Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


1906 - 15th January

R. Armitage (Liberal) 4,188
G. W. Balfour (Conservative) 3,119

J. O’Grady (Labour) 4,299 *
H. S. Cautley (Conservative) 2,208
[ * Technically he was a Labour Representation Committee candidate; the party’s name changed soon after. ]

R. H. Barran (Liberal) 9,593
J. D. Birchall (Conservative) 7,109

Sir J. L. Walton (Liberal) 6,200 *
A. Fox (Labour) 4,030
Sir H. Fairfax-Lucy (Conservative) 2,126
[ * Died 1908]

H. J. Gladstone ( Liberal) 9,238
S. Samuel (Conservative) 4,608



With the Conservative Party divided over Tariff Reform, Campbell-Bannerman led the Liberals to a landslide victory winning 399 seats to the Conservatives 131 and Liberal Unionists 25. Leeds followed the anti-Tory national trend and failed to elect a single Conservative, a situation that had last occurred in the town in 1852. In Leeds East and Leeds West the Liberals and the Labour Representation Committee agreed not to stand against each other. It produced a most significant result in Leeds East where the success of James O’Grady was a triumph for Labour. The party soon afterwards changed its name to the Labour Party. It was the first victory in a Parliamentary election for Labour in the town. One of the major upsets was the unseating of Balfour who had represented Leeds Central for 20 years. In Leeds South there was a real danger that the Progressive vote would be split between the Liberal and Labour candidates but in reality the Conservative candidate was heavily beaten.

The Liberals were jubilant with the Leeds victory. The Leeds Mercury declared ‘Toryism annihilated in Leeds’ and that ‘The commercial capital of Yorkshire, has triumphantly established its adherence to [the] principles of Free Trade.’ Gladstone claimed that there are ‘No Tories left in Leeds’.