Brighton (UK Parliament constituency)

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Brighton
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County 1832–1888: Sussex
1888–1950: East Sussex
Major settlements Brighton
18321950
Number of members Two
Replaced by Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Pavilion and Hove
Created from Sussex

Brighton was a parliamentary constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1832 until it was divided into single-member seats from the United Kingdom general election, 1950. Covering the seaside towns of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, it elected two Members of Parliament (MP) by the block vote system of election.

History[edit]

The constituency was created by the Reform Act 1832 for the 1832 general election. The constituency was based on the south coast seaside resort town of Brighton.

When it was proposed to enfranchise Brighton a Tory observed in Parliament that it would represent merely "toffy (sic), lemonade and jelly shops". Charles Seymour suggests he "obviously feared the Whig proclivities of the numerous tradespeople established there".[1]

The first representatives of the constituency were of radical opinions. Isaac Newton Wigney (MP 1832–1839 and 1841–1842) was described as being of "Whig opinions inclining to radicalism, in favour of the ballot, and pledged himself to resign his seat whenever his constituents called upon him so to do". His colleague, the Nonconformist preacher and attorney George Faithfull (MP 1832–1835), went much further. He advocated "the immediate abolition of slavery, of all unmerited pensions and sinecures, the standing army, all useless expense, the Corn Laws, and every other monopoly. He said that if the extent of suffrage at that time was not found efficient he would vote for universal suffrage: and if triennial Parliaments did not succeed, would vote for having them annually; he was an advocate of the ballot". [2]

Seymour provides figures for the voting qualification of Brighton electors, following the Reform Act 1867. The town was one of six boroughs in England where the £10 occupiers, enfranchised in 1832, were much more numerous than the householders who received the vote under the 1867 Act. There were 7,590 £10 occupiers and only 944 householders on the electoral register.[1]

Members of Parliament for the constituency, after the first two, were of more conventional views; but most elections were won by the Liberal Party until 1884. In 1884 the Liberal MP, William Marriott, broke with his party as he disagreed with Prime Minister Gladstone's foreign and Egyptian policy. Marriott resigned his seat and was re-elected as a Conservative. From that time onwards the Liberal Party never won an election in the constituency, except for a by-election in 1905 and both seats in the landslide victory of 1906. Apart from those few years of liberal strength, Brighton became a safe Conservative constituency.

The 1931 election of Sir Cooper Rawson holds the record for the largest majority ever received at a general election (62,253), as well as the most votes received by an individual (75,205).[3]

Boundaries[edit]

The constituency was defined in the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 as comprising the "respective Parishes of Brighthelmstone and Hove".[4] The act named the parliamentary borough as "Brighthelmstone", but the name "Brighton" was invariably used.[5]

The two parishes were adjacent coastal resorts in the historic county of Sussex in South East England. Brighton obtained a charter of incorporation to become a municipal borough in 1854, while Hove formed a local board of health in 1858, becoming a borough forty years later. These changes in local government made no changes to the boundaries of the constituency.[6] Under the Representation of the People Act 1867 the constituency was enlarged to include the Preston area which fell inside Brighton's municipal boundaries.[6]

These boundaries were used until the 1918 general election when seats were redefined in terms of the local government areas then in existence. The parliamentary borough was defined as consisting of the County Borough of Brighton and the Municipal Borough of Hove. The constituency was enlarged to include Aldrington which lay with Hove's borough boundaries.[6]

