Oldham (UK Parliament constituency)

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Oldham
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
18321950
Number of members two
Replaced by Oldham East and Oldham West
Created from Lancashire

Oldham was a parliamentary constituency centred on the town of Oldham, England. It returned two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The constituency was created by the Great Reform Act of 1832 and was abolished for the 1950 general election when it was split into the Oldham East and Oldham West constituencies.

The Oldham constituency was perhaps most notable for being where Winston Churchill began his political career. Although taking two attempts to succeed, in the 1900 general election Churchill was elected as the member of Parliament for Oldham. He held the constituency for the Conservative Party until he defected from them in defence of free trade in 1904. He then represented the Liberal Party as MP for the seat until the 1906 general election.

Boundaries[edit]

Though centred on Oldham (the town), the constituency covered a much broader territory; Shaw and Crompton, Royton, Chadderton and Lees all formed part of this district, though these were each granted individual urban district status at a local government level in 1894.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election 1st Member [1] 1st Party 2nd Member [1] 2nd Party
1832 John Fielden Liberal William Cobbett Liberal
1835 by-election John Frederick Lees Conservative
1837 William Augustus Johnson Liberal
1847 William Johnson Fox Liberal John Duncuft Conservative
1852 John Morgan Cobbetta Liberal
1852 by-election William Johnson Fox Liberal
1857 James Platt Liberal
1857 by-election William Johnson Fox Liberal
1862 by-election J. T. Hibbert Liberal
1865 John Platt Liberal
1872 by-election John Morgan Cobbett a Conservative
1874 Frederick Lowten Spinks Conservative
1877 by-election J. T. Hibbert Liberal
1880 Hon. Edward Lyulph Stanley Liberal
1885 James Mackenzie Maclean Conservative
1886 Elliott Lees Conservative
1892 Joshua Milne Cheetham Liberal J. T. Hibbert Liberal
1895 Robert Ascroft Conservative James Francis Oswald Conservative
1899 by-election Rt Hon. Alfred Emmott Liberal Walter Runciman Liberal
1900 Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill b Conservative
1904 Liberal
1906 John Albert Bright Liberal
1910 (Jan) Sir Andrew William Barton Liberal
1911 by-election Edmund Robert Bartley Denniss c Conservative
1918 Coalition Conservative Coalition Liberal
1922 Sir Edward William Macleay Grigg National Liberal William John Tout Labour
1923 Liberal
1924 Duff Cooper Conservative
1925 by-election William Wiggins Liberal
1929 Rev. Gordon Lang Labour James Wilson Labour
1931 Anthony Crommelin Crossley Conservative Hamilton William Kerr Conservative
1935 John Samuel Dodd National Liberal
1945 Frank Fairhurst Labour Charles Leslie Hale Labour
1950 Multi member constituency abolished - see Oldham East and Oldham West

Notes:-

  • a J M Cobbett's political affiliations are complicated.[2] He had stood unsuccessfully on an all-Radical 'plague on both your houses' slate with John Fielden in 1847. He was elected in 1852 as the Radical half of an explicit Radical-Tory alliance.[3] At the 1857 election he was opposed by two Liberals and denied that he had sold out to Palmerston, asserting that the Liberal Chief Whip had no confidence in him.[4] In 1865 he stood unsuccessfully in conjunction with a Conservative,[5] opposed by two Liberals. Nonetheless, from 1852 to 1865 outside Oldham he was generally taken to be a Liberal. From 1872 to his death in 1877 he sat as a Conservative (but one calling for annual Parliaments and manhood suffrage)[6]
  • b Churchill changed his party allegiance in April 1904.
  • c Denniss changed his surname to Bartley-Denniss, when he was knighted in 1922.

Elections[edit]

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1885: Oldham[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYJohn Tomlinson Hibbert 12,259
Conservative Green tickYJames Mackenzie Maclean 11,992
Liberal Edward Lyulph Stanley 11,847
Conservative S. T. Whitehead 11,491
Majority
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
Elliot Lees
General Election 1886: Oldham[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Green tickYJames Mackenzie Maclean 11,606
Conservative Green tickYElliot Lees 11,484
Liberal John Tomlinson Hibbert 10,921
Liberal Joshua Milne Cheetham 10,891
Majority
Turnout
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1892: Oldham[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYJoshua Milne Cheetham 12,619
Liberal Green tickYJohn Tomlinson Hibbert 12,541
Conservative Elliot Lees 12,205
Conservative James Mackenzie Maclean 11,952
Majority
Turnout
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
Robert Ascroft
James Oswald
General Election 1895: Oldham[8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Green tickYRobert Ascroft 13,085
Conservative Green tickYJames Francis Oswald 12,465
Liberal Adam Lee 12,249
Liberal John Tomlinson Hibbert 12,092
Majority
Turnout
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing
Walter Runciman
James Mawdsley
Oldham by-election, 1899
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYAlfred Emmott 12,976 26.7
Liberal Green tickYWalter Runciman 12,770 26.2
Conservative Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill 11,477 23.6
Conservative James Mawdsley 11,449 23.5
Majority 1,410
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Alfred Emmott
General Election 1900: Oldham[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYAlfred Emmott 12,947
Conservative Green tickYWinston Leonard Spencer Churchill 12,931
Liberal Walter Runciman 12,709
Conservative Charles Crisp 12,522
Majority
Turnout
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
Conservative hold Swing
General Election 1906: Oldham[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYAlfred Emmott 17,397
Liberal Green tickYJohn Albert Bright 16,672
Conservative Charles Crisp 11,989
Conservative E. L. Hartley 11,391
Majority
Turnout
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
Liberal hold Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Oldham[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYAlfred Emmott 19,252
Liberal Green tickYAndrew William Barton 18,840
Conservative Joseph Hilton 13,462
Conservative Philip Sidney Stott 12,577
Majority
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing
Liberal hold Swing
General Election December 1910: Oldham[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYAlfred Emmott 17,108
Liberal Green tickYAndrew William Barton 16,941
Conservative Arthur Edward Wrigley 13,440
Conservative Edmund Robert Bartley Denniss 13,281
Majority
Turnout
Liberal hold Swing
Liberal hold Swing
Bartley-Denniss
Oldham by-election, 1911[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Green tickYEdmund Robert Bartley Denniss 12,255
Liberal Arthur Lyulph Stanley 10,623
Labour William Cornforth Robinson 7,448
Majority 1,632
Turnout
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing

