South Molton (UK Parliament constituency)

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South Molton
Former County constituency
for the House of Commons
18851950
Number of members one
Replaced by Torrington and North Devon
Created from North Devon

South Molton was a parliamentary constituency centred on the small town of South Molton in Devon, in the South West of England. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The constituency was created for the 1885 general election, and abolished for the 1950 general election, when it was largely replaced by Torrington.

Boundaries[edit]

1885-1918: The Municipal Borough of South Molton, and the Sessional Divisions of Crediton, Great Torrington, and South Molton.

1918-1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Great Torrington, Okehampton, and South Molton, the Urban District of Crediton, and the Rural Districts of Crediton, Okehampton, South Molton, and Torrington.

Members of Parliament[edit]

George Lambert
Election Member Party
1885 Newton Wallop Liberal
1886 Liberal Unionist
1891 George Lambert Liberal
1924 Cedric Drewe Unionist
1929 George Lambert Liberal
1931 Liberal National
1945 George Lambert jnr. National Liberal
1950 constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1885: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Newton Wallop 4,925 62.7 N/A
Conservative Walter Rodolph Trefusis[2] 2,924 37.3 N/A
Majority 2,001 25.4 N/A
Turnout 7,849 84.0 N/A
Registered electors 9,343
Liberal win (new seat)
General Election 1886: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Unionist Newton Wallop 4,041 63.2 +25.9
Liberal William Heap Walker[3] 2,352 36.8 −25.9
Majority 1,689 26.4 N/A
Turnout 6,393 68.4 −15.6
Registered electors 9,343
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +25.9

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

Viscount Lymington was elevated to the peerage, becoming Earl of Portsmouth, causing a by-election.

By-election, 13 Nov 1891: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert 4,222 58.4 +21.6
Liberal Unionist Charles William Buller[4][5] 3,010 41.6 −21.6
Majority 1,212 16.8 N/A
Turnout 7,232 83.0 +14.6
Registered electors 8,712
Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing +21.6
General Election 1892: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert 4,278 59.3 +22.5
Conservative Richard Moore-Stevens 2,939 40.7 −22.5
Majority 1,339 18.6 N/A
Turnout 7,217 82.6 +14.2
Registered electors 8,737
Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing +22.5
General Election 1895: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert 4,283 59.4 +0.1
Liberal Unionist James J. Long[6] 2,923 40.6 −0.1
Majority 1,360 18.8 +0.2
Turnout 7,206 83.2 +0.6
Registered electors 8,662
Liberal hold Swing +0.1

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election January 1900: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert Unopposed
Liberal hold
General Election January 1906: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert Unopposed
Liberal hold

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

George Lambert
General Election January 1910: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert 4,419 56.5 N/A
Liberal Unionist John Perowne 3,398 43.5 N/A
Majority 1,021 13.0 N/A
Turnout 7,817 89.9 N/A
Registered electors 8,700
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General Election December 1910: South Molton[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert 4,224 56.8 +0.3
Liberal Unionist John Perowne 3,217 43.2 −0.3
Majority 1,007 13.6 +0.6
Turnout 7,441 85.5 -4.4
Registered electors 8,700
Liberal hold Swing +0.3

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;

George Lambert
General Election 1918: South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert 10,424 56.3 −0.5
C Unionist Herbert Sparkes 8,093 43.7 +0.5
Majority 2,331 12.6 −1.0
Turnout 18,517 65.8 −19.7
Liberal hold Swing −0.5
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

General Election 1922: South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a
General Election 1923: South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert unopposed n/a n/a
Liberal hold Swing n/a
General Election 1924:South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Cedric Drewe 12,811 51.3 n/a
Liberal George Lambert 12,157 48.7 n/a
Majority 654 2.6 n/a
Turnout 85.3 n/a
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
General Election 1929: South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Lambert 15,072 48.1 -0.6
Unionist Cedric Drewe 13,567 43.2 -8.1
Labour Rudolph Putnam Messel 2,731 8.7 n/a
Majority 1,505 4.9 7.5
Turnout 87.4 +2.1
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +3.8

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National George Lambert 25,700 88.0
Labour Rudolph Putnam Messel 3,499 12.0
Majority 22,201 76.0
Turnout 29,199 81.0
Liberal National hold Swing
General Election 1935: South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National George Lambert 20,767 78.7
Labour H F Chilcott 5,610 21.3
Majority 15,157 57.5
Turnout 26,377 72.9
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: South Molton
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal National George Lambert 19,065 67.6
Labour C Lang 9,140 32.4
Majority 9,925 35.2
Turnout 71.9
Liberal National hold Swing

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Craig, FWS, ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. p. 258. ISBN 9781349022984. 
  2. ^ "The General Election". Oxford Journal. 12 December 1885. p. 6. Retrieved 11 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ "Nomination Day". North Devon Journal. 8 July 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 11 December 2017 – via British Newspaper Archive. (Subscription required (help)). 
  4. ^ Lambert, Sophia. "8. George Lambert M.P. (George IV) 1866-1958 AND FAMILY". Retrieved 19 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "Nominations for South Molton". Kirkintilloch Herald. 11 Nov 1891. p. 6. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
  6. ^ "South Molton Division". Western Morning News. 22 Jul 1895. p. 8. Retrieved 22 November 2017. 
Sources