Stoke-upon-Trent (UK Parliament constituency)

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Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Number of members two (1832-1885); one (1885-1918)
Replaced by Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke; Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley; Stoke-on-Trent, Burslem

Stoke-upon-Trent was a parliamentary borough in Staffordshire, which elected two Members of Parliament (MPs) to the House of Commons from 1832 until 1885, and then one member from 1885 until 1918, when the borough was enlarged, renamed Stoke-on-Trent, and split into three single-member constituencies.


Stoke-upon-Trent was established as a borough by the Great Reform Act of 1832 to represent the Staffordshire Potteries, one of the most populous urban areas in England which had previously had no separate representation. The new borough consisted of Stoke-upon-Trent and parts of the surrounding towns, and at the time of the Reform Act had a population just over 50,000 (of whom 37,220 were in Stoke parish); in 1867 the boundaries were extended somewhat, to bring in a part of Burslem which had previously been excluded.

In further boundary changes implemented at the 1885 general election, the borough was split into two single-member constituencies, the northern part becoming a separate Hanley borough while the southern part (containing Longton and Fenton as well as Stoke itself) retained the Stoke-upon-Trent name; the new constituency had a population just under 100,000 by the time of the First World War. The industrial interests predominated, with the bulk of the voters being pottery workers or miners, although Stoke was a partly middle-class town; at first an apparently safe Liberal seat, it fell narrowly to the Unionists in both 1895 and 1900, perhaps partly because of discord between miners and potters within the local Liberal party. From 1906 it was held by John Ward as a Lib-Lab MP hostile to the Labour Party, who being from the Navvies' Union could defuse the mutual jealousies of the potters and miners.

By 1918, the pottery towns had been united for municipal purposes in a single Stoke-on-Trent county borough, and the parliamentary boundary changes which came into effect at that year's general election established a parliamentary borough of the same name to replace Stoke-upon-Trent and Hanley, divided into three constituencies: Stoke-on-Trent, Stoke; Stoke-on-Trent, Hanley; and Stoke-on-Trent, Burslem.

Members of Parliament[edit]


Year First member First party Second member Second party
1832 Josiah Wedgwood II Whig John Davenport Conservative
1835 Richard Edensor Heathcote Whig
1836 Hon. George Anson Whig
1837 William Taylor Copeland Conservative
1841 John Ricardo Whig
1852 Hon. Frederick Leveson-Gower Whig
1857 William Taylor Copeland Conservative
1859 Liberal
1862 Henry Riversdale Grenfell Liberal
1865 Alexander Beresford Hope Conservative
February 1868 George Melly Liberal
November 1868 William Sargeant Roden Liberal
1874 Robert Heath Conservative
1875 Edward Vaughan Hyde Kenealy Independent
1880 William Woodall Liberal Henry Broadhurst Liberal-Labour
1885 Constituency divided into single-member constituencies - see also Hanley


Year Member Whip
1885 William Leatham Bright Liberal
1890 George Leveson-Gower Liberal
1895 Douglas Coghill Liberal Unionist
1900 Conservative
1906 John Ward Liberal
1918 Constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

General Election 1885: Stoke-upon-Trent [1][2][3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Leatham Bright 4,790 63.1
Conservative Haden Corser 2,800 36.9
Majority 1,990 26.2
Turnout 82.4
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1886: Stoke-upon-Trent [1][2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Leatham Bright 3,255 60.9 -2.2
Conservative Haden Corser 2,093 39.1 +2.2
Majority 1,162 21.8 -4.4
Turnout 58.0 -24.4
Liberal hold Swing -2.2

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

Stoke-upon-Trent by-election, 1890 [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Leveson-Gower 4,157
Liberal Unionist W S Allen 2,926
Majority 1,231
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1892: Stoke-upon-Trent [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Leveson-Gower 4,629
Conservative S Waters 2,846
Majority 1,783
Liberal hold Swing
General Election 1895: Stoke-upon-Trent [2][4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Unionist Douglas Coghill 4,396
Liberal George Leveson-Gower 4,196
Majority 200
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

Godfrey Baring
General Election 1900: Stoke-upon-Trent [2][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Douglas Coghill 4,932
Liberal Godfrey Baring 4,732
Majority 200
Conservative hold Swing
John Ward
General Election 1906: Stoke-upon-Trent [2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Lib-Lab John Ward 7,660
Conservative Douglas Coghill 4,288
Majority 3,372
Lib-Lab gain from Conservative Swing

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Stoke-upon-Trent [6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Lib-Lab John Ward 7,688
Conservative David Hope Kid 5,697
Lib-Lab hold Swing
General Election December 1910: Stoke-upon-Trent [7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Lib-Lab John Ward 7,049
Conservative Samuel Joyce Thomas 5,062
Lib-Lab hold 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;


  1. ^ a b British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, FWS Craig
  2. ^ a b c d e f g The Liberal Year Book, 1907
  3. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
  4. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  5. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  6. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  7. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  • The Constitutional Year Book for 1913 (London: National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations, 1913)
  • F W S Craig, "British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885" (2nd edition, Aldershot: Parliamentary Research Services, 1989)
  • Michael Kinnear, The British Voter (London: BH Batsford, Ltd, 1968)
  • Henry Pelling, Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910 (London: Macmillan, 1967)
  • J Holladay Philbin, Parliamentary Representation 1832 - England and Wales (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1965)
  • Frederic A Youngs, jr, Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol II (London: Royal Historical Society, 1991)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "S" (part 5)