Leeds Parliamentary Election Results

1834 - 13, 14 February by-election

E. Baines (Whig) 1,951
Sir J. Beckett (Tory) 1,917
J. Bower (Radical) 24

Macaulay resigned in December 1833 to join the East India Company. In the by-election Edward Baines, the Whig editor, who had turned the Leeds Mercury into the most influential provincial paper in Britain, was elected. However, Beckett reduced the Whig majority to 34 and there was no doubt that Joshua Bower’s intervention had split the Whig vote and almost cost Baines the election. Beckett won the northern agricultural townships of Potternewton, Chapel Allerton and Headingley whereas Baines’s successes came in the industrial areas of Hunslet, Holbeck, Bramley, Armley and Wortley. The Tories argued that the Whigs had acted illegally and Beckett, a scion of the Leeds banking family, should have been the overall winner. Baines’s statue flanks the back entrance to the Town Hall.