Scottish Workers' Representation Committee

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Scottish Workers' Representation Committee
Founded 1899
Dissolved 1909
Merged into Labour Party
Trade Union Wing Scottish Trades Union Congress
Ideology Big Tent Socialism
Political position Left-wing
Politics of Scotland
Political parties

Scottish Workers' Representation Committee was the parliamentary outfit of the Scottish Trades Union Congress 1899-1909. It was known as the Scottish Workers Parliamentary Elections Committee until 1903. In contrast to the Labour Representation Committee in England, SWRC was able to maintain organisational unity between different strands of ideological tendencies in Scotland, ranging from Marxist, Catholic and Fabian socialists.

The SWPEC's first contest was the 1900 UK general election. It sponsored radical journalist A. E. Fletcher in Glasgow Camlachie. He took 3,107 votes and did not win the seat. It then stood Robert Smillie, a leader of the miners' trade union, in the North East Lanarkshire by-election, 1901, who was also defeated. When another by-election arose in North East Lanarkshire, in 1904, another miners' leader was selected, John Robertson, who again failed to win the seat.[1]

In the 1906 parliamentary elections SWRC stood five candidates: Robertson in North East Lanarkshire, Joseph Sullivan in North West Lanarkshire, David Gilmour in Falkirk Burghs, James Brown in North Ayrshire, and Smillie in Paisley. The candidates won a total of 14,877 votes, but again failed to win a seat.[1]

In 1909, the SWRC was dissolved and merged with the Labour Party. In 1915 a Scottish Council was formed within the Labour Party.


  1. ^ a b Frank Beeley and Henry Pelling, Labour and Politics, 1900-1906, p.296