Penistone by-election, 1921

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The Penistone by-election, 1921 was a by-election held on 5 March 1921 for the British House of Commons constituency of Penistone in Yorkshire.


The seat had become vacant on the resignation of the Liberal Member of Parliament Sydney Arnold, due to ill-health. He had held the seat since its creation for the 1918 general election.

Electoral history[edit]

The result at the last General Election in 1918 was;

Sydney Arnold
General Election 1918: Penistone[1] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Sydney Arnold 7,338 39.4
  • Maj. Phillip Gatty Smith
6,744 36.2
Independent Labour Frederick William Southern 4,556 24.4
Majority 594 3.2
Turnout 58.4
Liberal hold Swing
  • Received the Coalition Government 'Coupon'.


  • Upon the announcement of the resignation of Arnold, the local Liberals immediately adopted 47-year-old William Pringle as their candidate to defend the seat. Pringle was the member for Lanarkshire North West from January 1910 to 1918. In 1918 his Lanarkshire seat was abolished and he unsuccessfully contested Glasgow Springburn. He unsuccessfully sought a return to parliament at the Manchester Rusholme by-election, 1919.
  • The Coalition government candidate was the Liberal, Sir James Peace Hinchcliffe who had the official support of the local Unionists.
  • The Labour Party selected Alderman William Gillis as their candidate to challenge for the seat.


Polling Day was set for 5 March, making it the fourth by-election to be held that week. On 25 February nominations closed to confirm that the election would be a three-way contest.

Sir James Hinchcliffe received the official endorsement of the Coalition Government.


The result was a gain for the Labour Party.

Penistone by-election, 1921[2] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour William Gillis 8,560 36.2 +11.8
Liberal William Mather Rutherford Pringle 7,984 33.7 -5.7
Coalition Liberal Sir James Peace Hinchcliffe 7,123 30.1 -6.1
Majority 576 2.5
Turnout 23,667 71.7
Labour gain from Liberal Swing n/a


Pringle reversed the tables on Gillis at the following General Election when the Liberals re-gained the seat from the Labour party;

William Pringle
1922 General Election[3] Electorate
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Mather Rutherford Pringle 8,924 35.8
Labour William Gillis 8,382 33.7
Conservative Charles Hodgkinson 7,600 30.5
Majority 542 2.1
Turnout 24,906 73.1
Liberal hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  2. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  3. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig