Great Grimsby is a constituency[n 1] in North East Lincolnshire represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom since May 2015 by Melanie Onn of the Labour Party.[n 2][n 3]
The present constituency follows the boundaries of the old Borough of Great Grimsby, which was abolished when the former county of Humberside was divided into four unitary authorities in 1996. From the 2010 general election new boundaries took effect, but the Boundary Commission's review led only to minimal changes, aligning the constituency boundaries with present ward boundaries so the seat still has electoral wards:
- East Marsh, Freshney, Heneage, Park, Scartho, South, West Marsh and Yarborough.
The constituency has been represented since the first House of Commons was assembled in the Model Parliament of 1295, and it elected two MPs until 1832. Great Grimsby was established as a parliamentary borough in 1295, sending two burgesses, and has been continuously represented ever since. The town of Grimsby in Lincolnshire, a market town, fishing port and seaport.
Freemen of the town had the right to vote, provided they were resident and paying scot and lot; in 1831 this amounted to just under 400 voters. The town corporation bestowed this status, as today, rarely on those bringing acclaim to the place, but it was routinely acquired through apprenticeship in the guilds and by inheritance; in Great Grimsby, unusually, the husband of a freeman's daughter or widow acquired the freedom.[n 4]
In 1831, when the Reform Bill was being discussed in Parliament, the wives and daughters of the Great Grimsby freemen petitioned the House of Lords to retain their rights to pass on the vote to their future husbands and children. However, their concern to retain these rights may not have been rooted in any their family desiring to help choose the borough's MPs as a vote in Great Grimsby was a valuable commodity in a more mercenary sense, and the contemporary polemicist Oldfield considered that "This borough stands second to none in the history of corruption." At the start of the 18th century it was noted that Grimsby's "freemen did enter into treaties with several gentlemen in London, for sale of the choice of burgess to such as would give the most money". In 1701, the House of Commons overturned the election of one of Great Grimsby's MPs, William Cotesworth, for bribery and sent him to the Tower of London and temporarily suspended the borough's right to representation. Almost every election in Great Grimsby at this period was followed by a petition from defeated candidates alleging bribery, although that of 1701 seems to have been the only one which was acted upon.
Great Grimsby, like most boroughs except for the very largest, recognised a "patron" who could generally exercise influence over the choice of its MPs; at the time of the Great Reform Act of 1832, this was Lord Yarborough. However, the extent of the patron's power was limited in Great Grimsby, and the voters were quite prepared (at a price) to defy his advice. The patron could strengthen his position by providing employment to the freemen, as could his rivals. Jupp quotes two letters, one of 1818 and one of 1819, in which local agents advise the Tennyson family how best to do this in Grimsby so as to encroach on Lord Yarborough's influence:
- "Build upon every spot of vacant ground you are possessed of... Thus you would give employment to a great number of freemen... Let Mr Heneage's estates[n 5] be divided into fields of four or six acres; and let these, together with your own estates be placed in the hands of freemen to whom they would be an object of importance. Provide, if possible, small farms for the sons of Lord Yarbro's tenants".
On a less extravagant level, it is recorded that after Charles Tennyson was first elected in 1818 he presented a bottle of wine to each of the fathers of 92 local children about to be christened.
The General Election of 1831 in Grimsby was as notorious as in some of the rotten boroughs, the local Tories being accused of using a revenue cutter lying in the Humber to ply the Whig voters with drink and prevent them getting to the polls; the fact of the outcome standing led to a nationally well-known action by John Shelley for libel.
In 1831, the population of the borough was 4,008, and contained 784 houses. The Boundary Act in concert with the Reform Act enlarged the borough to include eight neighbouring parishes[n 6], brought the population up to 6,413 with 1,365 houses but the landed property aspect to the franchise was not reformed so this increased the electorate only to 656 so Great Grimsby lost one of its two seats. However, Grimsby's population and housing continued to grow and, unlike most of the boroughs that lost one seat in 1832 it has retained its existence, without taking up large swathes of the county.
The constituency underwent further significant boundary change in 1918 and 1950. In 1918, parishes that had joined, (Bradley, Great Coates, Little Coates, Laceby, Waltham, Weelsby and the adjoining neighbourhood/parish of Scartho) were detached to join Louth county constituency, and the seat [n 7] consisted of the county borough of Grimsby and the urban district (later borough) of Cleethorpes. In 1950, Cleethorpes was moved into the Louth county division, leaving the borough once more Grimsby alone. More recent boundary changes have only been adjustments to conform to changes at local government level.
Labour's Austin Mitchell retained the seat in a 1977 by only 520 votes in a by-election following the death of the Foreign Secretary Tony Crosland. He held the seat until retiring in 2015. At the 2010 election Mitchell's majority was again reduced to three figures after a swing of over 10% to the Conservatives.
