Southall (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of membersone
Replaced byEaling Southall
Created fromUxbridge (parts of, as to bulk)
Spelthorne (small part of, namely Harlington and Cranford)
During its existence contributed to new seat(s) of:Hayes and Harlington (all of new seat, later expanded westwards)

Southall was a constituency containing Hanwell, Southall, Norwood Green and Dormers Wells 1945-1983 and a further area to the southwest in its first five years. It returned one member (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament. After five years it shed a large minority of its population and area to form a new seat, Hayes and Harlington. Its voters elected the Labour Party candidate at each election.

Summary of results[edit]

Its voters, on the national first-past-the-post system, elected a series of three Labour Party candidates during its thirty-eight-year currency. Winning majorities ranged from 41.2% in 1945 - the landslide election for the party in which the seat included industrial Hayes to the west to 5.1% at the 1964 election which saw the start of the First Wilson Ministry when its second incumbent, Pargiter, who retired two years later, was aged 67. Its final winning majority (in 1979) was 21.5%.

Southall within the parliamentary county of Middlesex, boundaries used 1945-50


1950-1974:The borough of Southall and the Hanwell North and Hanwell South wards of the Borough of Ealing.[1][2]
1974-1983: The London Borough of Ealing wards of Dormers Wells, Elthorne, Glebe, Northcote, Northfields, Walpole, and Waxlow Manor.

In the first five years the seat was largest containing Hayes, Yeading, Harlington in the west[3]

Local government body change[edit]

The seat was in local terms for 20 years in Middlesex and for the following 18 years in London — a change in county took place in 1965.

Constituency profile[edit]

The Quaker Oats Company built a factory in Southall in 1936. Part of the operation that made pet foods was sold to Spiller's in 1994, and the remainder to Big Bear Group in 2006. The site continues to produce brands such as Sugar Puffs. Other engineering, paint and food processing factories prospered for many years, mostly alongside the railway and/or canal. A collection of Martinware – Salt glazed pottery in stoneware, and birds – is on display at Southall Library

Southall was the home of Southall Studios, one of the earliest British film studios. It played a historic role in film-making from its creation in 1924 to its closure in 1959. There has been a locomotive works at the Southall Depot for nearly 150 years. Originally a Great Western Railway shed, it was possibly the last London steam depot, outlasting Old Oak Common and Stewarts Lane depots. The depot was later used for DMU maintenance and as a base for the electrification programme. Currently the site, now referred to as the Southall Railway Centre, is used by three independent groups, including Locomotive Services (where volunteers can contribute to the preservation and restoration of mainline locomotives) and the Great Western Railway Preservation Group.

Glassy Junction pub, November 2005

The bus and commercial vehicle manufacturer Associated Equipment Company (AEC) was based in Southall, on a 25 hectares (62 acres) triangular site between Windmill Lane, the main Great Western Railway and the branch to Brentford Dock. The company moved there from Walthamstow in 1926 and closed in 1979 after losing market share whilst part of the giant but inefficient British Leyland group. The site was noticeable to railway passengers and to motorists on Uxbridge Road due to large signs proclaiming "AEC - Builders of London's Buses for 50 years".

A major gas works manufacturing town gas was between the railway and the canal. In 1932 a large gasholder was built which has been a landmark from far away. Painted on the north east side of the gasholder are large letters 'LH' and an arrow to assist pilots toward Heathrow Airport's (closed) runway "23" when making visual approaches. The letters were painted in the mid 1960s after a fraction of pilots at a glance mistook RAF Northolt (which has a smaller gasholder under its approach at Harrow). Northolt has a much shorter runway and is not suitable for very large aircraft; one Boeing 707 did land at Northolt by mistake [4] and a number of other aircraft had to be warned off by air traffic control at the last minute. Since such gas production ceased in the 1970s upon tapping natural gas piped from the North Sea, much of the 36 ha (89-acre) site has been vacant, due to limited road access and remaining gas infrastructure.

