Leeds Parliamentary Election Results

1923 - 26th July - by-election

Sir C. Wilson (Conservative) 13,085
H. H. Slesser (Labour) 11,359
G. Stone (Liberal) 3,028

The by-election came about by the sudden death of Arthur Willey, who combined being an MP with that of being a busy solicitor. He suffered a stroke, dying almost immediately. The subsequent by-election was a clear cut victory for Sir Charles Wilson and saw the man who had famously claimed, ‘I am Leeds’ retain the seat for the Conservatives. Slesser made significant gains for Labour but the Liberal vote imploded with Stone losing his £150 deposit. Wilson stressed in a meeting with businessmen at the Philosophical Hall ‘the aggressor in the late war should be made to pay to the utmost of his capacity’. The Daily Mail re-echoed his view and reported on Wilson saying that ‘He stood resolutely on a platform of supporting France. And making Germany pay ... We hope that Mr Baldwin will note this verdict of a great industrial constituency.’ The most bizarre incident reported in the town was when a voter became so irate with the presiding officer that he swallowed his ballot paper and then ‘strode majestically out of the polling booth’.