At the 2015 election, Great Grimsby was considered a target for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP). UKIP had selected as their candidate the 2010 Conservative candidate, Victoria Ayling, who had switched parties since the previous election. Labour's candidate was Melanie Onn, while the Conservatives stood Marc Jones. In the event however, Onn was successful, increasing Mitchell's majority of 714 more than sixfold and enjoying a swing of 5.6% from the Conservatives, with UKIP finishing third.
Members of Parliament
MPs since 1832
Elections in the 2010s
Elections in the 2000s
Elections in the 1990s
Elections in the 1980s
Elections in the 1970s
Elections in the 1960s
Elections in the 1950s
Elections in the 1940s
Elections in the 1930s
Elections in the 1920s
Elections in the 1910s
General Election 1915: Grimsby (cancelled)
||James Whitely Wilkin
|Due to the outbreak of the First World War, this election did not take place. These candidates were chosen by Autumn 1914.
Elections in the 1900s
Elections in the 1890s
Elections in the 1880s
Notes and references
- ^ A borough constituency (for the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer)
- ^ Between 1918 and 1983 it was known simply as Grimsby.
- ^ As with all constituencies, the constituency currently elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election at least every five years.
- ^ Not only were sons of freemen considered freemen
- ^ See three MPs which that name, in 1496 and throughout the 19th century including one elevated to Baron Heneage
- ^ Including Cleethorpes and Great Coates
- ^ From 1918 Grimsby rather than Great Grimsby
- ^ "Electorate Figures - Boundary Commission for England". 2011 Electorate Figures. Boundary Commission for England. 4 March 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2010. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
- ^ George Oliver to George Tennyson, 24 November 1818, quoted in Jupp.
- ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32500470
- ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-humber-32646493
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Shaw, George. Old Grimsby.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "History of Parliament". Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- ^ a b Cavill. The English Parliaments of Henry VII 1485-1504.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "History of Parliament". Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j "History of Parliament". Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- ^ a b c Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "G" (part 2)
- ^ On petition, the Commons resolved that William Cotesworth "has been notoriously guilty of bribery and other indirect practices", that he had not been duly elected and that his offences he should be committed as a prisoner to the Tower of London. They also resolved that no new writ for Great Grimsby should be issued for the remainder of the session, leaving the seat vacant
- ^ Expelled from the House of Commons in 1721 for his role in the South Sea Bubble
- ^ Created Earl of Catherlough (in the Peerage of Ireland), 1763
- ^ Long changed his name to North in 1789
- ^ On petition, which accused both Loft and Boucherett of bribery and treating, the result of the 1802 election was overturned. The committee amended the result of the voting, so that Loft who had been placed first was placed third, and declared Mellish duly elected in Loft's place.
- ^ "Great Grimsby parliamentary constituency". BBC News.
- ^ "Great Grimsby". BBC News. Retrieved 11 May 2015.
- ^ "Election Data 2015". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 17 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- ^ "Election Data 2010". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
- ^ "UK - England - Yorkshire & the Humber - Great Grimsby". BBC News. 7 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- ^ "Election Data 2005". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- ^ "Election Data 2001". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- ^ "Election Data 1997". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- ^ "UK General Election results May 1997". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Politics Resources. 1 May 1997. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
- ^ The 1997 swings are calculated relative to the actual 1992 result as there were no boundary changes to this constituency in 1997. Rallings, Colin; Thrasher, Michael (1995). The Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies. Plymouth: LGC Elections Centre. p. 89.
- ^ "Election Data 1992". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- ^ "UK General Election results April 1992". Richard Kimber's Political Science Resources. Politics Resources. 9 April 1992. Retrieved 6 December 2010.
- ^ "Election Data 1987". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- ^ "Election Data 1983". Electoral Calculus. Archived from the original on 15 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- ^ The Times' Guide to the House of Commons. 1951.
- ^ a b c British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
- ^ The Liberal Year Book, 1931
- ^ British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 by F.W.S. Craig
- ^ a b British parliamentary election results 1885-1918 by F.W.S. Craig
- ^ a b c d e f g h i j British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)
- Robert Beatson, A Chronological Register of Both Houses of Parliament (London: Longman, Hurst, Res & Orme, 1807) 
- Cobbett's Parliamentary history of England, from the Norman Conquest in 1066 to the year 1803 (London: Thomas Hansard, 1808) 
- F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
- Peter Jupp, British and Irish Elections 1784-1831 (Newton Abbott: David & Charles, 1973)
- T. H. B. Oldfield, The Representative History of Great Britain and Ireland (London: Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, 1816)
- Edward Porritt and Annie G Porritt, The Unreformed House of Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1903)
- J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
- Robert Walcott, English Politics in the Early Eighteenth Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1956)
- Frederic A Youngs, jr, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol II (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991)
Coordinates: 53°34′N 0°05′W / 53.56°N 0.08°W