1940 East Renfrewshire by-election

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The East Renfrewshire by-election, 1940 was a parliamentary by-election held on 9 May 1940 for the British House of Commons constituency of East Renfrewshire in Scotland.

Previous MP[edit]

The seat had become vacant when the constituency's Unionist Member of Parliament (MP), The Marquess of Cydesdale, had succeeded to the peerage as Duke of Hamilton. He had been East Renfrewshire's MP since winning the seat at a by-election in 1930.


During World War II, unopposed by-elections were common, since the major parties had agreed not to contest by-elections when vacancies arose in seats held by the other parties; contests occurred only when independent candidates or minor parties chose to stand.

The Unionist candidate in East Renfrewshire, Guy Lloyd, therefore did not face a Labour Party or Liberal candidate. However, the Independent Labour Party (ILP) did not support the electoral pact, and Annie Maxton (sister of ILP leader James Maxton) stood as an ILP candidate in the by-election.


On a much-reduced turnout, the result was a massive victory for Lloyd, who won 80.7% of the votes. He remained East Renfrewshire's MP until he stepped down at the 1959 election.


General Election, 1935: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Douglas Douglas-Hamilton 35,121 55.6 −3.8
Labour Co-op J. Barr 21,475 34.0 +7.3
SNP W.O. Brown 6,593 10.4 −3.5
Majority 13,646 21.5 −11.2
Turnout 63,189 75.9 −4.8
Unionist hold Swing −6.6
East Renfrewshire by-election, 9th May 1940
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Guy Lloyd 34,316 80.7 +25.1
Ind. Labour Party Annie Maxton 8,206 19.3 N/A
Majority 26,110 61.4 +39.8
Turnout 42,522 43.4
Unionist hold Swing
General Election, 1945: East Renfrewshire
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Guy Lloyd 42,310 53.6
Labour Co-op D. McArthur 36,634 46.4
Majority 5,676 +7.2
Turnout 78,944 67.2
Unionist hold Swing


  • Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs

See also[edit]