Sinn Féin is a left-wing Irish republican political party active in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The original Sinn Féin organisation was founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970 after a split within the party and has been associated with the Provisional Irish Republican Army. Mary Lou McDonald has been party president since February 2018. Sinn Féin is one of the two largest parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly holding the same number of seats there as the Democratic Unionist Party. Sinn Féin is the largest nationalist party in that assembly, it held four ministerial posts in the most recent power-sharing Northern Ireland Executive. In the UK House of Commons, Sinn Féin holds seven of Northern Ireland's 18 seats—the second-largest bloc after the DUP. There it follows a policy of abstentionism, refusing to attend vote on bills. In the Oireachtas, Sinn Féin is the largest on the left; the phrase "Sinn Féin" is Irish for "Ourselves" or "We Ourselves", although it is mistranslated as "ourselves alone".
The meaning of the name itself is an assertion of self-determination. Around the time of 1969–1970, owing to the split in the republican movement, there were two groups calling themselves Sinn Féin; the latter became known as Sinn Féin or Provisional Sinn Féin, the former became known as Sinn Féin or Official Sinn Féin. As the "Officials" dropped all mention of Sinn Féin from their name in 1982, instead calling itself the Workers' Party of Ireland, the Provisionals were now known as Sinn Féin. Supporters of Republican Sinn Féin, which came from a 1986 split, still use the term "Provisional Sinn Féin" to refer to the party led by Mary Lou McDonald. Sinn Féin members have been referred to as Shinners, a term intended as a pejorative. Sinn Féin was founded on 28 November 1905, when, at the first annual Convention of the National Council, Arthur Griffith outlined the Sinn Féin policy, "to establish in Ireland's capital a national legislature endowed with the moral authority of the Irish nation".
The party contested the 1908 North Leitrim by-election. Thereafter, both support and membership fell. At the 1910 Ard Fheis the attendance was poor, there was difficulty finding members willing to take seats on the executive. In 1914, Sinn Féin members, including Griffith, joined the anti-Redmond Irish Volunteers, referred to by Redmondites and others as the "Sinn Féin Volunteers". Although Griffith himself did not take part in the Easter Rising of 1916, many Sinn Féin members did, as they were members of both the Volunteers and the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Government and newspapers dubbed the Rising "the Sinn Féin Rising". After the Rising, republicans came together under the banner of Sinn Féin, at the 1917 Ard Fheis the party committed itself for the first time to the establishment of an Irish Republic. In the 1918 general election, Sinn Féin won 73 of Ireland's 105 seats, in January 1919, its MPs assembled in Dublin and proclaimed themselves Dáil Éireann, the parliament of Ireland; the party supported the Irish Republican Army during the War of Independence, members of the Dáil government negotiated the Anglo-Irish Treaty with the British government in 1921.
In the Dáil debates that followed, the party divided on the Treaty. Anti-Treaty members led by Éamon de Valera walked out, pro- and anti-Treaty members took opposite sides in the ensuing Civil War. Pro-Treaty Dáil deputies and other Treaty supporters formed a new party, Cumann na nGaedheal, on 27 April 1923 at a meeting in Dublin, where delegates agreed on a constitution and political programme. Cumann na nGaedheal went on to govern the new Irish Free State for nine years. Anti-Treaty Sinn Féin members continued to boycott the Dáil. At a special Ard Fheis in March 1926, de Valera proposed that elected members be allowed to take their seats in the Dáil if and when the controversial Oath of Allegiance was removed; when his motion was defeated, de Valera resigned from Sinn Féin. He took most Sinn Féin TDs with him. De Valera's resignation meant the loss of financial support from America; the rump Sinn Féin party could field no more than fifteen candidates, won only six seats in the June 1927 general election, a level of support not seen since before 1916.
Vice-President and de facto leader Mary MacSwiney announced that the party did not have the funds to contest the second election called that year, declaring "no true Irish citizen can vote for any of the other parties". Fianna Fáil came to power at the 1932 general election and went on to long dominate politics in the independent Irish state. An attempt in the 1940s to access funds, put in the care of the High Court led to the Sinn Féin Funds case, which the party lost and in which the judge ruled that it was not the legal successor to the Sinn Féin of 1917. At the United Kingd
1959 United Kingdom general election
The 1959 United Kingdom general election was held on Thursday, 8 October 1959. It marked a third consecutive victory for the ruling Conservative Party, now led by Harold Macmillan. For the second time in a row, the Conservatives increased their overall majority in Parliament, to 101 seats over the Labour Party led by Hugh Gaitskell; the Liberal Party led by Jo Grimond again returned only six MPs to the House of Commons, but managed to increase their overall share of the vote to 5.9%. To date, the 1959 general election marks the only occasion since the Second World War when a government has managed to increase its overall majority while seeking a third term in government. However, despite this electoral success; this election marks the beginning of Labour's domination of Scottish seats at Westminster, which lasted until the rise of the Scottish National Party at the 2015 general election. Both future Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe and future Conservative Party leader and eventual Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher first entered the House of Commons at this election.
