Middleton by-election, 1911

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The Middleton by-election, 1911 was a parliamentary by-election held on 2 August 1911 for the Middleton division of Lancashire, a constituency of the British House of Commons.


Ryland Adkins had been Liberal MP for Middleton since 1906 when he gained the seat from the Conservatives. Upon his appointment as Recorder of Nottingham on 17 July 1911,[1] Adkins was obliged by the electoral law of the day to resign his seat and re-contest it at a by-election.[2]

Electoral history[edit]

Ryland Adkins
General Election December 1910: Middleton[3] Electorate 15,391
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Ryland Dent Adkins 7,071 52.9 -2.1
Liberal Unionist William Alfred Samuel Hewins 6,284 47.1 +2.1
Majority 787 5.8 -4.2
Turnout 86.8 -3.7
Liberal hold Swing -2.1


Adkins Unionist opponent was William Hewins who was his opponent at the December 1910 general election.


The by-election was fought mainly on the issue of National Insurance which Hewins took up vigorously, if by some accounts rather cynically. In the course of the campaign Lloyd George had to send Adkins a letter for public consumption refuting in detail Hewins’ claims.


Adkins held on, although Hewins reduced his majority again, this time to 411 votes.[4]

Middleton by-election, 1911[5] Electorate 15,447
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Sir William Ryland Dent Adkins 6,863 51.5 -1.4
Liberal Unionist William Alfred Samuel Hewins 6,452 48.5 +1.4
Majority 411 3.0 -2.8
Turnout 86.2 -0.6
Liberal hold Swing -1.4


Hewins was elected in a by-election at Hereford in 1912. A General Election was due to take place by the end of 1915. By the autumn of 1914, the following candidates had been adopted to contest that election.

General Election 1914/15: Middleton Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Sir William Ryland Dent Adkins

Due to the outbreak of war, the election never took place. In 1918, following boundary changes, the Middleton constituency was combined with Prestwich.

General Election 14 December 1918: Middleton & Prestwich Electorate 36,563
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Sir William Ryland Dent Adkins 14,831
Labour John B Battle 6,501
Liberal hold Swing
  • Adkins was the endorsed candidate of the Coalition Government.


  1. ^ "No. 28514". The London Gazette. 18 July 1911. p. 5350. 
  2. ^ "Election Intelligence". The Times. 2 August 1911. p. 11. 
  3. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)
  4. ^ "Middleton By-Election. Liberal Majority Reduced". The Times. 3 August 1911. p. 6. 
  5. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)