
Workers Revolutionary S Pirani 820 1.10 +1.10
Majority 858 1.15
Turnout 74,406 76.11 +3.31
Labour hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robert Kilroy-Silk 35,392 50.33 +3.14
Conservative Brian Keefe 26,541 37.74 +1.13
Liberal David Parry 8,387 11.93 -4.27
Majority 8,851 12.59
Turnout 70,320 72.80 -4.52
Labour hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Robert Kilroy-Silk 34,807 47.19
Conservative Harold Soref 27,004 36.61
Liberal David Parry 11,949 16.20
Majority 7,803 10.58
Turnout 73,706 77.32
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1970: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Harold Soref 40,517 61.39 +2.62
Labour Robert Kilroy-Silk 25,486 38.61 -2.62
Majority 15,031 22.77 +5.23
Turnout 73,706 72.49 -1.38
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1966: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Glover 32,763 58.77 -3.77
Labour WJ Quinn 22983 41.23 +3.77
Majority 9,780 17.54 -7.54
Turnout 55,746 73.87 -1.98
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Glover 33,704 62.54 -6.61
Labour J Harold 20.186 37.46 +6.61
Majority 13,518 25.08 -13.22
Turnout 53,890 75.85 -1.74
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1959: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Glover 32,952 69.15 +0.79
Labour GE Roberts 14,701 30.85 -0.79
Majority 18,251 38.30 +1.58
Turnout 47,653 77.59 +4.54
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Glover 27,066 68.36
Labour TW Henry 12,527 31.64
Majority 14,539 36.72
Turnout 39539 73.05
Conservative hold Swing
Ormskirk by-election, 1953
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Douglas Glover 17,984 65.38
Labour M Ferguson 9,512 34.62
Majority 8,472 30.76
Turnout 27,496
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1951: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Arthur Salter 26,729 67.43
Labour E Kavanagh 12,908 32.57
Majority 13,821 36.72
Turnout 39637 78.68
Conservative hold Swing
Ormskirk by-election, 1951
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Arthur Salter 24,190
Labour H A Kelly 8,969
Ind. Labour Party Fred Barton 689
Majority 15,221
Turnout 33,848
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1950: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Ronald Cross 28,654 66.27
Labour LC Edwards 14,583 33.73
Majority 14,071 32.54
Turnout 43,237 83.9
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Harold Wilson 30,126 46.3
Conservative A C Greg 23,104 35.5
National Independent Stephen King-Hall 11,848 18.2
Majority 7,022 10.8
Turnout 65,078 69.3
Labour gain from National Independent Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

Ormskirk by-election, 1939

In the Ormskirk By-Election of 27 October 1939, Stephen King-Hall, National Labour was elected unopposed.

General Election 1935: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Labour Sam Tom Rosbotham 27,624 58.5 -16.5
Labour F V King 19,579 41.5 +16.5
Majority 8,045 17.0 -33.0
Turnout 47,203 65.8 -5.9
National Labour hold Swing
General Election 1931: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Labour Sam Tom Rosbotham 30,368 75.0
Labour F V King 10,115 25.0
Majority 20,253 50.0
Turnout 40,485 71.7 -3.1
National Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1929: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Sam Tom Rosbotham 20,350 53.4 +9.7
Conservative Francis Blundell 17,761 46.6 -9.7
Majority 2,589 6.8
Turnout 38,111 74.8 -1.1
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1924: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Francis Blundell 13,392 56.3 +3.3
Labour Robert Barrie Walker 10,402 43.7 -3.3
Majority 2,990 12.6 +6.6
Turnout 23,794 75.9 +10.2
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1923: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Francis Nicholas Blundell 10,598 53.0 -5.7
Labour Robert Barrie Walker 9,388 47.0 +5.7
Majority 1,210 6.0 -11.4
Turnout 19,986 65.7 -2.1
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1922: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Francis Blundell 11,921 58.7 +24.2
Labour James Bell 8,374 41.3 +4.1
Majority 3,547 17.4
Turnout 20,295 67.8 +6.8
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour James Bell 6,545 37.2
Coalition Conservative Thomas Fermor-Hesketh 6,080 34.5
Agriculturalist Stephen Hirst 4,989 28.3
Majority 465 2.7
Turnout 17,614 61.0
Labour gain from Coalition Conservative Swing
General election of December 1910

In the General Election December 1910, Arthur Stanley, Conservative was elected unopposed.

General Election January 1910: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Arthur Stanley 6,919 59.7 -1.8
Liberal William Lever 4,679 40.3 +1.8
Majority 2,240 19.4 -3.6
Turnout 11,598 85.8 +5.8
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1906: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Arthur Stanley 6,207 61.5 -10.2
Liberal C Y C Dawbarn 3,891 38.5 +10.2
Majority 2,316 23.0 -20.4
Turnout 10,098 80.0 +14.1
Conservative hold Swing
General election of 1900

In the United Kingdom general election, 1900, Arthur Stanley, Conservative was elected unopposed.

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

Ormskirk by-election, 1898

In the Ormskirk By-Election of 20 October 1898, Arthur Stanley, Conservative was elected unopposed.

General Election 1895: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Arthur Bower Forwood 4,780 71.1 +3.0
Liberal T Stoner 1,885 28.3 -3.0
Majority 2,895 43.4 +6.0
Turnout 6,665 65.9 -4.4
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1892: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Arthur Bower Forwood 4,618 68.7
Liberal J Middlehurst 2,101 31.3
Majority 2,517 37.4
Turnout 6,719 70.3 -15.5
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General election of 1886

In the United Kingdom general election, 1886, Arthur Bower Forwood, Conservative was elected unopposed.

General Election 1885: Ormskirk
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Arthur Bower Forwood 5,133 68.7
Liberal J P Sheldon 2,343 31.3
Majority 2,790 37.4
Turnout 7,476 85.8

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Youngs, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Volume 2
  2. ^ Seventh Schedule: Counties at Large: Number of Members and Names and Contents of Divisions, Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, (1885 c.23)
  3. ^ Ninth Schedule - Part II, Parliamentary Counties: England, excluding Monmouthshire, Representation of the People Act 1918 (1918 c.64)
  4. ^ First Schedule: Parliamentary Constituencies, Representation of The People Act 1948, (1948 c.65)
  5. ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (Liverpool and South-West Lancashire) Order, 1955 (S.I. 1955 No. 15)
  6. ^ The Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1970 (S.I. 1970 No. 1674)
  7. ^ Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1983 (S.I. 1983 No. 417)