After the Suez Crisis in 1956, Anthony Eden, the Conservative Prime Minister, became unpopular. He resigned early in 1957, was succeeded by Chancellor of the Exchequer Harold Macmillan. At that point, the Labour Party, whose leader Hugh Gaitskell had succeeded Clement Attlee after the 1955 general election, enjoyed large leads in opinion polls over the Conservative Party, it looked as if Labour could win; the Liberal Party had a new leader, Jo Grimond, so all three parties contested the election with a new leader at the helm. However, the Conservatives enjoyed an upturn in fortunes as the economy improved under Macmillan's leadership, his personal approval ratings remained high. By September 1958, the Conservatives had moved ahead of Labour in the opinion polls. All the three main parties had changed leadership since the previous election; the Conservatives fought under the slogan "Life is better with the Conservatives, don't let Labour ruin it" and were boosted by a pre-election economic boom.
Macmillan effectively "summed up" the mood of the British public when he said that most of the people had "never had it so good". Macmillan was popular, was described as a politician of the centre ground; the first week of polling put the Conservatives ahead of Labour by over 5%, but this narrowed as the campaign continued. The Labour Party fought a effective campaign, with television broadcasts masterminded by Tony Benn under the umbrella of their manifesto entitled Britain Belongs to You, which accused the Conservatives of complacency over the growing gap between rich and poor. Hugh Gaitskell made a mistake in declaring that a Labour government would not raise taxes if it came to power—even though the Labour manifesto contained pledges to increase spending; this led voters to doubt Labour's spending plans, is cited as a key reason for their defeat. Early on election night it became clear that the Conservative Party had been returned to government with an increased majority. However, there were swings to Labour in parts of north-west England, in Scotland.
The Labour domination of Scottish seats would last for another 56 years, until the rise of the Scottish National Party in the wake of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum. James Callaghan believed that the Conservatives increased their majority in part because working-class Labour voters were still angry at the party for opposing the Suez conflict. For the fourth general election in a row, the Conservatives increased their number of seats, despite experiencing a slight decrease in their share of the vote. For Labour, the result was disappointing. Future Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was elected to the House of Commons for the first time as the MP for Finchley. While the Liberal Party earned more than twice as many votes as in the previous general election, this was the result of them nominating nearly double the amount of candidates that they did four years prior. Future party leader Jeremy Thorpe was elected to Parliament for the first time, as the MP North Devon; the Daily Mirror, despite being a staunch supporter of the Labour Party, wished Macmillan "good luck" on its front page following his election victory.
The BBC's election coverage, presented by Richard Dimbleby, was shown on BBC Parliament on 9 October 2009 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the election. All comparisons are with the 1955 election. In some cases the change is due to the MP defecting to the gaining party; such circumstances are marked with a *. In other circumstances the change is due to the seat having been won by the gaining party in a by-election in the intervening years, retained in 1959; such circumstances are marked with a †. MPs elected in the UK general election, 1959 United Kingdom election results—summary results 1885–1979 The Next Five Years, 1959 Conservative Party manifesto Britain Belongs to You: The Labour Party's Policy for Consideration by the British People, 1959 Labour Party manifesto People Count, 1959 Liberal Party manifesto
Frederick Richard Dimbleby, CBE was an English journalist and broadcaster, who became the BBC's first war correspondent, its leading TV news commentator. As host of the long-running current affairs programme Panorama, he pioneered a popular style of interviewing, respectful but searching. At formal public events, he could combine gravitas with creative insights based on extensive research, he was able to maintain interest throughout the all-night election specials. The annual Richard Dimbleby Lecture was founded in his memory. Dimbleby was born near Richmond, the son of Gwendoline Mabel and Frederick Jabez George Dimbleby, a journalist, he was educated at Mill Hill School, began his career in 1931 on the Richmond and Twickenham Times, which his grandfather had acquired in 1894. He worked as a news reporter on the Southern Evening Echo in Southampton, before joining the BBC as a radio news reporter in 1936, going on to become their first war correspondent, he accompanied the British Expeditionary Force to France, made broadcasts from the battle of El Alamein and the Normandy beaches during the D-Day landings.
