1945 Motherwell by-election

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Motherwell by-election, 1945

← 1935 12 April 1945 1945 →
Candidate Robert McIntyre Alexander Anderson
Party SNP Labour
Popular vote 11,417 10,800
Percentage 51.4 48.6

Motherwell Constituency 1918-1950.svg
Map showing the Motherwell Parliamentary constituency within Scotland.

MP before election

James Walker

Subsequent MP

Robert McIntyre

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The Motherwell by-election was held on 12 April 1945, following the death of Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP) for Motherwell James Walker.

The by-election took place during the Second World War during unusual political conditions. No general election had been held since 1935, at which James Walker narrowly gained the seat for Labour from the Unionist Party.

There was a truce between the major parties: Labour, the Conservative Party, Liberal Party and the National Liberal Party. The Communist Party of Great Britain, which had held Motherwell in the past, also undertook to abide by the truce. As a result, the only opposition in by-election came from independents, minor parties and occasional unofficial party candidates aligned with major parties.

For the by-election, the Labour Party stood Alexander Anderson. His only opposition came from the Scottish National Party (SNP), then a small party advocating Scottish independence, who stood Party Secretary Robert McIntyre.


The election was won by McIntyre, who became the first SNP Member of Parliament. However, Anderson regained the seat from McIntyre at the 1945 general election a few months later.

Motherwell by-election, 1945 [1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
SNP Robert McIntyre 11,417 51.4 N/A
Labour Alexander Anderson 10,800 48.6 -2.1
Majority 617 2.8 +1.5
Turnout 22,217 54.0 -21.9
SNP gain from Labour Swing N/A

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Scots Nationalist Wins Motherwell By-Election". The Glasgow Herald. 14 April 1945. p. 2. Retrieved 24 March 2017.