Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


1931 - 27th October

Hon. R. D. Denman (National Labour) 26,496 *
M. Turner-Samuels (Labour) 10,633

O. Peake (Conservative) 34,964 *
L. J. Edwards (Labour) 9,427

North East

Sir J. D. Birchall (Conservative) 31,671 *
A. J. Dobbs (Labour) 10,294

B. N. H. Whiteside (Conservative) 14,881 *
H. C. Charleton (Labour) 14,156
F. Boult (Liberal) 6,291

South East
Maj. J. Milner (Labour) 17, 845
P. R. Le Mesurier (Conservative) 16,109 *

S. V. T. Adams (Conservative) 24,701 *
T. W. Stamford (Labour) 14,354

[ * National Government candidates. ]

Following the Wall Street crash of 1929 the so-called Great Depression swept over all Western industrialised countries. By August 1931 the Labour Government was bitterly divided on proposals for a series of budget cuts which in particular would have a cut the rate of unemployment benefit. The Government fell and King George V persuaded MacDonald to form a National Government. The Conservatives supported the proposal but Labour remained bitterly divided and the Liberals fragmented into three factions. The Labour Party never forgave MacDonald. In the election that followed the Conservatives, with 470 seats allied with National Labour’s 13 and the 35 National Liberals, formed the government. Labour won just 52 seats.

In Leeds the national pattern was repeated with National Government candidates winning five of the six seats and the Yorkshire Evening Post claiming ‘Rout of Socialists Complete’. In Leeds Central it was an all Labour election with the National Labour candidate Denman being successful. The Conservative candidate Sir Edward Grigg had withdrawn from the contest in order not to take votes from the National Labour candidate. Only Milner held onto Leeds South East for Labour but his majority was slashed to 1,736. Here Milner’s supporters made a deliberate attempt to woo Roman Catholic voters because Milner had annoyed them by voting against an amendment to the Education Bill. In Leeds North Osbert Peake recorded an impressive majority of 25,537 in a two way fight up from 8,481 in 1929, in a three cornered contest.