West Derbyshire (UK Parliament constituency)

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West Derbyshire
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
Outline map
Boundary of West Derbyshire in Derbyshire for the 2005 general election.
Outline map
Location of Derbyshire within England.
County Derbyshire
Major settlements Bakewell, Matlock, Wirksworth
18852010
Number of members One
Replaced by Derbyshire Dales
Created from North Derbyshire

West Derbyshire was a county constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. From 1885 until it was replaced by the Derbyshire Dales constituency in the 2010 General Election, it elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post voting system. It was a safe Conservative seat for most of its existence.

Boundaries[edit]

The only really safe Conservative seat in Derbyshire, consisting mostly of rural villages and tourist towns like Bakewell and Matlock; Labour's only strengths were in Wirksworth and Masson, not enough to end the long-standing Conservative representation of this seat.

Boundary review[edit]

Following their review of parliamentary representation in Derbyshire, the Boundary Commission for England created a new constituency of Derbyshire Dales based on the existing West Derbyshire constituency.

History[edit]

Historically associated with the Cavendish family, the seat and its predecessors were usually represented by one of the future Dukes of Devonshire or their relatives from 1580 until the Second World War. When the Cavendish family left the Liberals over Irish Home Rule the seat stayed loyal to them as they sat first as Liberal Unionists then as Conservatives. In 1918 the hold on the constituency was briefly broken by Charles Frederick White standing for the Liberals, but the seat was regained in 1923. In a by-election in 1944, White's son, also called Charles Frederick White resigned as the official Labour nominee in order to stand against the wartime party truce. He defeated the Conservative candidate, William Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington, and subsequently took the Labour whip in the Commons, holding the seat in the 1945 general election for Labour. The Conservatives regained the seat in the 1950 general election and have held it ever since. The closest they have come to losing was in the 1986 by-election when they held it by only 100 votes in a period of heavy unpopularity for the government.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[1] Party
1885 Lord Edward Cavendish Liberal
1886 Liberal Unionist
1891 by-election Victor Christian William Cavendish Liberal Unionist
1908 by-election Earl of Kerry Liberal Unionist
1918 Charles Frederick White Liberal
1923 Marquess of Hartington Conservative
1938 by-election Henry Philip Hunloke Conservative
1944 by-election Charles Frederick White (Jr) Independent Labour
1945 Labour
1950 Edward Wakefield Conservative
1962 by-election Aidan Crawley Conservative
1967 by-election James Scott-Hopkins Conservative
1979 Matthew Parris Conservative
1986 by-election Patrick McLoughlin Conservative
2010 Constituency abolished: see Derbyshire Dales

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

Charles White
General Election 1918

Electorate 29,323

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Charles Frederick White 10,752
Unionist 8,592
Majority 2,160
Turnout
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing
  • endorsed by the Coalition Government.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922

Electorate 30,231

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Charles Frederick White 13,060
Unionist Marquess of Hartington 12,973
Majority 87 0.4
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1923

Electorate 31,067

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Marquess of Hartington 13,419
Liberal W C Mallison 12,966
Majority
Turnout
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1924

Electorate 31,757

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Marquess of Hartington 15,324 56.9
Liberal W C Mallison 11,612 43.1
Majority 3,712 13.8
Turnout 84.8
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1929

Electorate 40,487

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist Marquess of Hartington 16,760 49.7 -7.2
Liberal Ald. W C Mallison 13,277 39.4 -3.7
Labour W Wilkinson 3,660 10.9 n/a
Majority
Turnout 83.2 -1.6
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Cavendish unopposed
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1935: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Cavendish unopposed
Conservative hold Swing
West Derbyshire by-election, 1938
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Henry Philip Hunloke 16,740 48.6
Labour Charles Frederick White 11,216 32.5
Liberal Milner Gray 6,515 18.9
Majority 5,524 16.1
Turnout 79.4
Conservative hold 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 1940s[edit]

West Derbyshire by-election, 1944
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Labour Charles Frederick White 16,336 57.7
Conservative Marquess of Hartington 11,775 41.5
Agriculturalist Robert Goodall 233 0.8
Majority 4,561 16.2
Turnout 65.4
Independent Labour gain from Conservative Swing
General Election 1945: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Charles Frederick White 18,331 48.8
Conservative William Traven Aitken 18,175 48.4
Agriculturalist Robert Goodall 1,068 2.8
Majority 156 0.4
Turnout 81.7
Labour gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Birkbeck Wakefield 20,015 51.9
Labour N. Gratton 13,478 35.0
Liberal George Frederick Strange 5,070 13.2
Majority 6,537 17.0
Turnout 87.5
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1951: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Birkbeck Wakefield 22,223 58.8
Labour Ronald Lewis 15,578 41.2
Majority 6,645 17.6
Turnout 84.4
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Birkbeck Wakefield 21,052 59.6
Labour Robert B. Stirling 14,296 40.4
Majority 6,756 19.1
Turnout 80.0
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1959: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edward Birkbeck Wakefield 22,034 61.3
Labour Albert E. Kitts 13,925 38.7
Majority 8,109 22.6
Turnout 82.0
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