Under the Representation of the People Act 1948 the remaining multi-member constituencies were abolished and replaced with single-member ones from the 1950 election. The County Borough of Brighton was divided into Brighton Kemptown and Brighton Pavilion. The Municipal Borough of Hove, which had also been included in the old Brighton seat was combined with Portslade by Sea Urban District to form the new Hove constituency.[6]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
1832 Isaac Wigney Radical George Faithfull Radical
1835 George Pechell
(from 1849 Sir George Brook-Pechell, Bt)
Whig
1837 Sir Adolphus Dalrymple] Conservative
1841 Isaac Wigney Radical
1842 Lord Alfred Hervey Conservative
1857 William Coningham Liberal
1860 James White Liberal
1864 Henry Moor Conservative
1865 Henry Fawcett Liberal
1874 James Lloyd Ashbury Conservative Charles Cameron Shute Conservative
1880 John Robert Hollond Liberal Rt Hon. Sir William Thackeray Marriott 1 Liberal
1884 Conservative
1885 David Smith Conservative
1886 Sir William Tindal Robertson Conservative
1889 Gerald Loder Conservative
1893 Bruce Vernon-Wentworth Conservative
1905 (5 April 1905) Ernest Villiers Liberal
1906 Aurelian Ridsdale Liberal
1910 Rt Hon. George Tryon Conservative Hon. Walter Rice Conservative
1911 John Gordon Conservative
1914 Charles Thomas-Stanford Conservative
1918 Coalition Conservative Coalition Conservative
1922 Conservative Cooper Rawson Conservative
1940 Lord Erskine 2 Conservative
1941 Anthony Marlowe Conservative
1944 William Teeling Conservative
1950 constituency divided – see Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Pavilion and Hove

Notes:-

  • 1 Marriott resigned his seat as a Liberal MP in February 1884, because of dissatisfaction with the foreign and Egyptian policy of the Liberal government. He was re-elected in March 1884 as a Conservative candidate.
  • 2 Lord Erskine was a courtesy title. He was the heir apparent of The 12th Earl of Mar and 14th Earl of Kellie, but as he died before his father he never inherited the hereditary titles of his family.

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

United Kingdom general election, 1945: Brighton[7][8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Teeling 49,339 30.8 −7.4
Conservative Anthony Marlowe 49,026 30.6 −7.4
Labour Joseph Taylor Huddart[9] 31,074 19.4 +7.3
Labour GH Barnard 30,844 19.2 +7.5
Turnout 64.3 +2.6
Majority 17,952 11.2 −14.7
Registered electors 124,714
Conservative hold
Conservative hold
Brighton by-election, 1944[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Teeling 14,594 53.6 −22.6
National Independent Bruce Dutton Briant 12,635 46.4 N/A
Turnout 27,229 22.1 −39.6
Majority 1,959 7.2 −18.7
Registered electors 123,310
Conservative hold
Brighton by-election, 1941[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Anthony Marlowe Unopposed
Conservative hold
Brighton by-election, 1940[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Erskine Unopposed
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1935[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Tryon 60,913 38.2 −4.5
Conservative Cooper Rawson 60,724 38.0 −4.6
Labour Alban Godwin Gordon 19,287 12.1 +4.8
Labour Lewis Cohen 18,743 11.7 +4.4
Turnout 61.7 −6.6
Majority 41,437 25.9 −9.3
Registered electors 129,356
Conservative hold
Conservative hold
General Election 1931[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Cooper Rawson 75,205 42.7 +13.6
Conservative George Tryon 74,993 42.6 +13.6
Labour Lewis Cohen 12,952 7.4 −4.8
Labour Co-op Rosalind Moore[10] 12,878 7.3 −4.4
Turnout 68.3 +3.2
Majority 62,041 35.2 +18.4
Registered electors 128,779
Conservative hold
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

