Leith (UK Parliament constituency)

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Leith
Former Burgh constituency
for the House of Commons
Subdivisions of Scotland City of Edinburgh (from 1920)
Major settlements Leith
19181950
Number of members One
Replaced by Edinburgh Leith
Created from Leith Burghs

Leith was a burgh constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1918 to 1950. The constituency elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.

There was also an earlier Leith Burghs constituency, 1832 to 1918, and a later Edinburgh Leith constituency, 1950 to 1997.

Boundaries[edit]

The Leith constituency was created under the Representation of the People Act 1918, and first used in the 1918 general election, to cover the burgh of Leith, in the county of Midlothian.[1] The burgh was previously within the Leith Burghs constituency.

1918 boundaries were used also in the general elections of 1922, 1923, 1924, 1929, 1931, 1935 and 1945.

The burgh was merged into the city of Edinburgh in 1920, and for the 1950 general election, under the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1949, the Edinburgh Leith constituency was created as one of seven constituencies covering the city and the Midlothian burgh of Musselburgh.[1]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member[2] Party
1918 William Wedgwood Benn Liberal
1927 by-election Ernest Brown Liberal
1931 National Liberal
1945 James Hutchison Hoy, subsequently MP for Edinburgh Leith Labour

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

George Currie
General Election 1918: Leith[3] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Wedgwood Benn 10,338 46.6 N/A
C Unionist George Welsh Currie 7,613 34.3 N/A
Labour Stanley Burgess 4,251 19.1 N/A
Majority 2,725 12.3 N/A
Turnout 22,202 52.2 N/A
Registered electors 42,507
Liberal win (new seat)
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

Wedgwood Benn
General Election 1922: Leith[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Wedgwood Benn 13,971 50.1 +3.5
Unionist Alexander Munro MacRobert 7,372 26.4 −7.9
Labour Robert Freeman Wilson 6,567 23.5 +4.4
Majority 6,599 23.7 +11.4
Turnout 27,910 71.5 +19.3
Registered electors 39,048
Liberal hold Swing +5.7
General Election 1923: Leith[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Wedgwood Benn 15,004 64.5 +14.4
Labour Robert Freeman Wilson 8,267 35.5 +12.0
Majority 6,737 29.9 +5.3
Turnout 23,271 59.1 −12.4
Registered electors 39,385
Liberal hold Swing +1.2
General Election 1924: Leith[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Wedgwood Benn 16,569 59.6 −4.9
Labour Robert Freeman Wilson 11,250 40.4 +4.9
Majority 5,319 19.2 −9.8
Turnout 27,819 70.5 +11.4
Liberal hold Swing −4.9
Leith by-election, 1927[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Ernest Brown 12,461 42.3 −17.3
Labour Robert Freeman Wilson 12,350 42.0 +1.6
Unionist Allan Beaton 4,607 15.7 N/A
Majority 111 0.3 −18.9
Turnout 29,418 73.9 +3.4
Registered electors 39,795
Liberal hold Swing −9.5
General Election, 30 May 1929: Leith
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Ernest Brown 20,613 56.7 −2.9
Labour Alan H Paton 15,715 43.3 +2.9
Majority 4,898 13.5 −5.8
Turnout 36,328 71.5 +1.0
Registered electors 50,801
Liberal hold Swing −2.9
  • change and swing from 1924

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: Leith[8] Electorate 50,979
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National Ernest Brown 24,847 65.0
Labour Arthur Woodburn 13,400 35.0
Majority 11,447 29.9
Turnout 38,247 75.0
Liberal National hold Swing
General Election 1935: Leith [9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National Ernest Brown 18,888 57.7 -7.3
Labour David Cleghorn Thomson 13,818 42.2 +7.3
Majority 5,070 15.5 -14.6
Turnout 32,706 65.5 -9.5
Liberal National hold Swing -7.3

General Election 1939/40: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Leith
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour James Hoy 19,571 60.8 +18.6
Liberal National Ernest Brown 10,116 31.4 -26.3
Protestant Action John Cormack 2,493 7.8 n/a
Majority 9,455 29.4 44.9
Turnout 69.3 +3.8
Labour gain from Liberal National Swing +22.4

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b As per Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972 (ISBN 0-900178-09-4), F. W. S. Craig, 1972
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "L" (part 2)
  3. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1920
  4. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  5. ^ The Times, 8 December 1923
  6. ^ Oliver & Boyd's Edinburgh Almanack, 1924
  7. ^ The Times, 25 March 1927
  8. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1934
  9. ^ Whitaker's Almanack, 1939