Battersea North by-election, 1946

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The Battersea North by-election, 1946 was a parliamentary by-election held on 25 July 1946 for the British House of Commons constituency of Battersea North in the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea.

The seat had become vacant on the resignation from the House of Common of the constituency's Labour Member of Parliament (MP), Francis Douglas, who had been appointed as Governor of Malta and ennobled as Baron Douglas of Barloch. He had held the seat since a by-election in 1940.


The Labour Party selected as its candidate Douglas Jay, a 39-year-old economist who had been a financial journalist, a Fellow of All Souls and then (from 1941) a civil servant.

The Conservative Party candidate was B.A. Shattock, while the Liberal Party did not field a candidate.

The third candidate was 38-year-old Trotskyite and adult education tutor, Hugo Dewar of the Independent Labour Party (ILP). He had joined the ILP in 1928, and in 1930 co-founded the Marxist League. He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1931, but was expelled the following year. He was one of the founders in 1932 of the Communist League, Britain's first Trotskyist group, and had remained active in 'Left Opposition' groups until he was drafted into the army in 1943.[1]


On a turnout reduced to 55% from the 71% at the 1945 general election, Jay held the seat for Labour with 69% of votes, a small reduction from the 74% won by his predecessor in 1945. Shattock's 29.6% share was a small increase on the 26.1% Conservative vote the previous year, while Dewar won only 240 votes (1.5%) of the total, and lost his deposit.


Jay joined the government the following year as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and held several other government offices before his retirement from the House of Commons in 1983. He was made a life peer in 1987.


General Election 1945: Battersea North[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour F C R Douglas 14,070 73.9
Conservative J G W Paget 4,969 26.1
Majority 9,101 47.8
Turnout 10,738 25.1
Labour hold Swing
Battersea North by-election, 1946[3][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Douglas Jay 11,329 68.9 −5.0
Conservative B A Shattock 4,858 29.6 +3.5
Ind. Labour Party Hugo Dewar 240 1.5 N/A
Majority 6,471 39.3 −8.5
Turnout 16427 55.4
Labour hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Papers of Hugo Dewar, Trotskyist (1871-1891)". Trotskyist Sources at the Modern Records Centre. Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. Retrieved 2009-05-06. 
  2. ^ "UK General Election results July 1945". United Kingdom General Election results. University of Keele. 2008. Archived from the original on 16 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  3. ^ No change at N. Battersea, The Times, July 26, 1946, p.4
  4. ^ "1946 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2015-08-12.