Leeds North East by-election, 1940

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The Leeds North East by-election, 1940 was a parliamentary by-election in England held on 13 March 1940 to elect a new Member of Parliament (MP) for the House of Commons constituency of Leeds North East.

The vacancy was caused by the resignation on 8 February 1940 of the sitting Member, Sir John Dearman Birchall, through the procedural device of appointment as Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds.[1] He had held the seat since its creation for the 1918 general election.[2]

The by-election was held during World War II, and the five largest political parties – Conservative, Labour, Liberal, National Labour and National Liberal – were all members of the Coalition Government. As such, they maintained an electoral pact and agreed not to contest any by-elections in seats held by any other party in the Government.

The Conservative candidate, John Craik-Henderson, was opposed only by Sydney Allen of the British Union of Fascists. Henderson won with 97.1% of the vote,[3] but gained only 37.5% in 1945,[3] one of the largest drops in share ever.[citation needed]


Leeds North East by-election, 1940
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Craik-Henderson 23,882 97.1 +32.3
British Union of Fascists Sydney Allen 722 2.9 N/A
Majority 23,160 94.1 +64.5
Conservative hold Swing N/A


  1. ^ Department of Information Services (9 June 2009). "Appointments to the Chiltern Hundreds and Manor of Northstead Stewardships since 1850" (PDF). House of Commons Library. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 February 2011. Retrieved 30 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  3. ^ a b Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 162. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 

See also[edit]