During the war, he flew on some twenty raids as an observer with RAF Bomber Command, including one to Berlin, recording commentary for broadcast the following day. He was one of the first journalists to experiment with unconventional outside broadcasts, such as when flying in a de Havilland Mosquito accompanying a fighter aircraft raid on France, or being submerged in a diving suit. In April 1945, as the BBC's war correspondent, he accompanied the British 11th Armoured Division to the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp making one of the first reports, his description of what he saw there was so graphic the BBC declined to broadcast his despatch for four days, relenting only when he threatened to resign: I passed through the barrier, found myself in the world of a nightmare. Dead bodies, some of them in decay, lay strewn about the road and along the rutted tracks Inside the huts it was worse. I've seen many terrible sights in the last five years, but nothing, nothing approaching the dreadful interior of this hut at Belsen.
The dead and the dying lay close together. I picked my way over corpse after corpse through the gloom, until I heard one voice that rose above the gentle, undulating moaning. I found a girl, she was a living skeleton, impossible to gauge her age, for she had no hair left on her head, her face was only a yellow parchment sheet, with two holes in it for eyes Babies were born at Belsen, some of them shrunken, wizened little things that could not live because their mothers could not feed them. One woman, distraught to the point of madness, flung herself at a British soldier, on guard in the camp on the night that it was reached by the 11th Armoured Division, she begged him to give her some milk, for the tiny baby. She threw herself at the sentries feet and kissed his boots, and when, in his distress, he asked her to get up, she put the baby in his arms and ran off, crying that she would find milk for it because there was no milk in her breast. And when the soldier opened the bundle of rags to look at the child, he found that it had been dead for days I have never seen British soldiers so moved to cold fury as the men who opened the Belsen camp this week, those of the police and the RAMC, who are now on duty there trying to save the prisoners who are not to far gone in starvation.
He described in the wrecked interior of Hitler's Reich Chancellery at the war's end. After the war Dimbleby switched to television becoming the BBC's leading news commentator, is best remembered as the commentator on a number of major public occasions; these included the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 and the funerals of George VI, John F. Kennedy and Winston Churchill, he wrote a book about the coronation, Elizabeth Our Queen, given free to many schoolchildren at the time. He wrote a London crime novel Storm at the Hook, published in 1948, he took part in the first Eurovision television relay in 1951 and appeared in the first live television broadcast from the Soviet Union in 1961. He introduced a special programme in July 1962 showing the first live television signal from the United States via the Telstar satellite. In addition to heavyweight journalism, he took part in lighter sound radio programmes such as Twenty Questions and Down Your Way. From 1955 he was the host of the flagship current affairs series Panorama.
This programme saw him use his journalistic skills to full advantage in conducting searching, but polite interviews with key figures of the day, while acting as an urbane anchorman for the programme. He was able to maintain his reporting talents by visiting places like Berlin, standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate a week before the Berlin Wall was erected across it by the communist authorities of East Germany. Dimbleby's reputation was built upon his ability to describe events yet with a sense of the drama and poetry of the many state occasions he covered. Examples included the Lying-in-State of George VI in Westminster Hall where he depicted the stillness of the guardsmen standing like statues at the four corners of the catafalque, or the description of the drums at Kennedy's funeral which, he said, "beat as the pulse of a man's heart." His commentary for the funeral of Churchill in January 1965 was the last state event he commentated upon. To produce his commentaries he carried out encyclopedic research on all aspects of the venues of great events, their history and that of the ceremonies taking place, the personalities involved.
This was a necessary par
1935 Labour Party (UK) leadership election
The 1935 Labour Party leadership election took place on 26 November 1935 when Herbert Morrison and Arthur Greenwood challenged Clement Attlee, the incumbent party leader of only one month and one day. Attlee Deputy Leader, had been appointed as an interim leader the previous month when George Lansbury resigned and the general election was looming. With the Labour Party now having three times as many MPs as in the 1931-5 Parliament, both Morrison and Greenwood stood in the annual election for leader, feeling that Attlee's appointment had only been intended as an interim measure. Morrison had not been an MP at the time of the October appointment, whilst Greenwood had declined to offer himself as a candidate because he was associated with trade union leaders such as Ernest Bevin, who were regarded as the reasons for forcing Lansbury to resign, a move that the vast majority of Labour MPs opposed. Clement Attlee, incumbent Leader of the Labour Party, Member of Parliament for Limehouse Arthur Greenwood, former Minister of Health, Member of Parliament for Wakefield Herbert Morrison, Leader of the London County Council, Member of Parliament for Hackney South The first round of the contest took place on 26 November 1935: As the lowest-placed candidate, Greenwood was eliminated from the race.
