United Kingdom general election, 1922

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United Kingdom general election, 1922
United Kingdom
1918 ←
15 November 1922 → 1923
outgoing members ← → elected members

All 615 seats Constituency results
308 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 73.0% (Increase15.8%)
  First party Second party
  Andrew Bonar Law 02.jpg Jrclynes.jpg
Leader Andrew Bonar Law J. R. Clynes
Party Conservative Labour
Leader since 23 October 1922 14 February 1921
Leader's seat Glasgow Central Manchester Platting
Last election 379 seats, 39.2% (including Conservatives not elected under the Coalition coupon) 57 seats, 21.5%
Seats won 344 142
Seat change Decrease 35 Increase 85
Popular vote 5,294,465 4,076,665
Percentage 38.5% 29.7%
Swing Decrease 0.7% Increase 8.9%

  Third party Fourth party
  Herbert Henry Asquith.jpg David Lloyd George.jpg
Leader H. H. Asquith David Lloyd George
Party Liberal National Liberal
Leader since 30 April 1908 7 December 1916
Leader's seat Paisley Caernarvon Boroughs
Last election 36 seats, 13.3% 127 seats, 12.6%
Seats won 62 53
Seat change Increase 26 Decrease 74
Popular vote 2,601,486 1,355,366
Percentage 18.9% 9.9%
Swing Increase 5.9% Decrease 2.7%

PM before election

David Lloyd George
National

Subsequent PM

Andrew Bonar Law
Conservative

The United Kingdom general election of 1922 was held on Wednesday 15 November 1922. It was the first election held after most of the Irish counties left the United Kingdom to form the Irish Free State, and was won by Andrew Bonar Law's Conservatives, who gained an overall majority over Labour, led by J. R. Clynes, and a divided Liberal Party.

Background[edit]

The Liberal Party were split between the "National Liberals" following David Lloyd George, who had been ousted as Prime Minister the previous month, and the "Liberals" following former Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. The Conservatives had been in coalition with the Lloyd George Liberals until the previous month, at which point Bonar Law had formed a purely Conservative government.

Although still Liberal leader and a frequent public speaker, Asquith was no longer a particularly influential figure in the national political debate, and he had played no part in the downfall of the Lloyd George coalition. Most attention was focussed on the new and most recent Prime Ministers. Asquith's daughter Violet Bonham-Carter, a prominent Liberal campaigner, likened the election to a contest between a man with sleeping sickness (Bonar Law) and a man with St Vitus Dance (Lloyd George).[1]

Some Lloyd George Liberals were not opposed by Conservative candidates (e.g. Winston Churchill, who was defeated at Dundee nonetheless) whilst many leading Conservatives (e.g. former leaders Sir Austen Chamberlain and Arthur Balfour and former Lord Chancellor Lord Birkenhead) were not members of Bonar Law's government and hoped to hold the balance of power after the election (comparisons were made with the Peelite group - the ousted Conservative front bench of the late 1840s and 1850s); this was not to be, as Bonar Law won an overall majority.

Some Liberal candidates stood calling for a reunited Liberal party whilst others appear to have backed both Asquith and Lloyd George. Few sources are able to agree on exact numbers, and even in contemporary records held by the two groups some MPs were claimed for both sides. It was the first election where Labour surpassed the combined strength of both Liberal parties in votes and seats.

By one estimate there were 29 seats where Liberals stood against one another. This is thought to have cost them at least 14 seats, 10 of them to Labour, so in theory a reunited Liberal Party would have been much closer to, and perhaps even ahead of, Labour in terms of seats. However, in reality the two factions were on poor terms and Lloyd George was still hoping for a renewed coalition with the Conservatives.[2]

Dec 1910 election MPs
1918 election MPs
1922 election MPs
1923 election MPs
1924 election MPs

Results[edit]

344 142 62 53 14
Conservative Labour Lib NL O
UK General Election 1922
Candidates Votes
Party Leader Standing Elected Gained Unseated Net  % of total  % No. Net %
  Conservative Andrew Bonar Law 482 344 + 12 55.9 38.5 5,294,465 +6.0
  Labour J. R. Clynes 414 142 + 85 23.1 29.7 4,076,665 +8.9
  Liberal H. H. Asquith 334 62 + 26 10.1 18.9 2,601,486 +5.9
  National Liberal David Lloyd George 155 53 – 74 8.6 9.9 1,355,366 −2.7
  Independent Conservative N/A 20 3 3 1 + 2 0.5 0.9 116,861 +0.5
  Independent N/A 15 3 3 2 + 1 0.5 0.8 114,697 −0.2
  Nationalist Joseph Devlin 4 3 2 6 – 4 0.5 0.4 57,641 −1.8
  Communist Albert Inkpin 5 2 2 0 + 2 0.17 0.2 30,684 N/A
  Agriculturalist Harry German 4 0 0 0 0 0.2 21,510 0.0
  Independent Labour N/A 4 1 0 1 – 1 0.17 0.1 18,419 −1.0
  Constitutionalist N/A 1 1 1 0 + 1 0.17 0.1 16,662 N/A
  Scottish Prohibition Edwin Scrymgeour 1 1 1 0 + 1 0.17 0.1 16,289 +0.1
  Independent Liberal N/A 3 1 1 1 0 0.17 0.1 13,197 −0.1
  Independent Unionist N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.1 9,861 N/A
  Independent Communist N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 4,027 N/A
  Anti-Parliamentary Communist Guy Aldred 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 470 N/A

Total votes cast: 13,748,300. Turnout 73.0%.[3] All parties shown. Conservatives include Ulster Unionists. National Liberals were party formed by Lloyd George's Coalition Liberals after leaving the government. Their net seat change is compared with the Coalition Liberals' number of seats after the 1918 election.

Votes summary[edit]

Popular vote
Conservative
  
38.51%
Labour
  
29.65%
Liberal
  
18.92%
National Liberal
  
9.86%
Independent
  
2.01%
Nationalist
  
0.42%
Communist
  
0.22%
Others
  
0.41%

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Conservative
  
55.93%
Labour
  
23.09%
Liberal
  
10.08%
National Liberal
  
8.62%
Independent
  
1.3%
Nationalist
  
0.49%
Communist
  
0.16%
Others
  
0.33%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]