Combined Scottish Universities by-election, 1935

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The Combined Scottish Universities by-election, 1935 was a by-election held from 17 June to 22 June 1935 for the Combined Scottish Universities, a university constituency of the British House of Commons.


The seat had become vacant when the sitting Unionist Member of Parliament (MP), John Buchan had resigned his seat when he was appointed as Governor General of Canada. He had held the seat since a by-election in April 1927.


The Unionist candidate was 55-year-old John Graham Kerr, Regius Professor of Zoology at the University of Glasgow. The Labour Party candidate was the novelist and poet Naomi Mitchison. There was no Liberal Party candidate.

Neither Kerr nor Mitchison had previously contested a parliamentary election.


The result was a victory for the Unionist candidate, Prof. Kerr, who won over 80% of the votes. He resigned his university chair, held the seat until the university constituencies were abolished for the 1950 general election.


Combined Scottish Universities by-election, 17-22 June 1935
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Prof. John Graham Kerr 20,507 82.7 N/A
Labour Naomi Mitchison 4,293 17.3 N/A
Majority 16,214 65.4 N/A
Turnout 24,800 48.1 N/A
Unionist hold Swing N/A
General Election, October 1931: Combined Scottish Universities
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist John Buchan unopposed
Liberal Dugald McCoig Cowan unopposed
Unionist Archibald Noel Skelton unopposed

See also[edit]