1922 United Kingdom general election

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1922 United Kingdom general election
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  1918 15 November 1922 1923  

All 615 seats in the House of Commons
308 seats needed for a majority
Turnout73.0%, Increase2.svg15.8%
 First partySecond party
  A. Bonar Law LCCN2014715818 (cropped).jpg J.R. Clynes LCCN2014717260 (cropped).jpg
Leader Bonar Law J. R. Clynes
Party Conservative Labour
Leader since23 October 192214 February 1921
Leader's seat Glasgow Central Manchester Platting
Last election379 seats, 38.4% [lower-alpha 1] 57 seats, 21.5%
Seats won344142
Seat changeDecrease2.svg35Increase2.svg85
Popular vote5,294,4654,076,665
Percentage38.5%29.7%
SwingIncrease2.svg0.1%Increase2.svg8.9%

 Third partyFourth party
  Herbert Henry Asquith.jpg David Lloyd George.jpg
Leader H. H. Asquith David Lloyd George
Party Liberal National Liberal
Leader since30 April 19087 December 1916
Leader's seat Paisley Caernarvon Boroughs
Last election36 seats, 13.3%127 seats, 12.6% [lower-alpha 2]
Seats won6253
Seat changeIncrease2.svg26Decrease2.svg74
Popular vote2,601,4861,355,366
Percentage18.9%9.9%
SwingIncrease2.svg5.9%Decrease2.svg2.7%

1922 UK general election map.svg
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Prime Minister before election

Bonar Law
Conservative

Prime Minister after election

Bonar Law
Conservative

The 1922 United Kingdom general election was held on Wednesday 15 November 1922. It was won by the Conservatives led by Bonar Law, who gained an overall majority over Labour, led by J. R. Clynes, and a divided Liberal Party.

Contents

This election is considered a political realignment, with the Conservative Party going on to spend all but eight of the next forty-two years as the largest party in Parliament, Labour emerging as the main competition to the Conservatives, and the Liberal Party falling to third-party status.

Elections were not held in Southern Ireland due to the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921. Southern Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom, shortly afterwards, to form the Irish Free State on 6 December 1922.

Background

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, until October 1922, been in coalition with a faction of the Liberals (that which later became the National Liberals) led by Lloyd George, at which point Bonar Law had formed a Conservative majority government.

Although still leader of the Liberal Party and a frequent public speaker, former Prime Minister 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 focused on the new and most recent Prime Ministers. Asquith's daughter Violet Bonham-Carter, a prominent Liberal Party 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 National Liberals were not opposed by Conservative candidates (e.g. Winston Churchill, who was defeated at Dundee nonetheless), while 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.

It was the first election where Labour surpassed the combined strength of both Liberal parties in votes and seats.

Some Liberal candidates stood calling for a reunited Liberal Party, while 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. 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]

Neither of the leaders of the two main parties would get to enjoy their success in the election for very long; within less than a month of the election, Clynes was defeated in a leadership challenge by former Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, while Bonar Law would only last a little over seven months as Prime Minister before being forced to step down due to a terminal illness, resulting in Stanley Baldwin succeeding him as both party leader and Prime Minister. As a result, Bonar Law was the shortest serving UK Prime Minister of the twentieth century.

Party platforms

The Conservative Party offered continuity to the electorate. Bonar Law's election address stated:

The crying need of the nation have this moment ... Is that we should have tranquility and stability both at home and abroad so that the free scope should be given to the initiative and enterprise of our own citizens, for it is in that way, far more than by any action of the Government that we can hope to recover from the economic and social results of the war. [3]

The Labour Party proposed to nationalise the mines and railways, to impose a levy on financial capital, and to revise the peace treaties. It promised a higher standard of living for workers, higher wages, and better housing. [4]

Results

1922 UK parliament.svg
344142625314
ConservativeLabourLibNLO
UK General Election 1922
CandidatesVotes
PartyLeaderStoodElectedGainedUnseatedNet % of total %No.Net %
  Conservative Bonar Law 48234454923555.938.55,294,465+0.1
  Labour J. R. Clynes 414142916+8523.129.74,076,665+8.9
  Liberal H. H. Asquith 334624421+2310.118.92,601,486+5.9
  National Liberal David Lloyd George 15553980718.69.91,355,3662.7
  Ind. Conservative N/A20331+20.50.9116,861+0.5
  Independent N/A1533200.50.8114,6970.2
  Nationalist Joseph Devlin 322550.50.345,0271.9
  Communist Albert Inkpin 4110+10.10.230,684N/A
  Agriculturalist Harry German400000.221,5100.0
  Independent Labour N/A4 1 0 1 10.170.118,4191.0
  Constitutionalist N/A 1 1 1 0+10.170.116,662N/A
  Scottish Prohibition Edwin Scrymgeour 1 1 1 0+10.170.116,289+0.1
  Independent Liberal N/A3 1 1 1 00.170.113,1970.1
  Irish Nationalist Joseph Devlin2 1 0000.20.112,614N/A
  Independent Unionist N/A 1 00000.19,861N/A
  Independent Communist N/A 1 00000.04,027N/A
  Anti-Parliamentary Communist Guy Aldred 1 00000.0470N/A