Cyril Dallow
General Election 1929[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Cooper Rawson 46,515 29.1 −13.2
Unionist George Tryon 46,287 29.0 −13.5
Labour Laurence S Cheshire[11] 19,494 12.2 −3.0
Labour William McLaine 18,770 11.7 N/A
Liberal Cyril Berkeley Dallow 14,770 9.3 N/A
Liberal John Brudenell-Bruce 13,816 8.7 N/A
Turnout 65.1 +9.9
Majority 26,793 16.8 −10.3
Registered electors 122,641
Unionist hold
Unionist hold
General Election 1924[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist George Tryon 39,387 42.5 +15.7
Unionist Cooper Rawson 39,253 42.3 +15.8
Labour Alban Godwin Gordon 14,072 15.2 +6.7
Turnout 55.2 −13.0
Majority 25,181 27.1 +16.1
Registered electors 83,980
Unionist hold
Unionist hold
General Election 1923[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist George Tryon 30,137 26.8 −5.2
Unionist Cooper Rawson 29,759 26.5 −3.5
Liberal Walter Runciman 17,462 15.5 −9.2
Liberal Henry Lunn 16,567 14.7 N/A
Labour Alban Godwin Gordon 9,545 8.5 N/A
Labour Herbert Carden 9,040 8.0 N/A
Turnout 68.2 +12.8
Majority 12,297 11.0 +5.7
Registered electors 82,475
Unionist hold
Unionist hold
CB Fry
General Election 1922[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist George Tryon 28,549 32.0 −7.7
Unionist Cooper Rawson 26,844 30.0 −9.2
Liberal C. B. Fry 22,059 24.7 N/A
Independent Unionist Harry Wheater[12] 11,913 13.3 N/A
Turnout 55.4 +5.1
Majority 4,785 5.3 −23.1
Registered electors 80,674
Unionist hold
Unionist hold

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election 1918[8][note 1][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
C Unionist George Tryon 32,958 39.7 +8.9
C Unionist Charles Thomas-Stanford 32,561 39.2 +8.4
Labour Thomas Lewis 8,971 10.8 N/A
Labour George William Alfred Canter 8,514 10.3 N/A
Turnout 50.3 −31.6
Majority 23,590 28.4 +16.8
Registered electors 82,449
Unionist hold
Unionist hold
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.
By-election 1914[14][note 2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Charles Thomas-Stanford Unopposed
Unionist hold
By-election 1911[14][note 3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Gordon Unopposed
Conservative hold
General Election, December 1910[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Tryon 10,780 30.8 +0.4
Conservative Walter Rice 10,757 30.8 +0.5
Liberal Alfred Morris[15] 6,723 19.2 −0.5
Liberal Morres Nickalls[16] 6,699 19.2 −0.4
Turnout 81.9 −7.4
Majority 4,034 11.6 +1.0
Registered electors 21,427
Conservative hold
Conservative hold
General Election, January 1910[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative George Tryon 11,625 30.4 +6.6
Conservative Walter Rice 11,567 30.3 +6.5
Liberal George Joseph Hamilton Evatt[17] 7,506 19.7 −6.7
Liberal Morres Nickalls[18] 7,472 19.6 −6.4
Turnout 89.3 +6.8
Majority 4,061 10.6 N/A
Registered electors 21,427
Conservative gain from Liberal
Conservative gain from Liberal

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Ridsdale
General Election 1906[14][note 4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Ernest Villiers 9,062 26.4 N/A
Liberal Aurelian Ridsdale 8,919 26.0 N/A
Conservative George Tryon 8,188 23.8 −17.1
Conservative John Gordon 8,176 23.8 −10.8
Turnout 82.5 +20.3
Majority 731 2.2 N/A
Registered electors 20,976
Liberal gain from Conservative
Liberal gain from Conservative
Villiers
Brighton by-election, 1905[14][note 5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Ernest Villiers 8,209 52.6 N/A
Conservative Gerald Loder 7,392 47.4 −28.1
Turnout 15,601 76.3 +14.1
Majority 817 5.2 N/A
Registered electors 20,439
Liberal gain from Conservative
General Election 1900[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Gerald Loder 7,858 40.9 +2.4
Conservative Bruce Vernon-Wentworth 6,626 34.6 −2.0
Independent Protestant John Kensit 4,693 24.5 N/A
Turnout 62.2 −12.2
Majority 1,933 10.1 −1.6
Registered electors 18,634
Conservative hold
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1895[14][note 6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Gerald Loder 7,878 38.5 +0.2
Conservative Bruce Vernon-Wentworth 7,490 36.6 +1.6
Liberal Joseph Ewart[19] 5,082 24.9 −1.8
Turnout 74.4 −1.8
Majority 2,408 11.7 +3.4
Registered electors 17,083
Conservative hold
Conservative hold
By-election, 14 December 1893[14][note 7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Bruce Vernon-Wentworth Unopposed
Conservative hold
General Election 1892[14][note 8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Gerald Loder 7,807 38.3 −2.9
Conservative William Thackeray Marriott 7,134 35.0 −5.6
Liberal Frederick William Maude 5,448 26.7 +8.5
Turnout 76.2 +18.4
Majority 1,686 8.3 −14.1
Registered electors 16,883
Conservative hold
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

