Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


1945 - 5th July (main polling day), plus 12th, 19th July. Main result declared 26th July

G. Porter (Labour) 13,370
C. S. Denham (Conservative) 8,011
B. Sandelson (Liberal) 2,017

O. Peake (Conservative) 22,848
R. Hodgson (Labour) 22,720
J. A. MacCallum Scott (Liberal) 8,824

North East
A. M. Bacon (Labour) 28,870 *
J. J. Craik-Henderson (Conservative) 20,406
F. C. Wilson (Liberal) 5,097
[ * Alice Bacon was the first woman elected for a Leeds constituency. ]

H. T. N. Gaitskell (Labour) 17,899
A. E. Ramsden (Conservative) 7,497
W. Barford (Liberal) 3,933

South East
J. Milner (Labour) 20,363
S. Beevers (Conservative) 4,518
C. H. Tyers (Liberal) 3,466

T. W. Stamford (Labour) 26,593 *
S. V. T. Adams (Conservative) 12,457
J. Booth (Liberal) 6,008
[ * Committed suicide 1949. ]

The war against Japan was still in progress when the general election was held and produced one of the greatest political upsets in British history. A massive 12% national swing saw Labour under Clement Atlee win a landslide victory, registering 393 seats against the Conservatives 197 with the Liberals reduced to just 12. The Conservatives were dumbfounded that Winston Churchill, held in such heroic status, had been so comprehensively rejected. It was generally felt that under Atlee, Labour offered a new Jerusalem of full employment, a National Health Service, a solution to the housing problem and the pursuit of Keynesian economic policies. The results were not announced until 26 July because votes had to be transported back to England from servicemen and women serving abroad.

In Leeds Labour gained Leeds Central, Leeds West and Leeds North East where Alice Bacon became the first woman to win a Parliamentary seat in the city. In Leeds South, Hugh Gaitskell, a future Labour Party leader, was elected. The Conservatives won only one seat and that the safe one of Leeds North. However, Osbert Peake’s majority dropped from 16,844 to 128 and that after a recount. The declaration of the poll in the city, made from a specially erected platform in front of the Art Gallery, was witnessed by only about 500 people, mostly Labour supporters but later more gathered in front of the Town Hall steps to hear the victory speeches.