West Derbyshire by-election, 1962
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Aidan Merivale Crawley 12,455
Liberal Ronald L Gardner-Thorpe 11,235
Labour John Dilks 9,431
Independent Raymond Gregory 1,433
Majority 1,220
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1964: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Aidan Merivale Crawley 16,825 44.2
Liberal Ronald L Gardner-Thorpe 11,559 30.4
Labour John Dilks 9,669 25.4
Majority 5,266 13.8
Turnout 85.8
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1966: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Aidan Merivale Crawley 18,383 49.6
Labour Phillip Whitehead 13,791 37.2
Liberal Mrs. Peggy Edwards 4,874 13.2
Majority 4,592 12.4
Turnout 83.4
Conservative hold Swing
West Derbyshire by-election, 1967
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Sidney Rawdon Scott-Hopkins 16,319 56.7
Liberal Michael Aza Pinney 5,696 19.8
Labour Robin Corbett 5,284 18.3
Independent Robert Goodall 1,496 5.2
Majority 10,623 36.9
Turnout 28,795 64.5
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Sidney Rawdon Scott-Hopkins 22,692 61.9
Labour Frederick C Inglis 13,976 38.1
Majority 8,716 23.8
Turnout 76.7
Conservative hold Swing
General Election February 1974: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Sidney Rawdon Scott-Hopkins 19,941 48.7
Liberal Peter Worboys 11,481 28.0
Labour Frederick C Inglis 9,529 23.3
Majority 8,460 20.7
Turnout 61.8
Conservative hold Swing
General Election October 1974: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative James Sidney Rawdon Scott-Hopkins 18,468 47.9
Liberal Peter Worboys 10,622 27.6
Labour D. A. Townsend 9,456 24.5
Majority 7,846 20.4
Turnout 57.6
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1979: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Matthew Francis Parris 21,478 52.6
Liberal Peter Worboys 11,261 27.6
Labour William Moore 8,134 19.9
Majority 10,217 25.0
Turnout 80.7
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1980s[edit]

General Election 1983: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Matthew Francis Parris 29,695 55.9
Liberal Vivian Bingham 14,370 27.0
Labour J. S. March 9,060 17.1
Majority 15,325 28.9
Turnout 77.4
Conservative hold Swing
West Derbyshire by-election, 1986
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Allen McLoughlin 19,896 39.5
Liberal Christopher Walmsley 19,796 39.4
Labour William Moore 9,952 19.8
Rainbow Dream Ticket R. C. Sidwell 348 0.7
Independent Robert Goodall 289 0.6
Majority 100 0.1
Turnout 71.9
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1987: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Allen McLoughlin 31,224 53.1
Liberal Christopher Walmsley 20,697 35.2
Labour William Moore 6,875 11.7
Majority 10,527 17.9
Turnout 83.1
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1990s[edit]

General Election 1992: West Derbyshire[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Allen McLoughlin 32,879 54.3 +1.2
Liberal Democrat RD Fearn 14,110 23.3 −11.9
Labour Stephen J Clamp 13,528 22.4 +10.7
Majority 18,769 31.0 +13.1
Turnout 60,517 85.0 +1.9
Conservative hold Swing +6.6
General Election 1997: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Allen McLoughlin 23,945 42.1
Labour Stephen J Clamp 19,060 33.5
Liberal Democrat Christopher Seeley 9,940 17.5
Referendum Party John Prendergast Gouriet 2,499 4.4
Independent Green Godfrey Meynell 593 1.0
UKIP H. Price 484 0.9
Monster Raving Loony "The Flying Brick" Delves 281 0.5
Independent Back to Basics Martin Kyslun 81 0.1
Majority 4,885
Turnout 78.2
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 2000s[edit]

General Election 2001: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Allen McLoughlin 24,280 48.0 +5.9
Labour Stephen J Clamp 16,910 33.4 -0.1
Liberal Democrat Jeremy Beckett 7,922 15.7 -1.8
UKIP Stuart Bavester 672 1.3 +0.5
Monster Raving Loony "The Flying Brick" Delves 472 0.9 +0.4
Independent Robert Goodall 333 0.7 +0.5
Majority 7,370 14.6
Turnout 50,589 67.8 -10.5
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 2005: West Derbyshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Allen McLoughlin 24,378 47.7 -0.3
Labour David Menon 13,625 26.6 -6.8
Liberal Democrat Ray Dring 11,408 22.3 +6.6
UKIP Michael Cruddas 1,322 2.6 +1.3
Monster Raving Loony "The Flying Brick" Delves 405 0.8 -0.1
Independent Martin Kyslun 5 0.0 N/A
Majority 10,753 21.0
Turnout 51,143 69.2
Conservative hold Swing +3.2

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Craig, F. W. S. (1983). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3 ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.

  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "D" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ Derby Daily Telegraph, 10 Jan 1938
  3. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1992. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 

Sources[edit]

Coordinates: 53°06′N 1°39′W / 53.10°N 1.65°W / 53.10; -1.65