The 1970s saw racial tensions in the area; in 1976 Sikh teenager Gurdip Singh Chaggar was killed in a racist attack.[5] On 23 April 1979, Blair Peach, a teacher and anti-racist activist, was killed after being knocked unconscious during a protest against the National Front (NF).[6][7] Another demonstrator, Clarence Baker – a singer of the reggae band Misty in Roots, remained in a coma for five months.[8] More than 40 others—including 21 police—were injured, and 300 were arrested.[9]

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member Party
1945 Walter Ayles Labour
1950 George Pargiter Labour
1966 Syd Bidwell Labour
1983 constituency abolished: see Ealing Southall

Elections in the 1940s[edit]

General Election 1945: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Walter Ayles 37,404 64.1 N/A
Conservative George Baker 13,347 22.9 N/A
Liberal Wilfred Ashlin Wakefield 7,598 13.0 N/A
Majority 24,057 41.2 N/A
Turnout 58,349 74.2 N/A
Labour hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1950s[edit]

General Election 1950: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Pargiter 27,107 53.9
Conservative Norman Cole 18,392 36.6
Liberal Walter T Andrews 3,917 7.8
Communist J. A. Purton 839 1.7
Majority 8,715 17.4
Turnout 50,255* 82.7
Labour hold Swing

*Note: major loss of territory to west to new seat, Hayes and Harlington

General Election 1951: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Pargiter 29,123 57.9
Conservative Humphry Berkeley 21,169 42.1
Majority 7,954 15.8
Turnout 50,292 84.0
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1955: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Pargiter 25,207 57.2
Conservative Arthur Tickler 18,872 42.8
Majority 6,335 14.4
Turnout 44,079 76.5
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1959: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Pargiter 22,285 52.7
Conservative Michael Thomas Ben Underhill 19,966 47.3
Majority 2,319 5.5
Turnout 44,251 76.4
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1960s[edit]

General Election 1964: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour George Pargiter 18,041 48.0
Conservative Barbara Maddin 16,144 42.9
British National John Bean 3,410 9.1
Majority 1,897 5.1
Turnout 70.2
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1966: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Syd Bidwell 19,989 53.5
Conservative Barbara Maddin 14,642 39.2
British National John Bean 2,768 7.4
Majority 5,347 14.3
Turnout 70.8
Labour hold Swing

Elections in the 1970s[edit]

General Election 1970: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Syd Bidwell 19,389 53.7
Conservative Kenneth G. Reeves 15,166 41.9
National Front James Shaw 1,572 4.4
Majority 4,223 11.7
Turnout 37,399 64.5
Labour hold Swing
General Election February 1974: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Syd Bidwell 25,726 49.9
Conservative W. A. Gilbey 16,914 32.8
Liberal C. I. N. Arnold 8,640 16.8
Anti-Helmet B. S. Chahal 310 0.6
Majority 8,812 17.1
Turnout 73.4
Labour hold Swing
General Election October 1974: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Syd Bidwell 24,218 53.8
Conservative R. C. Patten 14,235 31.6
Liberal C. I. N. Arnold 6,557 14.6
Majority 9,983 22.2
Turnout 63.6
Labour hold Swing
General Election 1979: Southall
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Syd Bidwell 28,498 54.4
Conservative R. C. Patten 17,220 32.9
Liberal Dick Hains 3,920 7.5
National Front J. Fairhurst 1,545 3.0 N/A
Independent S. Gupta 637 1.2 N/A
Socialist Unity Tariq Ali 477 0.9 N/A
Independent Businessman S. Paul 115 0.2 N/A
Majority 11,278 21.5
Turnout 71.7
Labour hold Swing


  1. ^ Representation of the People Act 1948, Sch. 1, at Middlesex (B) Borough Constituencies (page 108)
  2. ^ Parliamentary Constituencies (England) Order 1970 (S.I. 1970 number 1674), Schedule 1 at page 5459 (or 16 of 76) and as to new definition in Schedule 2
  3. ^ Boundary A vision of Britain, University of Portsmouth and Others, Accessed 11 June 2017]
  4. ^ "Boeing 707-321, N725PA, Pan American World Airways (PA / PAA)". 1960-10-25. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  5. ^ Kettle, Martin; Hodges, Lucy (1982). Uprising! Police, the People and the Riots in Britain's Cities. Pan Books. p. 60,156. ISBN 0330268457.
  6. ^ "BBC ON THIS DAY | 23 | 1979: Teacher dies in Southall race riots". BBC News. 1979-04-23. Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  7. ^ Marshall, George (1991). Spirit of '69 – A Skinhead Bible. Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 1-898927-10-3. p.107
  8. ^ "Blair Peach: killed by police". Retrieved 2015-07-29.
  9. ^ "Blair Peach: A 30-year campaign". BBC News. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2015-07-29.