Luton (UK Parliament constituency)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Luton
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County Bedfordshire
Major settlements Luton
19501974 (1974)
Number of members One
Replaced by Luton East and Luton West
18851950
Number of members One
Type of constituency County constituency
Created from Bedfordshire
During its existence contributed to new seat(s) of: Mid Bedfordshire (1918 to date)
South Bedfordshire (1950-1983)

Luton was a constituency including the town of Luton in Bedfordshire. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament, elected by the first past the post system 1885–1950 and for 24 years thereafter.

It was created for the 1885 general election as one of two divisions of the county, see Bedfordshire county constituency. The constituency adjoined the seat of Bedford toward the north of the county until 1918. The seat was equally referred to as Southern Bedfordshire, Bedfordshire Southern and South Bedfordshire until that year.

From the 1910s onwards the town of Luton and contiguous suburbs expanded increasing the electorate as recorded at the census in each decade. This provoked territory loss to a new seat in 1918 and in 1950 and further population growth (coupled with a programme of new housing principally under the New Towns Act 1946) justified abolition and division into East and West seats in 1974.

Political summary[edit]

Before 1950

The seat was Liberal-candidate won for 54 years before 1945, when it was won by the Labour candidate. The remaining six years were won by Conservative and Unionist Party candidates, running under the emphasis of the party as 'Unionist'. Until 1918 the seat bore three other official or quasi-official cited names in the House.[1]

After 1955

Charles Hill, Baron Hill of Luton before his life peerage served as a National Liberal and Conservative until 1963 when he died. His party had been re-created again in coalition with the Conservatives in 1931. The two largest parties won the seat from 1963 until 1974.

Electorate size

The electorate rose through house-building from a relatively modest 37,051 in 1918 to an over-sized (malapportioned) 95,227 in 1945.[2]

In 1950 the electorate of the curtailed seat was 56,569; this rose to 62,457 in 1974, the year when a General Election occurred following an Act of Parliament and abolition-provoking Boundary Commission Report. The report was the product of the Commission's Third Periodic Review of Westminster Seats.

Boundaries[edit]

1885-1918: The Municipal Boroughs of Luton and Dunstable, the Sessional Divisions of Leighton Buzzard, Luton, and Woburn, and part of the Sessional Division of Ampthill.

1918-1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Luton and Dunstable, and the Rural District of Luton.

1950-1974: The Municipal Borough of Luton wards of Central, Crawley, Dallow, High Town, Icknield, Lewsey, South, Stopsley, Sundon Park, and Wardown.

The 1885 county constituency was created under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, when the two-seat Bedfordshire "parliamentary county" which had been among the vast bulk of counties returning members since the 13th century was divided into two seats of Biggleswade and Luton.

At the February 1974 general election the borough constituency of Luton disappeared and was split into two new borough constituencies of Luton East and Luton West.

Recognition of density

Luton became a borough constituency which determines the type of returning officer and limits election expenses below those of a county equivalent in 1950.[3]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1885 Cyril Flower Liberal
1892 by-election Samuel Whitbread Liberal
1895 Thomas Ashton Liberal
1911 by-election Cecil Harmsworth Liberal
1922 Sir John Hewett Unionist
1923 Geoffrey Howard Liberal
1924 Terence O'Connor Unionist
1929 Leslie Burgin Liberal
1931 National Liberal
1945 Will Warbey Labour
1950 Charles Hill National Liberal and Conservative
1963 by-election Will Howie Labour
1970 Charles Simeons Conservative
Feb 1974 constituency abolished: see Luton East and Luton West

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

Gedge
General Election 1885: Luton [4][5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cyril Flower 6,080 61.1 N/A
Conservative Sydney Gedge 3,871 38.9 N/A
Majority 2,209 22.2 N/A
Turnout 9,951 82.2 N/A
Registered electors 12,106
Liberal win (new seat)

Flower was appointed a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, requiring a by-election.

By-election, 13 Feb 1886: Luton [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cyril Flower Unopposed
Registered electors 12,106
Liberal hold
General Election 1886: Luton [4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cyril Flower 4,275 54.3 −6.8
Conservative Walter Barttelot 3,602 45.7 +6.8
Majority 673 8.6 −13.6
Turnout 7,877 65.1 −17.1
Registered electors 12,106
Liberal hold Swing −6.8

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1892: Luton [4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cyril Flower 5,296 55.3 +1.0
Liberal Unionist Oliver Thomas Duke 4,277 44.7 -1.0
Majority 1,019 10.6 +2.0
Turnout 9,573 75.7 +10.6
Registered electors 12,642
Liberal hold Swing +1.0

Flower is elevated to the peerage as Lord Battersea.

Luton by-election, 1892 [4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Samuel Whitbread 4,838 51.3 −4.0
Liberal Unionist Oliver Thomas Duke 4,596 48.7 +4.0
Majority 242 2.6 −8.0
Turnout 9,434 74.6 −1.1
Registered electors 12,642
Liberal hold Swing −4.0
Thomas Ashton
General Election 1895: Luton [4][5][7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Ashton 5,430 50.9 −4.4
Liberal Unionist Oliver Thomas Duke 5,244 49.1 +4.4
Majority 186 1.8 −8.8
Turnout 10,674 83.7 +8.0
Registered electors 12,760
Liberal hold Swing −4.4

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1900: Luton [8][5][9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Ashton 5,474 50.5 −0.4
Conservative George Elliott 5,371 49.5 +0.4
Majority 103 1.0 −0.8
Turnout 10,845 81.4 −2.3
Registered electors 13,317
Liberal hold Swing −0.4
General Election 1906: Luton [8][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Ashton 7,240 57.3 +6.8
Conservative Alfred Peter Hillier 5,387 42.7 −6.8
Majority 1,853 14.6 +13.6
Turnout 12,627 87.3 +5.9
Registered electors 14,459
Liberal hold Swing +6.8