By-election, 25 October 1889[14][note 9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Gerald Loder 7,132 60.7 −21.1
Liberal Robert Peel 4,625 39.3 +21.1
Majority 2,507 21.4 −1.0
Turnout 11,757 76.8 +19.0
Registered electors 15,307
Conservative hold Swing −21.1
By-election, 29 November 1886[14][note 10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Tindal Robertson Unopposed
Conservative hold
By-election, 11 August 1886[14][note 11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Thackeray Marriott Unopposed
Conservative hold
General Election 1886[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative David Smith 5,963 41.2 +11.7
Conservative William Thackeray Marriott 5,875 40.6 +11.1
Liberal William Hall[20] 2,633 18.2 −22.8
Turnout 8,577 57.8 −23.2
Majority 3,242 22.4 +13.5
Registered electors 14,848
Conservative hold
Conservative hold
General Election 1885[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Thackeray Marriott 7,047 29.5 +4.8
Conservative David Smith 7,019 29.5 +5.2
Liberal John Webb Probyn 4,899 20.6 −4.9
Liberal John Robert Hollond 4,865 20.4 −5.2
Majority 2,120 8.9 N/A
Turnout 12,021 81.0 +3.8 (est)
Registered electors 14,848
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +4.9
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +5.2
By-election, 10 Jul 1885: Brighton[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Thackeray Marriott Unopposed
Conservative gain from Liberal
By-election, 3 Mar 1884: Brighton[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Thackeray Marriott 5,478 57.7 +8.7
Liberal Robert Romer 4,021 42.3 −8.8
Majority 1,457 0.9 N/A
Turnout 9,499 71.2 −6.0 (est)
Registered electors 13,340
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +8.8
  • Caused by Marriott's decision to seek re-election as a Conservative.
General Election 1880: Brighton[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Robert Hollond 4,913 25.6
Liberal William Thackeray Marriott 4,904 25.5
Conservative James Lloyd Ashbury 4,739 24.7
Conservative Edward Field[22] 4,664 24.3
Majority 165 0.9
Turnout 9,610 (est) 77.2 (est)
Registered electors 12,454
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1840s[edit]

General Election, 30 July 1847: Brighton (2 seats)[23]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig George Pechell 1,571 46.3 +6.1
Conservative Alfred Hervey 1,239 36.5 -29.6
Whig William Coningham 586 17.3 N/A
Brighton by-election, 6 May 1842[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Alfred Hervey 1,277 66.1 +41.8
Radical Summers Harford 640 33.1 N/A
Chartist Charles Brooker 16 0.8 +0.3
Independent Nicholson 0 0.0 N/A

Wigney declared bankrupt forcing byelection

General Election, 1 July 1841: Brighton (2 seats)[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig George Pechell 1,446 40.5 -8.4
Whig Isaac Wigney 1,260 35.3 +13.6
Conservative Adolphus Dalrymple 868 24.3 +2.0
Chartist Charles Brooker 17 0.5 N/A

Elections in the 1830s[edit]

General Election, 26 July 1837: Brighton (2 seats)[26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig George Pechell 1,814 48.9 +9.4
Conservative Adolphus Dalrymple 826 22.3 +2.5
Whig Isaac Wigney 806 21.7 +0.2
Radical George Faithfull 266 7.2 -11.9
General Election, 8 & 9 January 1835: Brighton (2 seats)[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Whig George Pechell 959 39.5 +7.6
Radical Isaac Wigney 523 21.5 -8.2
Tory Adolphus Dalrymple 482 19.8 +11.4
Radical George Faithfull 465 19.1 -6.8
General Election, 12 December 1832: Brighton (2 seats)[28]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical Isaac Wigney 826 29.7 N/A
Radical George Faithfull 720 25.9 N/A
Whig George Pechell 609 21.9 N/A
Tory William Crawford 391 14.0 N/A
Tory Adolphus Dalrymple 232 8.4 N/A

