Hirst first stood for election to Parliament at the "coupon election" in 1918, when he was an unsuccessful Co-Operative Party in Bradford South. He stood again in 1992 and 1923, as a Labour Co-operative candidate with the endorsement of the Labour Party, losing in both elections by a narrow margin of less than 3% of the votes.
However, at the 1931 general election, the Labour Party had split over Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald's decision to form a National government with the support of both the Conservative Liberal parties, and Hirst was opposed in Bradford only by a Liberal candidate, the Conservatives having stepped aside. He lost his seat by a huge margin of 32.6% of the votes.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Hirst
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Herbert Harvey Spencer
|Member of Parliament for Bradford South
1924 – 1931
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