Midlothian (UK Parliament constituency) (1708–1918)

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Edinburghshire
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
17081918
Number of members One
Replaced by Midlothian & Peebles Northern
Peebles & Southern
Created from Edinburghshire

Edinburghshire (also known as Midlothian) was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain (at Westminster) from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (also at Westminster) from 1801 to 1918.

It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

The seat is most famous as the location of William Ewart Gladstone's upset victory in the Midlothian Campaign of 1880, regarded as the birth of the modern political campaign in the United Kingdom. After Gladstone's victory it became the first non-English constituency to be represented by a serving prime minister.

Boundaries[edit]

As first used, in 1708 general election of the Parliament of Great Britain, the constituency covered the county of Edinburgh, except the burgh of Edinburgh, which was covered by the Edinburgh burgh constituency. 1708 boundaries were used also for all subsequent elections of that parliament.

In 1801 the Parliament of Ireland was merged with the Parliament of Great Britain to form the Parliament of the United Kingdom . The first general election of the new parliament was the general election of 1802. There was no change to the boundaries of any pre-existing Westminster constituency, and 1802 boundaries were used also in the general elections of 1806, 1807, 1812, 1818, 1820, 1826, 1830 and 1831.

For the 1832 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1832, the constituency was redefined. The boundaries of counties and burghs for parliamentary purposes ceased to be necessarily those for other purposes, but nominally the Edinburghshire constituency consisted of the county of Edinburgh minus the burghs of Edinburgh, Leith, Portobello, and Musselburgh. Edinburgh was again covered by the Edinburgh constituency, and Leith, Portobello and Musselburgh were covered by the Leith Burghs constituency.

1832 boundaries were used also in the general elections of 1835, 1837, 1841, 1847, 1852, 1857, 1859, 1865, 1874, 1880, 1886, 1892, 1895, 1900, 1906, January 1910 and December 1910.

For the 1918 general election, as a result of the Representation of the People Act 1918, the area of the Edinburghshire constituency was mostly divided between the Midlothian and Peebles Northern and Peebles and Southern Midlothian constituencies. By this date, the county of Edinburgh had been renamed as the county of Midlothian.

The Midlothian and Peebles Northern constituency consisted of the Calder and Suburban districts and part of the Lasswade district of the county of Midlothian, and the Peebles and Southern constituency consisted of the county of Peebles, the Gala Water district and part of the Lasswade district of county of Midlothian, and the burghs of Bonnyrigg, Lasswade, and Penicuik in county of Midlothian.[1]

The rest of the county of Midlothian was covered by the Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh East, Edinburgh North, Edinburgh South, Edinburgh West and Leith constituencies.[1]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1708 George Lockhart Tory
1715 John Baird
1722 Robert Dundas
1737 Sir Charles Gilmour
1751 Robert Balfour-Ramsay
1754 Robert Dundas Whig
1761 Sir Alexander Gilmour
1774 Henry Dundas Tory
1790 Robert Dundas Tory
1801 Robert Saunders-Dundas Tory
1811 Sir George Clerk, Bt Tory
1832 Sir John Dalrymple, Bt Whig
1835 Sir George Clerk, Bt Conservative
1837 William Gibson-Craig Whig
1841 William Ramsay Conservative
1845 Sir John Hope, 11th Baronet Conservative
1853 The Earl of Dalkeith Conservative
1868 Sir Alexander Ramsay-Gibson-Maitland Liberal
1874 The Earl of Dalkeith Conservative
1880 William Ewart Gladstone Liberal
1895 Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael Liberal
1900 The Master of Elibank Liberal
1906 Lord Dalmeny Liberal
1910 The Master of Elibank Liberal
1912 John Hope Unionist
1918 constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

1860s[edit]

General Election 1868: Midlothian [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alexander Ramsay-Gibson-Maitland 1,195
Conservative Earl of Dalkeith 640
Majority
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing

1870s[edit]

General Election 1874: Midlothian [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Montagu Douglas Scott 1,194 53.0
Liberal William Hay 1,059 47.0
Majority 135 6.0 N/A
Turnout 2,253 84.3
Registered electors 2,672
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing

1880s[edit]

General Election 1880: Midlothian [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone 1,579 53.6 +6.6
Conservative William Montagu Douglas Scott 1,368 46.4 −6.6
Majority 211 7.2 N/A
Turnout 2,947 90.4 +6.1
Registered electors 3,260
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +6.6

Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer required a by-election.

