Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


1852 - 9th July

Sir G. Goodman (Liberal) 2,344
M. T. Baines (Liberal) 2, 311
R. Hall (Conservative) 1,132
T. Sidney (Conservative) 1,089

The Earl of Derby’s Conservatives formed the government with 330 seats against the Liberals 324. But the Tories were still divided between the Protectionist and Peelite lobbies. The Government was replaced by Lord Aberdeen’s coalition in December. In Leeds the main issue was still between Free Trade and Protectionism. The sectarian bitterness of the time of was well demonstrated when the Leeds Intelligencer quoted John Bull in urging voters to oppose the ‘return of a Papist or Pro-Popish Protestant’ and reject every candidate ‘likely to give, his vote for the admission of the Jew’. The Liberals had expected a walkover but the Conservatives decided to nominate two candidates the day before the election. Consequently Robert Hall, a local lawyer and Thomas Sidney, a tea dealer from London, had little chance to canvass and make an impact on the campaign. Ultimately the Liberals were victorious with Sir George Goodman, the first mayor of Leeds under the new corporation, and Matthew Talbot Baines, a lawyer and son of the late Edward Baines, the Mercury owner, successful.