McIver was the son of John McIver, secretary of the Presidency Bank of Madras. He was educated at Kensington Grammar School and at Bonn University. He served for a while in the Indian Civil Service and was called to the bar at Middle Temple in 1878.
McIver was elected as the Member of Parliament for Torquay at the 1885 general election, and represented it until his defeat in 1886. He joined the Liberal Unionist Party at the split in 1886, and unsuccessfully contested Edinburgh South at the 1892 general election. He returned to the Commons after a nine-year absence when he was elected at a by-election in May 1895 as the MP for Edinburgh West. He was created a baronet on 23 July 1896, and held his seat in Parliament until he resigned on 12 May 1909 by the procedural device of accepting appointment as Steward of the Manor of Northstead.
McIver married Charlotte Rosalind Montefiore, daughter of Nathaniel Montefiore and Emma Goldsmid, on 12 September 1884.
- Leigh Rayment's list of baronets – Baronetcies beginning with "M" (part 1)
- Debretts Guide to the House of Commons 1886
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 261. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
- Craig, page 499
- "No. 26630". The London Gazette. 31 May 1895. p. 3146.
- Craig, page 500
- Department of Information Services (14 January 2010). "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 13 August 2010.
- "Sir Lewis McIver". The Times (42486). 11 August 1920. p. 13. Retrieved 11 March 2016 – via The Times Digital Archive. (Subscription required (. ))
- the Peerage.com
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Lewis McIver
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Torquay
|Member of Parliament for Edinburgh West
James Avon Clyde
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|