By-election, 10 May 1880: Midlothian [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone Unopposed
Liberal hold
General Election 1885: Midlothian [4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone 7,879 70.8 +17.2
Conservative Charles Dalrymple 3,248 29.2 −17.2
Majority 4,631 41.6 +34.4
Turnout 11,127 86.1 −4.3
Registered electors 12,924
Liberal hold Swing +17.2

Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer required a by-election.

By-election, 10 Feb 1886: Midlothian [5][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone Unopposed
Liberal hold
General Election 1886: Midlothian [5][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone Unopposed
Liberal hold

1890s[edit]

General Election 1892: Midlothian [6][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone 5,845 53.1 N/A
Conservative Andrew Wauchope 5,155 46.9 N/A
Majority 690 6.2 N/A
Turnout 11,000 83.1 N/A
Registered electors 13,234
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Gladstone's appointment as Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Lord Privy Seal required a by-election.

By-election, 24 Aug 1892: Midlothian[5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ewart Gladstone Unopposed
Liberal hold
General Election 1895: Midlothian [7][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Gibson-Carmichael 6,090 52.0 −1.1
Liberal Unionist North de Coigny Dalrymple-Hamilton 5,631 48.0 +1.1
Majority 459 4.0 −2.2
Turnout 11,721 85.2 +2.1
Registered electors 13,750
Liberal hold Swing −1.1

1900s[edit]

General Election 1900: Midlothian [7][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alexander Murray 5,804 51.4 −0.6
Liberal Unionist North de Coigny Dalrymple-Hamilton 5,490 48.6 +0.6
Majority 314 2.8 −1.2
Turnout 11,294 80.7 −4.5
Registered electors 13,991
Liberal hold Swing −0.6
General Election 1906: Midlothian [8][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Harry Primrose 8,348 61.9 +10.5
Conservative Frank J. Usher 5,131 38.1 −10.5
Majority 3,217 23.8 +21.0
Turnout 13,479 85.8 +5.1
Registered electors 15,711
Liberal hold Swing +10.5

1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Midlothian [9][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alexander Murray 9,062 62.5 +0.6
Conservative Mountstuart Elphinstone 5,427 37.5 −0.6
Majority 3,635 25.0 +1.2
Turnout 14,489 84.5 −1.3
Registered electors 17,141
Liberal hold Swing +0.6
General Election December 1910: Midlothian [9][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Alexander Murray 8,837 60.9 −1.6
Conservative John Hope 5,680 39.1 +1.6
Majority 3,157 21.8 −3.2
Turnout 14,517 82.3 −2.2
Registered electors 17,639
Liberal hold Swing −1.6
Midlothian by-election, 1912 [9][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist John Hope 6,021 41.8 +2.7
Liberal Alexander Shaw 5,989 41.5 −19.4
Labour Robert Brown 2,413 16.7 N/A
Majority 32 0.3 N/A
Turnout 14,423 80.8 −1.5
Registered electors 17,847
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +11.1

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972 (ISBN 0-900178-09-4), F. W. S. Craig, 1972
  2. ^ Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1870
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ a b c Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1889
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984. 
  6. ^ a b Whitaker's Almanack, 1893
  7. ^ a b Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1901
  8. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1907
  9. ^ a b c Debrett's House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1916

Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "M" (part 2)

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Buckinghamshire
in 1876
Constituency represented by the Prime Minister
1880–1885
1886–1886
1892–1895
Succeeded by
Manchester East
in 1902