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 and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;

William Barton
General Election 1918: Oldham[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist 26,568
Liberal 26,254
Labour William Cornforth Robinson 15,178
Liberal Walter Rea 9,323
Majority
Turnout
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing
Liberal hold Swing
  • endorsed by the Coalition Government

Elections in the 1920s[edit]

Edward Grigg
General Election 1922: Oldham[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Liberal Green tickYSir Edward William Macleay Grigg 24,762
Labour Green tickYWilliam John Tout 24,434
Unionist Samuel Smethurst 23,200
Liberal William Tudor Davies 9,812
Liberal Mary Emmott 6,186
Majority
Turnout
National Liberal hold Swing
Labour gain from Unionist Swing
General Election 1923: Oldham (2 seats) [12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Green tickYWilliam John Tout 20,939 23.4 -4.3
Liberal Green tickYSir Edward William Macleay Grigg 20,681 23.2 -4.8
Liberal William Martin Wiggins 17,990 20.1 +9.0
Unionist W.E. Freeman 15,819 17.7 n/a
Unionist Samuel Smethurst 13,894 15.6 -10.6
Majority 2,949 3.3
Majority 4,862 5.5
Turnout 76.3 -2.5
Labour hold Swing
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1924: Oldham[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Green tickYAlfred Duff Cooper 37,419 31.2
Liberal Green tickYSir Edward William Macleay Grigg 36,761 30.7
Labour William John Tout 23,623 19.7
Labour James Wilson 22,081 18.4
Majority 11.0
Turnout 119,884
Liberal hold Swing
Unionist gain from Labour Swing
Oldham by-election, 1925[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Green tickYWilliam Martin Wiggins 26,325 54.8
Labour William John Tout 21,702 45.2
Majority 4,623 9.6
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1929: Oldham[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Green tickYGordon Lang 34,223 26.2 +6.5
Labour Green tickYJames Wilson 32,727 25.0 +6.6
Unionist Alfred Duff Cooper 29,424 22.5 -8.7
Liberal John Samuel Dodd 20,810 15.9 -14.8
Liberal George James Jenkins 13,528 10.4 n/a
Majority 3,303 2.5 13.5
Turnout 81.2
Labour gain from Unionist Swing
Labour gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1930s[edit]

General Election 1931: Oldham[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Green tickYAnthony Crommelin Crossley 50,693
Conservative Green tickYHamilton William Kerr 50,395
Labour Gordon Lang 28,629
Labour James Wilson 26,631
Majority
Turnout
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
Conservative gain from Labour Swing
General Election 1935: Oldham[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Green tickYHamilton William Kerr 36,738
Liberal National Green tickYJohn Samuel Dodd 34,755
Labour Gordon Lang 34,316
Labour Matthew Burrow Farr 29,647
Liberal William Gretton Ward 8,534
Majority
Turnout
Conservative hold Swing
Liberal National gain from Conservative Swing

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 and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Oldham[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Green tickYFrank Fairhurst 31,704 23.9
Labour Green tickYCharles Leslie Hale 31,327 23.6
Conservative Hamilton William Kerr 26,911 20.3
Liberal National John Samuel Dodd 24,199 18.2
Liberal James Taylor Middleton 10,365 7.8
Liberal Thomas Donald Farrell Powell 8,264 6.2
Majority 4,416 5.4
Turnout 74.6
Labour gain from Conservative Swing
Labour gain from Liberal National Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "O" [self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ "Death of Mr J M Cobbett MP for Oldham". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 15 February 1877. 
  3. ^ "The Elections". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 10 July 1852. 
  4. ^ "The General Election". Morning Post. 30 March 1857. 
  5. ^ "Oldham Election". Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser. 24 June 1865. 
  6. ^ "Death of Mr Cobbett MP". Pall Mall Gazette. 14 February 1877. 
  7. ^ a b Liberal Year Book (1889), p.217
  8. ^ a b The Liberal Yearbook (1917), p.316
  9. ^ a b c d P. F. Clarke, Lancashire and the New Liberalism, pp. 435–436
  10. ^ Manchester Guardian, 14 November 1911, p.9
  11. ^ a b The Liberal Year Book (1923), p.261
  12. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  13. ^ a b c d The Constitutional Year Book (1938), p.220
  14. ^ F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results, 1918–1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow, 1949 p211
  15. ^ Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour Party, 1939
  16. ^ The Liberal Magazine, 1939
  17. ^ "Politics Resources". Election 1945. Politics Resources. Retrieved 6 January 2011. 

Sources[edit]

  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885–1972, compiled and edited by F. W. S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1832–1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (The Macmillan Press 1977)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1885–1918, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1974)
  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1918–1949, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press, revised edition 1977)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832–1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume II 1886–1918, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1978)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume III 1919–1945, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1979)
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament, Volume IV 1945–1979, edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (Harvester Press 1981)