Votes summary

Popular vote
Conservative
38.51%
Labour
29.65%
Liberal
18.92%
National Liberal
9.86%
Others
3.06%

Seats summary

Parliamentary seats
Conservative
55.93%
Labour
23.09%
Liberal
10.08%
National Liberal
8.62%
Others
2.28%

Transfers of seats

FromToNo.Seats
Labour Labour (HOLD)51 Abertillery, Ayrshire South, Bedwellty, Bishop Auckland, Broxtowe, Burnley, Burslem, Caerphilly, Chester-le-Street, Deptford, Derby (one of two), Dundee (one of two), Ebbw Vale, Edinburgh Central, Fife West, Forest of Dean, Gorton, Govan, Gower, Hamilton, Hemsworth, Holland with Boston, Houghton-le-Spring, Ince, Kingswinford, Leeds South East, Leek, Morpeth, Nelson and Colne, Newton, Normanton, Nottingham West, Ogmore, Plaistow, Platting, Pontypool, Preston (one of two), Rhondda East, Rhondda West, Rother Valley, Rothwell, St Helens, Salford North, Smethwick, Wednesbury, Wentworth, West Bromwich, Westhoughton, Wigan, Woolwich East, Workington
Liberal 1 Mansfield
National Liberal 1 Wellingborough
Conservative 4 Barnard Castle, Bolton (one of two), Clitheroe, Ormskirk
Coalition Labour Labour 2 Cannock, Gorbals
Independent 1 Norwich (one of two)*
Conservative 1 Stockport (one of two)†
Independent Labour Independent Labour 1 Anglesey
Labour 1 Aberdeen North*
Coalition National Democratic Labour 8 Aberdare, Bradford East, Don Valley, East Ham South, Hanley, Leicester West, Wallsend, Walthamstow West
Conservative 1 Duddeston
National Socialist Party Labour 1 Silvertown*
Co-operative Party Conservative 1 Kettering
Labour Unionist abolished3 Shankill, St Anne's, Victoria
Sinn Féin Nationalist 1 Fermanagh and Tyrone (one of two) (replaced Fermanagh South)
abolished72 Londonderry City, Tyrone NW, N Donegal, S Donegal, W Donegal, N Monaghan, S Monaghan, E Cavan, W Cavan, Connemara, E Galway, N Galway, S Galway, Leitrim, N Roscommon, S Roscommon, N Sligo, S Sligo, E Mayo, N Mayo, S Mayo, W Mayo, Longford, Louth, King's County, Queen's County, Westmeath, Carlow, N Meath, S Meath, Dublin College Green, Dublin Harbour, Dublin St Patrick's, Dublin St Stephen's Green, N Dublin, S Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin Clontarf, Dublin Pembroke, Dublin St James's, Dublin St Michan's, E Wicklow, W Wicklow, N Kildare, S Kildare, N Kilkenny, S Kilkenny, N Wexford, S Wexford, E Clare, W Clare, E Tipperary, Mid Tipperary, N Tipperary, S Tipperary, Limerick City, E Limerick, W Limerick, E Kerry, N Kerry, S Kerry, W Kerry, Cork (both seats), E Cork, Mid Cork, N Cork, NE Cork, S Cork, SE Cork, W Cork, County Waterford
Nationalist Nationalist 2 Fermanagh and Tyrone (one of two) (replaced Tyrone North-East)
abolished3 Armagh South, Belfast Falls, Down South
Irish Parliamentary Irish Nationalist 1 Liverpool Scotland
abolished2 East Donegal, Waterford City
Liberal Labour 9 Stirling and Falkirk, Midlothian South & Peebles, Derbyshire North East, Spennymoor, Seaham, Consett, Leigh, Bermondsey West, Whitechapel and St Georges
Liberal (HOLD)15 Greenock, Paisley, Leith, Edinburgh East, Chesterfield, Belper, Derbyshire West, Kingston upon Hull South West, Lambeth North, Wolverhampton East, Middlesbrough West, Penistone, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire, South Molton
National Liberal 6 Camborne, Western Isles, Kinross and West Perthshire*, Loughborough, Norwich* (one of two), Berwick-upon-Tweed
Conservative 5 Portsmouth Central, Stourbridge, Middlesbrough East, Cardiff East, Norfolk South
Coalition Liberal Scottish Prohibition 1 Dundee (one of two)
Labour 37 Dunfermline Burghs, Glasgow Cathcart, Renfrewshire East, Renfrewshire West, Rutherglen, Dumbarton Burghs, Glasgow Bridgeton, Crewe, Carlisle, Clay Cross, Ilkeston, Blaydon, Jarrow, Poplar South, Stepney Limehouse, Newcastle upon Tyne East, Newcastle upon Tyne West, Pontefract, Sheffield Hillsborough, Sheffield Attercliffe, Sheffield Brightside, Leeds South, Doncaster, Barnsley, Batley and Morley, Colne Valley, Wrexham, Llanelli, Carnarvonshire, Aberavon, Merthyr, Neath, Pontypridd†, Swansea East, Wansbeck, Cornwall North, Battersea North
Liberal 13 Orkney and Shetland, East Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire, Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, Galloway, South Shields, Bethnal Green North-East, Leeds West*, Huddersfield, Spen Valley, Combined Scottish Universities (one of three)*, Eye*, Banff, Kilmarnock
National Liberal (HOLD)45 Combined English Universities (one of two), University of Wales, Caithness and Sutherland, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Moray and Nairn, Montrose Burghs, Argyll, Partick, Kirkcaldy Burghs, Roxburgh & Selkirk, Berwick & Haddington, Stockport (one of two), Stockton-on-Tees, Romford, Bristol East, Bristol North, Bristol South, Blackburn (one of two), Bolton (one of two), Heywood and Radcliffe, Middleton & Prestwich, Oldham (one of two), Stretford, Leicester East, Camberwell North-West, Hackney Central, Shoreditch, Southwark Central, Southwark North, Southwark South East, Northampton, Lichfield, Stoke, Shipley, Denbigh, Flintshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire, Carnarvon, Brecon and Radnor, Swansea West, Norfolk South West, Sheffield Park
Speaker 1 Halifax*
Conservative 28 St Ives, Perth, Bedford, Luton, Cambridgeshire, Isle of Ely, Derbyshire South, Barnstaple, Sunderland (one of two), Leyton East, East Ham North, Stroud, Thornbury, Southampton (both seats), Buckrose, Bosworth, Kennington, Peckham, Banbury, The Wrekin, Lowestoft, Sudbury, Pudsey and Otley, Leeds North, Leeds Central, Newport (Monmouthshire)†, Saffron Walden
Ind. Conservative 1 Dorset East
Constitutionalist 1 Dartford
Independent 1 Mossley*
Independent Conservative 2 Hackney South†, Sowerby
Coalition Independent Labour 1 Norfolk North
Speaker Liberal 1 Penrith and Cockermouth
Independent Liberal Labour 1 Newcastle-under-Lyme*
Conservative Communist 1 Motherwell
Labour 32 Clackmannan and Eastern Stirlingshire, Stirlingshire West, Lanarkshire North, Glasgow Maryhill, Glasgow Camlachie, Bothwell†, Coatbridge, Glasgow Springburn, Glasgow Tradeston, Glasgow St. Rollox, Glasgow Shettleston, Linlithgow, Durham, Sedgefield, Gateshead, Stratford, Accrington, Eccles, Farnworth, Manchester Ardwick, Oldham (one of two), Rochdale, Bow and Bromley, Camberwell North†, Edmonton, Tottenham North, Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Elland, Bradford Central, Keighley, Dewsbury, Whitehaven
Liberal 30 Aberdeen and Kincardine Central†, Forfarshire, Fife East, Edinburgh West, Dumfriesshire, Bedfordshire Mid, Birkenhead East, Derby (one of two), Tavistock, Dorset North, The Hartlepools, Harwich, Isle of Wight, Worcester, Holderness, Kingston upon Hull Central†, Preston (one of two), Bootle, Grantham, Horncastle, Bethnal Green South-West, Great Yarmouth, Nottingham Central, Oxford, Taunton, Chippenham, Westbury, Bradford South, Louth†, Bodmin
Independent Liberal 1 Cambridge University (one of two)
Independent 1 Harrow*
Conservative (HOLD)289 Cambridge University (one of two), Combined English Universities (one of two), Oxford University (both seats), London University, Combined Scottish Universities (two of three), Aberdeen South, Ayr Burghs, Ayrshire N & Bute, Glasgow Central, Hillhead, Pollok, Kelvingrove, Dunbartonshire, Lanark, Edinburgh South, Midlothian N, Edinburgh North, Abingdon, Newbury, Reading, Windsor, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Wycombe, Cambridge, Huntingdonshire, Altrincham, Birkenhead West, Chester, Eddisbury, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Northwich, Stalybridge and Hyde, Wallasey, Wirral, Penryn and Falmouth, Cumberland North, Westmorland, High Peak, Exeter, Honiton, Plymouth Devonport, Plymouth Drake, Plymouth Sutton, Tiverton, Torquay, Totnes, Dorset South, Dorset West, Darlington, Sunderland (one of two), Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping, Essex SE, Ilford, Maldon, Leyton West, Southend, Walthamstow E, Upton, Bristol Central, Bristol West, Cheltenham, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, Gloucester, Aldershot, Basingstoke, Fareham, New Forest & Christchurch, Petersfield, Portsmouth North, Portsmouth South, Winchester, Hereford, Leominster, Bewdley, Dudley, Evesham, Kidderminster, Hitchin, St Albans, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Ealing, Hornsey, Twickenham, Wood Green, Finchley, Brentford and Chiswick, Hendon, Spelthorne, Uxbridge, Willesden East, Acton, Enfield, Tottenham South, Willesden West, Howdenshire, Kingston upon Hull East, Kingston upon Hull North West, Ashford, Bromley, Canterbury, Chatham, Chislehurst, Dover, Faversham, Gillingham, Gravesend, Hythe, Isle of Thanet, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn (one of two), Blackpool, Chorley, Darwen, Fylde, Lancaster, Lonsdale, Rossendale, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Manchester Blackley, Manchester Clayton, Manchester Exchange, Hulme, Moss Side, Rusholme, Withington, Royton, Salford South, Salford West, E Toxteth, Edge Hill, Everton, Liverpool Exchange, Fairfield, Kirkdale, Walton, Wavertree, West Derby, West Toxteth, Southport, Warrington, Waterloo, Widnes, Harborough, Leicester South, Melton, Brigg, Gainsborough, Grimsby, Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford, Balham and Tooting, Chelsea, Clapham, Dulwich, Fulham East, Hampstead, Holborn, Lewisham East, Lewisham West, Kensington South, Hackney North, Brixton, Fulham West, Hammersmith South, Islington North, Kensington North, Battersea South, Greenwich, Islington East, Hammersmith North, Finsbury, Islington South, Islington West, City of London (both seats), Mile End, Stoke Newington, Norwood, Paddington North, Paddington South, Putney, Rotherhithe, St Marylebone, St Pancras North, St Pancras South East, St Pancras South West, Streatham, Wandsworth Central, Westminster Abbey, Woolwich West, King's Lynn, Norfolk East, Daventry, Peterborough, Hexham, Newcastle upon Tyne North, Tynemouth, Bassetlaw, Nottingham South, Nottingham East, Rushcliffe, Newark, Henley, Ludlow, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Bath, Bridgwater, Frome, Wells, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Burton, Stafford, Stone, Tamworth, Bilston, Wolverhampton West, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Chertsey, Croydon North, Croydon South, Epsom, Farnham, Guildford, Kingston upon Thames, Mitcham, Reigate, Surrey East, Wimbledon, Brighton (both seats), Chichester, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Hastings, Horsham and Worthing, Lewes, Rye, Nuneaton, Coventry, Aston, Deritend, Erdington, King's Norton, Ladywood, Yardley, Sparkbrook, Birmingham West, Edgbaston, Handsworth, Moseley, Rugby, Warwick and Leamington, Devizes, Salisbury, Swindon, York, Cleveland, Richmond (Yorks), Scarborough and Whitby, Thirsk and Malton, Barkston Ash, Ripon, Ecclesall, Hallam, Skipton, Leeds North East, Sheffield Central, Bradford North, Wakefield, Rotherham, Monmouth, Llandaff & Barry, Cardiff C, Cardiff S
Ind. Conservative 2 Westminster St George's, Richmond (Surrey)
UUP UUP 10 Antrim (both seats) (replaced South Antrim and Antrim Mid), Armagh (replaced Armagh North), Belfast East (replaced Belfast Pottinger), Belfast North (replaced Belfast Duncairn), Belfast South (replaced Belfast Ormeau), Belfast West (replaced Belfast Woodvale), Down (both seats) (replaced Down East and Down North), Londonderry (replaced Londonderry North)
abolished10 Antrim East, Antrim North, Armagh Mid, Belfast Cromac, Down Mid, Down West, Londonderry South, Fermanagh North, Tyrone South, Queen's University of Belfast
Irish Unionist abolished2 Dublin Rathmines, Dublin University (one of two)
Independent Unionist abolished1 Dublin University (one of two)
National Liberal 1 Walsall
Conservative 1 Bournemouth*
Silver Badge 1 Hertford1
1 MP elected as an Anti-Waste League candidate at a 1921 by-election, but moved to the Conservatives for the 1922 election

See also

Notes

  1. Including Conservatives not elected under the Coalition Coupon.
  2. As Coalition Liberals.
  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.

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References

  1. Jenkins 1964, p. 495.
  2. Koss 1985, p. 257–8.
  3. Craig 1970, p. 10.
  4. Somervell 1936, p. 303; Craig 1970, pp. 9–17.
  5. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Sources

Manifestos