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Luton [10][8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Ashton 7,946 52.9 −4.4
Liberal Unionist George Elliott 7,080 47.1 +4.4
Majority 866 5.8 −8.8
Turnout 15,026 90.7 +3.4
Registered electors 16,564
Liberal hold Swing −4.4
General Election December 1910: Luton [4][11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Thomas Ashton 7,601 53.4 +0.5
Conservative John Owen Hickman 6,623 46.6 -0.5
Majority 978 6.8 +1.0
Turnout 14,224 85.9 −4.8
Registered electors 16,564
Liberal hold Swing +0.5
Harmsworth
Luton by-election, 1911[4][12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Cecil Harmsworth 7,619 52.1 -1.3
Conservative John Owen Hickman 7,006 47.9 +1.3
Majority 613 4.2 −2.6
Turnout 14,625 85.1 −0.8
Registered electors 17,177
Liberal hold Swing -1.3

General Election 1914/15:

Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1914 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected;

General Election 1918: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
C Liberal Cecil Harmsworth 13,501 69.4 +16.0
Labour Willet Ball 5,964 30.6 N/A
Majority 7,537 38.8 +32.0
Turnout 19,465 62.5 −23.4
Liberal hold Swing N/A
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

Percy Alden
General Election 1922: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist John Hewett 13,301 43.5 n/a
Liberal Harry Arnold 10,137 33.2 -36.2
Labour Percy Alden 7,107 23.3 -7.3
Majority 3,164 10.3 49.1
Turnout 81.0 +18.5
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing n/a
Geoffrey Howard
General Election 1923: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Geoffrey Howard 15,569 51.4 +18.2
Unionist John Hewett 11,738 38.7 -4.8
Labour Willet Ball 2,998 9.9 -13.4
Majority 3,831 12.7 23.0
Turnout 78.1
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +11.5
General Election 1924: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Terence O'Connor 15,443 47.1
Liberal Geoffrey Howard 11,495 35.1
Labour Philip L Millwood 5,850 17.8
Majority 3,948 12.0
Turnout 82.6
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1929: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Leslie Burgin 20,248 45.5 +10.4
Unionist Terence O'Connor 16,930 38.0 -9.1
Labour Florence Harrison Bell 7,351 16.5 -1.3
Majority 3,318 7.5 19.5
Turnout 81.5 -1.1
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +9.8

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National Leslie Burgin 32,015 80.2
Labour James H MacDonnell 7,897 19.8
Majority 24,118 60.4
Turnout 39,912 67.8
Liberal National hold Swing
General Election 1935: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National Leslie Burgin 28,809 65.5
Labour F. L. Kerran 15,181 34.5
Majority 13,628 31.0
Turnout 43,990 63.2
Liberal National hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

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;

General Election 1945: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour William Warbey 39,335 55.2
Liberal National Bruno Brown 31,914 44.8
Majority 7,421 10.4
Turnout 74.9
Labour gain from Liberal National Swing

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: Luton[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal and Conservative Charles Hill 22,946 46.59
Labour William Warbey 21,860 44.38
Liberal Wilfred G Matthews 4,447 9.03
Majority 1,086 2.20
Turnout 87.07
National Liberal and Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1951: Luton[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal and Conservative Charles Hill 26,554 52.69
Labour William Warbey 23,842 47.31
Majority 2,712 5.38
Turnout 87.59
National Liberal and Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1955: Luton[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal and Conservative Charles Hill 24,722 51.33
Labour Morris Janis 20,304 42.15
Liberal Jean Henderson 3,140 6.52
Majority 4,418 9.17
Turnout 83.14
National Liberal and Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1959: Luton[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal and Conservative Charles Hill 27,153 55.09
Labour Co-op Cyril Rawlett Fenton 22,134 44.91
Majority 5,019 10.18
Turnout 82.46
National Liberal and Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

Luton by-election, 1963
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour William Howie 21,108 48.02 +3.11
Conservative John Fletcher-Cooke 17,359 39.49 -15.60
Liberal M A Benjamin 5,001 11.38 +11.38
Communist Tony Chater 490 1.11 +1.11
Majority 3,749 8.53
Turnout 43,958 N/A
Labour gain from National Liberal and Conservative Swing
General Election 1964: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour William Howie 23,751 50.16 +5.25
Conservative Charles Simeons 23,028 48.64 -6.45
Communist Tony Chater 567 1.20 N/A
Majority 723 1.53
Turnout 79.84
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1966: Luton[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour William Howie 23,069 48.76
Conservative Charles Simeons 20,605 43.55
Liberal Thomas H Daniels 3,049 6.44
Communist Tony Chater 586 1.24
Majority 2,464 5.21
Turnout 79.21
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: Luton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Charles Simeons 23,308 50.99
Labour William Howie 21,959 48.04
Communist Tony Chater 447 0.98
Majority 1,349 2.95
Turnout 73.17
Conservative gain from Labour Swing

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vision of Britain". Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. 
  2. ^ http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/unit/12738286/cube/ELECTORATE_TOT
  3. ^ ([1])
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig
  5. ^ a b c d e f g The Liberal Year Book, 1907
  6. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
  7. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  8. ^ a b c Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. ISBN 9781349022984. 
  9. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  10. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  11. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  12. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  13. ^ Luton Times and Advertiser 15 May 1914
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ [3]
  16. ^ [4]
  17. ^ [5]
  18. ^ [6]