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885–1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1885–1918, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1974)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press, revised edition 1977)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 5)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Seymour, Charles (1915). Electoral reform in England and Wales: the development and operation of the parliamentary franchise, 1832–1885. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. pp. 69–70. 
  2. ^ Michael Stenton, ed. (1981). Who's who of British members of Parliament. A biographical dictionary of the House of Commons based on annual volumes of Dod's Parliamentary companion and other sources (4 volumes). Humanities Press. ISBN 0-391-00613-4. 
  3. ^ Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, ed. (2000). British Electoral Facts 1832–1999. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 1-84014-053-4. 
  4. ^ Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 c.64 Sch O
  5. ^ "No. 19231". The London Gazette. 20 January 1835. p. 102. 
  6. ^ a b c d Youngs, Frederic A, Jr. (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. pp. 693, 767. ISBN 0-901050-67-9. 
  7. ^ UK General Election results July 1945
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Craig, F.W.S., ed. (1969). British parliamentary election results 1918-1949. Glasgow: Political Reference Publications. pp. 103–4. ISBN 0-900178-01-9. 
  9. ^ "Broadside against admirals enlivened the Labour Party Conference yesterday". Daily Herald. 8 Jun 1949. p. 5. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  10. ^ "Women Candidates". Western Morning News. 14 Oct 1931. p. 5. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  11. ^ "Lewes and Brighton". Sussex Agricultural Express. 24 May 1929. p. 12. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  12. ^ "Wills and Estate". The Scotsman. 28 Jul 1927. p. 7. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  13. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1922
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. p. 82. ISBN 9781349022984. 
  15. ^ "Another Wet Sunday". Brighton Gazette. 30 Nov 1910. p. 4. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  16. ^ "Mr. M. Nickalls". London Daily News. 5 Dec 1910. p. 3. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  17. ^ "A memorable by-election". Brighton Gazette. 15 Dec 1909. p. 1. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  18. ^ "Mr Morres Nickalls". London Daily News. 4 Jan 1910. p. 5. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  19. ^ "UK PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS 1832-1895". Brighton history. Retrieved 3 November 2017. 
  20. ^ "Liberal Meeting at Brighton". Brighton Gazette. 29 Jun 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  21. ^ a b c Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3. 
  22. ^ "To the electors of the Borough of Brighton". Brighton Gazette. 3 Apr 1880. p. 1. Retrieved 24 November 2017. 
  23. ^ "The General Election". The Times. 31 July 1847. p. 3. 
  24. ^ "Brighton Election. Close of Poll". The Times. 7 May 1842. p. 6. 
  25. ^ "The General Election. Elections Decided". The Times. 2 July 1841. p. 3. 
  26. ^ "The Elections". Morning Post. 27 July 1837. p. 3. 
  27. ^ "Brighton, Jan 9. Second and Last Day". The Times. 10 January 1835. p. 2. 
  28. ^ "General Election. Members Returned". The Times. 13 December 1832. p. 4. 

Notes

  1. ^ Results compared to the 1910 general election, not the later by-elections
  2. ^ Held due to Gordon's resignation
  3. ^ Held due to Rice's elevation to the House of Lords
  4. ^ Compared to the 1900 general election, not the 1905 by-election
  5. ^ Held due to Loder's appointment as Lord Commissioner of the Treasury
  6. ^ Results compared to the 1892 general election, not the later by-election
  7. ^ Held due to Marriott's resignation
  8. ^ Results compared to the 1886 general election, not the later by-elections
  9. ^ Held due to Robertson's death
  10. ^ Held due to Smith's death
  11. ^ Held due to Marriott's appointment as Judge-Advocate-General