Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


Representation of the People Act 1928 – All women over 21 enfranchised

1929 - 30th May

Hon. R. D. Denman (Labour) 17,322
Sir C. Wilson (Conservative) 15,958
M. J. Landa (Liberal) 5,607

Capt. O. Peake (Conservative) 19,661
T. MacCall (Labour) 11,180
T. E. Harvey (Liberal) 9,944

North East
Major J. D. Birchall (Conservative) 18,877
D. Freeman (Labour) 13,050
C. H. Bowle (Liberal) 8,253

H. C. Charleton (Labour) 18,043
G. Ford (Conservative) 9,433
E. Kilburn Scott (Liberal) 6,884

South East
Sir H. Slesser (Labour) 22,403 *
J. C. Spurr (Liberal) 7,385
[ * Resigned in June to become a judge in the Appeals Court. ]

T. W. Stamford (Labour) 18,765
G. W. Martin (Conservative) 13,129
R. Cleworth (Liberal) 7,894


This was the famous ‘Flapper Election’, the first British general election where every man and woman over 21 could vote. The election was fought against a background of economic depression, rising unemployment, and the bitter memories of the General Strike. The Labour Party with 287 seats became the largest party with the Conservatives securing 260 and the Liberals 59 seats. For the first time the Labour Party won more seats than the other parties. However, Ramsay MacDonald was once again forced to form another minority Labour Government.

In Leeds only one seat changed hands. Sir Charles Wilson, one of the most dominant Conservatives in Leeds politics for decades was defeated in Leeds Central by Denman for Labour. A disappointment for the Liberals was the fact that Harvey, MP for Leeds West from 1910–1918, came a poor third in the poll in Leeds North nearly 10,000 votes behind Peake, the Conservative winner. The Conservatives had high hopes of winning Leeds West after the close contest in 1924 but Stamford held on with an increased majority of 5,636. One early report claimed that in Leeds ‘the “flappers” are doing really well’. When polling ceased large crowds gathered outside the Yorkshire Post offices in Albion Street to see the national results being displayed. In the city 100,763 voted Labour, 77,058 Conservative and 45,967 Liberal. There was a 71.8% turnout. The Yorkshire Post declared it was ‘A Disastrous Result’.