Leeds Parliamentary Election Results
1951 - 25th October
G. Porter (Labour) 23,967
W. Barford (Conservative) 14,475
O. Peake (Conservative) 30,290
P. Taylor (Labour) 17,249
A. M. Bacon (Labour) 22,402
J. C. Bidgood (Conservative) 15,991
D. Kaberry (Conservative) 25,873
M. Veitch (Labour) 15,490
H. T. N. Gaitskell (Labour) 30,712
W. D. Brown (Conservative) 16,493
J. Milner (Labour) 24,929 *
C. E. Kirwin (Conservative) 16,277
[ Ennobled December 1951. ]
T. C. Pannell (Labour) 22,357
B. Mather (Conservative) 18,957
Clement Atlee called the election in an attempt to increase the Labour majority but in fact saw the Conservatives under Winston Churchill win 302 seats which coupled with the 19 National Liberal Organisation and Conservative Party successes gave the new government a majority over the other parties of 17. The Labour Party was reduced to 295. The Liberal Party standing separately won just 6 seats. Despite the setback Labour still polled more votes than the Government and its supporters: 13,948,883 to 13,718,199.
In Leeds, even before the final results were in, the Yorkshire Evening Post’s headline proclaimed ‘Tories Win: Churchill may see King Tonight’. There was no change in Leeds but Labour’s majority was reduced in every seat it held whilst the Conservatives increased theirs in the two seats they had. Despite the obvious swing to the right generally, in Leeds Labour polled 157,106 votes or 53% of the votes cast compared to the Conservatives 138,356 or 47%. The constituency with the highest turnout was Leeds West with 85.92%.
Had the national swing of 2½% to the Conservatives taken place here this was the only seat in Leeds that would have changed. As it was, though Labour’s majority was reduced by 1,115, it still retained the seat. Bertrand Mather, the defeated candidate commented, ‘There’s nothing wrong with our Conservative organisation. It is just that there are too many Socialists living there.’ Once again staunch Liberals across the city voted Conservative. Perhaps the least obvious reason for casting a vote was given by a female constituent at Middleton who told Miss Winifred Brown, the Conservative candidate, she would vote for her because ‘My mother’s name was Winnie and my grandmother’s name was also Winnie’.