Wandsworth (UK Parliament constituency)

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Wandsworth
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County County of London
18851918
Number of members One
Replaced by Balham and Tooting, Clapham, Putney, Streatham and Wandsworth Central
Created from East Surrey (one parish of)
Mid Surrey (three parishes of)

Wandsworth was the name of a borough constituency created in 1885, abolished in 1918, covering the vast bulk of today's London Borough of Wandsworth in South London but excluding Battersea. It returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the UK Parliament (by the first past the post voting system).

The constituency was created by the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 for the 1885 general election, and abolished for the 1918 general election.

Boundaries[edit]

Wandsworth in London 1885-1918

The 1885 Act created a Wandsworth parliamentary borough in the northern part of the county of Surrey from the parishes of:

  • Wandsworth
  • Putney (including Roehampton)
  • Tooting Graveney
  • Streatham

All of the above were in the ancient hundred of Brixton.[1] The first three parishes were previously in Mid Surrey, having been moved out of East Surrey when the Mid Surrey division was created in 1867.[2]

In 1889 the County of London was created. Wandsworth formed part of the new county. In 1900 the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth was formed, as a local authority within the County of London. The Metropolitan Borough included a larger area than the parliamentary constituency, as it added Clapham to the areas which had been in the parliamentary borough.

The constituency grouped a number of communities in northern Surrey, which were converted into South London suburbs, due to the rapid expansion of the London conurbation before and during the existence of the constituency. When the County of London was created most of the comparatively empty land within its boundaries became South London.

The shape was irregular — two key masses joined by the comparatively thin, fast-developing Earlsfield area in the middle. In the north-west of the constituency, Putney and central Wandsworth were areas declining somewhat in status in the period. Working class housing was also spreading from the neighbouring area of Battersea, along the part of the south bank of the River Thames included. However, overall the district was middle class in character, with new estates being developed in the south-east end of the seat at Tooting and Streatham (to the south of Clapham).

The neighbouring parliamentary seats were Fulham (on the north bank of the Thames, opposite to the constituency); to the east of the northern part of the seat and to the north of the middle and south-eastern parts were Battersea and Clapham; to the east of the south-eastern part was Norwood; to the south-east of the constituency was Croydon; to the south was Wimbledon and to the west was Kingston.

In 1918 the seat was split up in complex fashion reflecting major urbanisation of the area. The near-whole new offspring were seats of Putney, Streatham and Wandsworth Central and the partial successors were Balham and Tooting and Clapham.

History[edit]

The constituency was, throughout its existence, a Conservative seat. The electorate expanded from 10,088 in 1885 to 39,911 in 1913, without altering the partisan leanings of the area.

The first MP for the seat was Henry Kimber, who was created a baronet in 1904. Kimber was a solicitor by profession. He continued to represent the constituency until he resigned in 1913. Even during the 1906 general election, which was a national Liberal landslide, Kimber only had his majority reduced to 545 (2.2%).

In the 1913 by-election the Conservative candidate, businessman Samuel Samuel, defeated the Liberal-Labour former MP for Middlesbrough (UK Parliament constituency) - Joseph Havelock Wilson. Samuel continued to hold the seat until the constituency was split up in the 1918 redistribution.

Members of Parliament[edit]

Election Member [3] Party
1885 Sir Henry Kimber, Bt Conservative
1913 by-election Samuel Samuel Conservative
1918 constituency abolished

Election results[edit]

Elections in the 1880s[edit]

Wallace
General Election 1885: Wandsworth [4][5][6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber 4,459 57.6 N/A
Liberal Robert Wallace 3,283 42.4 N/A
Majority 1,176 15.2 N/A
Turnout 7,742 76.7 N/A
Registered electors 10,088
Conservative win (new seat)
Kimber
General Election 1886: Wandsworth [4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber Unopposed
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1890s[edit]

General Election 1892: Wandsworth [4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber 5,913 61.6 N/A
Liberal William Montgomery Crook 3,690 38.4 N/A
Majority 2,223 23.2 N/A
Turnout 9,603 64.3 N/A
Registered electors 14,936
Conservative hold Swing N/A
General Election 1895: Wandsworth [4][5][7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber 6,487 66.6 +5.0
Liberal Marsh Mayhew 3,248 33.4 -5.0
Majority 3,239 33.2 +10.0
Turnout 9,735 57.0 −7.3
Registered electors 17,075
Conservative hold Swing +5.0

Elections in the 1900s[edit]

General Election 1900: Wandsworth [4][5][8]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber Unopposed
Conservative hold
General Election 1906: Wandsworth [4][5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber 12,433 51.1 N/A
Liberal Albert E. Reed 11,888 48.9 N/A
Majority 545 2.2 N/A
Turnout 24,321 77.5 N/A
Registered electors 31,398
Conservative hold Swing N/A

Elections in the 1910s[edit]

General Election January 1910: Wandsworth [4][9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber 18,188 56.9 +5.8
Liberal Walter Richard Warren 13,749 43.1 -5.8
Majority 4,439 13.8 +11.6
Turnout 24,321 77.5
Conservative hold Swing +5.8
General Election December 1910: Wandsworth [4][10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Kimber 15,168 59.0 +2.1
Liberal James Fairbairn 10,554 41.0 -2.1
Majority 4,614 18.0 +4.2
Turnout 25,722 66.8
Conservative hold Swing 2.1
Wandsworth by-election, 1913
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist Samuel Samuel 13,425 65.4 +6.4
Lib-Lab Havelock Wilson 7,088 34.6 -6.4
Majority 6,337 30.8 +12.8
Turnout 20,513 51.4 -15.4
Unionist hold Swing +6.4

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;

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/surrey/vol4/pp1-2
  2. ^ "[to East Surrey] So much of the hundred of Brixton as included and lies east of the parishes of Streatham, Lambeth and Clapham..." "Representation of the People Act 1867, Schedule D at scanned page 30 of 36 of the Act" (PDF). Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  3. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 1)
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results: 1885-1918. London: Macmillan Press. p. 58. ISBN 9781349022984. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f The Liberal Year Book, 1907
  6. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1886
  7. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  8. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1901
  9. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916
  10. ^ Debrett's House of Commons & Judicial Bench, 1916

Sources[edit]

  • Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Reference Publications 1972)
  • Social Geography of British Elections 1885-1910. by Henry Pelling (Macmillan 1967)
  • 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)