The second contest took place on 3 December: With a clear majority, Attlee retained the party leadership. Herbert Morrison claimed that he was denied the leadership of the Labour Party in the 1935 election by the votes of Labour MPs who were members of New Welcome Lodge. Morrison's backer Hugh Dalton made similar claims, went further than Morrison by claiming to have been shown the summons for the meeting at which the voting was decided. Dalton believed that the members of New Welcome Lodge backed Arthur Greenwood, a member of the lodge, backed Clement Attlee in order to block Morrison. Greenwood was elected to replace Attlee as Deputy Leader
Orkney and Shetland (UK Parliament constituency)
Orkney and Shetland is a constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election. In the Scottish Parliament and Shetland are separate constituencies; the constituency was known as Orkney and Zetland. The British parliamentary constituency was created in 1708 following the Acts of Union, 1707 and replaced the former Parliament of Scotland shire constituency of Orkney & Zetland; the constituency is made up of the two island groups and Shetland. A constituency of this name has existed continuously since 1708. However, before 1918 the town of Kirkwall formed part of the Northern Burghs constituency, it is the most northerly of the 650 UK Parliament constituencies. The constituency is one of three "protected constituencies", the others being Na h-Eileanan an Iar and the Isle of Wight, defining constituency boundaries by geography rather than by size of electorate; the constituency contains the areas of the Shetland Islands Council.
Before 2011 the constituency had been unique in having its boundaries protected by legislation. The constituency has the second smallest electorate of any UK parliamentary constituency, after Na h-Eileanan an Iar; the constituency has elected only Liberal and Liberal Democrat MPs since 1950. At each general election from 1955 until 1979, in 1987, 2010 and again in 2017 it was the safest Liberal Democrat seat in the UK. At the 2015 general election, it was the only seat in Scotland to return a Liberal Democrat MP. Two years in 2017, the Lib Dems gained three more seats in Scotland. General election 1939/40: Another general election was required to take place before the end of 1940; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected. F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918 – 1949 F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1885 – 1918 F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1832 – 1885 Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "O" BBC Vote 2001 BBC Election 2005 Guardian Unlimited Politics UK general elections since 1832 http://www.psr.keele.ac.uk/
Plymouth Devonport (UK Parliament constituency)
Plymouth, Devonport was, from 1832 until 2010, a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It covered part of the city of Plymouth in South West England, including the former borough of Devonport; the constituency was created as Devonport in 1832, elected two members until 1918, when the number was reduced to one. Following the amalgamation of Devonport into Plymouth, the constituency was renamed as Plymouth, Devonport. Devonport has had a number of prominent MPs, including Leslie Hore-Belisha, Michael Foot, the former SDP leader David Owen. One of its longest serving MPs was the Conservative Dame Joan Vickers, who held the seat from 1955 until her defeat at the General Election of February 1974. Following a review of parliamentary representation in Devon by the Boundary Commission for England, constituencies in Plymouth have been reorganised, with both Plymouth Devonport and Plymouth Sutton being replaced by new constituencies of Plymouth Sutton and Devonport and Plymouth Moor View.
1918-1950: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Ford, Molesworth, Nelson, St Aubyn, St Budeaux. 1950-1955: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Ford, Molesworth, Mount Edgecumbe, Pennycross, St Aubyn, St Budeaux, St Peter, Stoke. 1955-1974: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Drake, Ford, Nelson, St Andrew, St Aubyn, St Budeaux, St Peter, Stoke. 1974-1983: The County Borough of Plymouth wards of Ernesettle, Ford, St Andrew, St Aubyn, St Budeaux, St Peter, Stoke. 1983-1997: The City of Plymouth wards of Budshead, Ham, Keyham, St Budeaux, Southway. 1997-2010: The City of Plymouth wards of Budshead, Estover, Honicknowle, Keyham, St Budeaux, Southway. From 1950 to 1983, the constituency included Plymouth city centre. Codrington resigned by accepting the office of Steward of the Manor of East Hendred, causing a by-election. Grey was appointed requiring a by-election. Romilly was appointed Solicitor General for Wales, requiring a by-election. Romilly was appointed Attorney General for Wales, requiring a by-election.
