Berwickshire by-election, 1916

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The Berwickshire by-election, 1916 was a parliamentary by-election held for the House of Commons constituency of Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders on 18 July 1916.


Under the provisions of the Succession to the Crown Act of 1707 and a number of subsequent Acts, MPs appointed to certain ministerial and legal offices were at this time required to seek re-election.[1] The by-election in Berwickshire was caused by the appointment of the sitting Liberal MP, Harold “Jack” Tennant as Secretary for Scotland.[2]


The writ for the by-election was moved in Parliament on 10 July [3] and the returning officer, the Sheriff of Berwickshire, fixed 18 July for the nomination of candidates.[4]


As the other political parties were collaborating in the wartime coalition government of H H Asquith, the Tories were not expected to oppose Tennant [5] and there was not, as yet, any tradition of Labour contesting Berwickshire.[6] In the absence of any other candidate, Tennant was duly returned unopposed on 18 July and, introduced by the Prime Minister and Eugene Wason MP, re-took his seat in the House of Commons on 20 July to cheers as Secretary for Scotland.[7]

The result[edit]

Berwickshire by-election, 1916
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Harold Tennant Unopposed N/A N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A


  1. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results, 1885-1918; Macmillan Press, 1974 pxiv
  2. ^ The Times, 11 November 1935, p14
  3. ^ The Times, 11 July 1916, p10
  4. ^ The Times, 14 July 1916, p5
  5. ^ The Times, 14 July 1916, p5
  6. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results, 1885-1918; Macmillan Press, 1974 p531
  7. ^ The Times, 21 July 1916, p10

See also[edit]