1937 Tonbridge by-election

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The Tonbridge by-election of 1937 was held on 23 March 1937. The by-election was held due to the death of the incumbent Conservative MP, Herbert Spender-Clay. It was won by the Conservative candidate Adrian Baillie.[1]


Adrian Baillie had previously been the Unionist MP for the normally Labour seat of Linlithgowshire from 1931 to 1935.

The Liberal challenger was 59 year-old[2] Borlase Matthews. He was Liberal candidate at Henley for the 1931 General Election, the Henley by-election, 1932 and at Ashford for the 1935 General Election.[3] He was an engineer but left engineering to take up farming. He was a Member of the Council of the Royal Agricultural Society. He was a Member of the Electricity Commissioners Rural Electrification Conference. He was Chairman of the Rural Reconstruction Association. He was also an author of several books and papers on farming.[4]


Tonbridge by-election, 1937[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Adrian Baillie 18,802 56.9
Labour H Smith 8,147 24.7
Liberal Richard Matthews 6,073 18.4
Turnout 58.2
Conservative hold Swing


  1. ^ http://www.leighrayment.com/commons.htm
  2. ^ Who's who in Engineering, 1921
  3. ^ The Times House of Commons, 1935
  4. ^ The Times House of Commons, 1931
  5. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig