At the British general election of 1931, 25 candidates closely connected to the Labour Party stood for election without the party's official endorsement, primarily as a result of disagreements over changes in the party's rules introduced shortly before the election. All but one of the candidates were members of the Independent Labour Party which was then affiliated to the Labour Party; the remaining candidate had been adopted by a Constituency Labour Party whom the central party thought lacked the finance and organisation to fight the election. Six of these candidates were elected, one of whom through an unopposed nomination.
During the second Labour Government from 1929, the Independent Labour Party had become increasingly alienated from the party as a whole. Although 142 out of the 287 Labour MPs were members of the ILP, most took membership automatically and only a small number were aligned with the leadership. At the 1930 conference of the ILP, a resolution was passed that henceforth ILP MPs should back its policy instead of Labour Party policy where the two were in conflict; 18 MPs accepted this resolution, and formed a quasi-independent group in Parliament under the leadership of James Maxton (MP for Glasgow Bridgeton). The Labour Party objected to this situation and refused to give endorsement to ILP sponsored candidates in by-elections unless they signed a pledge which effectively reversed the conference decision.
In 1931 the Parliamentary Labour Party adopted a new set of Standing Orders which tightened up on discipline, and required that Labour MPs support the party programme. The new standing orders were endorsed at the Labour Party conference in October 1931 by 2,117,000 to 193,000, and on 7 October 1931 (the day after the general election was called), the National Executive Committee ruled that all candidates would have to sign an undertaking to abide by the new standing orders in order to receive official endorsement. Maxton considered that the conference decision effectively expelled him from the party and refused to sign.
The last-minute nature of preparations for the general election led to a scramble to adopt candidates. Eventually 25 candidates were nominated. The Labour Party's reaction to them varied.Six were elected.
|Bradford East||Frederick William Jowett||15,779||41.2||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP defeated.|
|Bute and Northern Ayrshire||Alexander Sloan||10,227||29.5||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|Camborne||Kate Florence Spurrell||8,280||24.5||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|Clapham||Hilda Alice Browning||7,317||23.0||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|Dumbarton Burghs||David Kirkwood||16,335||51.6||Member of the ILP sponsored by the CLP. Sitting MP re-elected.|
|Glasgow Bridgeton||James Maxton||16,630||58.2||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP re-elected.|
|Glasgow Camlachie||Rev. Campbell Stephen||15,282||45.3||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP defeated.|
|Glasgow Gorbals||George Buchanan||19,278||58.1||Member of the ILP sponsored by the CLP. Sitting MP re-elected.|
|Glasgow Hillhead||Charles Aloysius O'Donnell||7,539||26.2||Sponsored by the CLP, against a decision by the Glasgow Burgh Labour Party not to fight the seat.|
|Glasgow Kelvingrove||John Winning||12,415||36.6||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|Glasgow Shettleston||John McGovern||16,301||47.8||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP re-elected. An official Labour candidate stood in the constituency.|
|Kilmarnock||John Pollock||14,767||40.4||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|Lanark||Jack Gibson||11,815||36.4||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|North Lanarkshire||Janet Lee||19,691||44.7||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP defeated.|
|Leyton East||Archibald Fenner Brockway||10,433||37.6||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP defeated.|
|Liverpool Kirkdale||Elijah Sandham||9,531||30.1||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP defeated.|
|Merthyr||Richard Collingham Wallhead||24,623||69.4||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP re-elected.|
|Newcastle-under-Lyme||Josiah Clement Wedgwood||Unopposed||Member of the ILP sponsored by the CLP. Sitting MP re-elected.|
|Newcastle upon Tyne Central||Sir Charles Philip Trevelyan, Bt.||12,136||37.3||Member of the ILP sponsored by the CLP. Sitting MP defeated.|
|Norwich||Dorothy Jewson||26,537||19.7||Official candidate of the ILP. Ran in conjunction with an official Labour candidate in a two-member seat. Labour MP for seat 1923-1924.|
|Peckham||John Warburton Beckett||11,217||33.5||Official candidate of the ILP. Sitting MP defeated. An official Labour candidate stood in the constituency.|
|Perth||Helen Eaton Gault||3,705||9.7||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|West Renfrewshire||Jean Mann||10,203||31.5||Official candidate of the ILP.|
|Stockport||John Thomas Abbott||15,591||11.3||Official candidate of the ILP. Two-member seat; the official Labour candidate refused to run a joint campaign.|
|Warwick and Leamington||Charles George Garton||9,261||19.4||Member of the ILP sponsored by the CLP.|
In the new Parliament, James Maxton, together with John McGovern and Richard Wallhead, formed a separate Independent Labour Party Parliamentary group. David Kirkwood and George Buchanan subsequently joined the group. Later in the Parliament, Kirkwood and Wallhead rejoined the Parliamentary Labour Party.Wedgwood did not join the ILP group and took the Labour whip once Parliament met.
The Independent Labour Party (ILP) was a British political party of the left, established in 1893, when the Liberals appeared reluctant to endorse working-class candidates, representing the interests of the majority. A sitting independent MP and prominent union organiser, Keir Hardie, became its first chairman.
James Maxton was a British left-wing politician, and leader of the Independent Labour Party. He was a pacifist who opposed both world wars. A prominent proponent of Home Rule for Scotland, he is remembered as one of the leading figures of the Red Clydeside era. He broke with Ramsay MacDonald and the second minority Labour government, and became one of its most bitter critics. As the leader of the Independent Labour Party (ILP), he disaffiliated the ILP from the mainstream party in 1932. Afterwards, he became an independent dissident outside front-line politics.
David Kirkwood, 1st Baron Kirkwood, PC was a British politician, trade unionist and socialist activist from the East End of Glasgow, Scotland, viewed as a leading figure of the Red Clydeside era.
George Buchanan was a Scottish patternmaker, trade union activist and Member of Parliament.
Glasgow Bridgeton was a parliamentary constituency in the city of Glasgow. From 1885 to 1974, it returned one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first-past-the-post voting system.
The Glasgow Camlachie by-election was held on Wednesday 28 January 1948, following the death of the sitting Member of Parliament, Campbell Stephen.
John McGovern was a Scottish socialist politician.
Richard Collingham Wallhead, known as R. C. Wallhead, was a British Member of Parliament.
Annie D. Maxton was a Scottish socialist and trade unionist.
The Glasgow Bridgeton by-election was held on 29 August 1946, following the death of Independent Labour Party (ILP) Member of Parliament for Glasgow Bridgeton, James Maxton.
The Merthyr by-election, 1934 was a parliamentary by-election held on 5 June 1934 for the British House of Commons constituency of Merthyr in Wales.
The East Renfrewshire by-election, 1940 was a parliamentary by-election held on 9 May 1940 for the British House of Commons constituency of East Renfrewshire in Scotland.
The Edinburgh by-election, 1941 was a parliamentary by-election held on 11 December 1941 for the British House of Commons constituency of Edinburgh Central in Scotland.
This article lists the Independent Labour Party's election results in UK parliamentary elections.
The Scarborough and Whitby by-election was a parliamentary by-election for the British House of Commons constituency of Scarborough and Whitby on 6 May 1931.
The Lancaster by-election, 1941 was a parliamentary by-election for the British House of Commons constituency of Lancaster, Lancashire on 15 October 1941.
The Popular Front in the United Kingdom attempted an alliance between political parties and individuals of the left and centre-left in the late 1930s to come together to challenge the appeasement policies of the National Government led by Neville Chamberlain.
The Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) was an organisation of former Independent Labour Party members who wished to remain part of the Labour Party after their former party disaffiliated.
This article lists the Labour Party's election results from the 1922 United Kingdom general election to 1929, including by-elections.