Leeds Parliamentary Election Results


1955 - 26th May

D. W. Healey (Labour) 26,083
C. D. Chapman (Conservative) 21,144

North East
O. Peake (Conservative) 24,902 *
H. W. Waterman (Labour) 15,623
[ * Ennobled January 1956. ]

North West
D. Kaberry (Conservative) 31,923
D. B. Matthews (Labour) 16,594

H. T. N. Gaitskell (Labour) 25,833
W. D. Brown (Conservative) 13,817

South East
A. M. Bacon (Labour) 25,714
W. W. W. Dunn (Conservative) 13,142

T. C. Pannell (Labour) 24,576
J. Hiley (Conservative) 18,312
H. Hudson (Liberal) 3,699


Anthony Eden’s Conservatives and supporters with 345 seats won a majority of 60. Labour registered 277 seats and the Liberals 6. Every constituency in the country was contested though it was said to be the dullest of the post war elections. Only weeks before the election Eden had taken over the leadership of the Conservative Party. His hopes were that voters were generally satisfied with the Conservatives in that they had ended food rationing and the fact there was growing prosperity generally. Labour was severely handicapped by splits in the party between the left wing, led by Aneurin Bevan, which supported anti-Americanism, opposed German re-armament, and hedged on the hydrogen bomb and the more moderate supporters of Hugh Gaitskell. Threat of a strike by railway platemen at Whitsuntide and the fact the country was in the middle of a dock strike did not help Labour’s cause.

Changes saw Leeds Central disappear and a new constituency, Leeds East, created. Leeds South remained untouched but the other constituencies saw changes to their boundaries. A Liberal candidate stood in only one election in the city, in Leeds West, but acquired only 3,699 votes or 7.94% of the vote and lost his deposit . Here there was a 77.38% turnout, the highest in the city. The six Labour candidates secured 134,423 votes or 51% of the vote as opposed to the Conservatives 123,240 or 47%. This was the first time televison cameras covered a Leeds general election.