Romilly was appointed Master of the Rolls. Tufnell resigned. Wilson was appointed Vice-President of the Board of Trade. Perry resigned after being appointed a member of the Council of India. Wilson resigned. Seymour resigned. Buller resigned; the election was declared void on petition, on account of bribery and corrupt practices, causing a by-election. General Election 1914/15: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place from 1939 and by the end of this year, the following candidates had been selected; this constituency underwent boundary changes between the 1992 and 1997 general elections and thus change in share of vote is based on a notional calculation. List of Parliamentary constituencies in Devon Craig, F. W. S.. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949.
Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X
Scottish National Party
The Scottish National Party is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP campaigns for Scottish independence, it is the second-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom, behind the Labour Party and ahead of the Conservative Party. The current Scottish National Party leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has served as First Minister of Scotland since November 2014. Founded in 1934 with the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, the party has had continuous parliamentary representation in Westminster since Winnie Ewing won the 1967 Hamilton by-election. With the establishment of the devolved Scottish Parliament in 1999, the SNP became the second-largest party, serving two terms as the opposition; the SNP gained power at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, forming a minority government, before going on to win the 2011 Parliament election, after which it formed Holyrood's first majority government. It was reduced back to a minority government at the 2016 election.
The SNP is the largest political party in Scotland in terms of both seats in the Westminster and Holyrood parliaments, membership, reaching 125,482 members as of August 2018, 35 MPs and over 400 local councillors. The SNP currently has 2 MEPs in the European Parliament, who sit in The Greens/European Free Alliance group; the SNP is a member of the European Free Alliance. The party does not have any members of the House of Lords, as it has always maintained a position of objecting to an unelected upper house; the SNP was formed in 1934 through the merger of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party, with Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham as its first president. Professor Douglas Young, the leader of the Scottish National Party from 1942 to 1945 campaigned for the Scottish people to refuse conscription and his activities were popularly vilified as undermining the British war effort against the Axis powers. Young was imprisoned for refusing to be conscripted; the SNP first won a parliamentary seat at the Motherwell by-election in 1945, but Robert McIntyre MP lost the seat at the general election three months later.
They next won a seat in 1967, when Winnie Ewing was the surprise winner of a by-election in the safe Labour seat of Hamilton. This brought the SNP to national prominence, leading to the establishment of the Kilbrandon Commission; the SNP hit a high point in the October 1974 general election, polling a third of all votes in Scotland and returning 11 MPs to Westminster. This success was not surpassed until the 2015 general election. However, the party experienced a large drop in its support at the 1979 General election, followed by a further drop at the 1983 election. In the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary general election, the SNP emerged as the largest party with 47 seats, narrowly ousting the Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats and Alex Salmond became Scottish First Minister; the Scottish Green Party supported Salmond's election as First Minister, his subsequent appointments of ministers, in return for early tabling of the climate change bill and the SNP nominating a Green MSP to chair a parliamentary committee.
In May 2011, the SNP won an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament with 69 seats. This was a significant feat as the additional member system used for Scottish Parliament elections was designed to prevent one party from winning an outright majority. Based on their 2011 majority, the SNP government held a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014; the "No" vote prevailed in a close-fought campaign, prompting the resignation of First Minister Alex Salmond. Forty-five percent of Scottish voters cast their ballots for independence, with the "Yes" side receiving less support than late polling predicted; the SNP rebounded from the loss in the independence referendum at the UK general election in May 2015, led by Salmond's successor as first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. The party went from holding six seats in the House of Commons to 56 at the expense of the Labour Party. All but three of the fifty-nine constituencies in the country elected an SNP candidate. BBC News described the historic result as a "Scots landslide".
At the 2016 Scottish Parliament election, the SNP lost a net total of 6 seats, losing its overall majority in the Scottish Parliament, but returning for a third consecutive term as a minority government. The party gained an additional 1.1% of the constituency vote from the 2011 election, losing 2.3% of the regional list vote. On the constituency vote, the SNP gained 11 seats from Labour, but lost the Edinburgh Southern constituency to the party; the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats each gained two constituency seats from the SNP on 2011. At the United Kingdom general election, 2017 the SNP underperformed compared to polling expectations, losing 21 seats to bring their number of Westminster MPs down to 35; this was attributed by many, including former Deputy First Minister John Swinney, to their stance on holding a second Scottish independence referendum and saw a swing to the Unionist parties, with seats being picked up by the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats and a reduction in their majorities in the other seats.
Stephen Gethins, MP for North East Fife, came o