Ipswich by-election, 1914

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The Ipswich by-election was a Parliamentary by-election. It returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post voting system.


Silvester Horne had been one of the Liberal MPs for the dual member seat of Ipswich since the January 1910 elections. In 1914, returning from New York, he was taken ill suddenly and died.

Previous result[edit]

Silvester Horne
General election December 1910 Electorate 12,641
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Daniel Ford Goddard 5,931 26.2
Liberal Silvester Horne 5,791 25.7
Conservative Arthur Churchman 5,447 24.1
Conservative Bunnell Henry Burton 5,409 24.0
Turnout 89.9
Liberal hold Swing
Liberal hold Swing

In terms of a purely party vote, the votes cast for the party ticket were as follows;

General election December 1910[1] Electorate 12,641
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Goddard/Horne 5,757 52.0
Conservative Churchman/Burton 5,318 48.0


C. Masterman

Masterman had personal misgiving about contesting Ipswich; "It was an area of small employers, hostile to Insurance. It was a very Protestant area, reluctant about Home Rule. The local Liberals were enthusiastic and pressed hard for him to come, and Mr. Illingworth (Liberal Chief Whip) did not see how to refuse them."[3]


The campaign was dominated by the National Insurance Act introduced by Masterman in 1911. Both the Unionist and Socialist candidates attacked the Act. On 22 May 1914 David Lloyd George a close ally of Masterman, visited the constituency to speak for the Liberal campaign. He attacked the Unionists for their behaviour over Ulster which he considered a threat to constitutional government. Unionists had given support to a possible call to arms to resist the introduction of the Liberals Irish Home Rule Bill. He also emphasised the benefits of National Insurance and Old Age Pensions.[4]


This was the last contested by-election to take place before the outbreak of the Great War, after which, the main political parties agreed an electoral truce.

John Ganzoni
By-election 23 May 1914 Electorate 13,870
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist John Ganzoni 6,406 50.6 +2.6
Liberal Charles Masterman 5,874 46.3 −5.7
Socialist John Scurr 395 3.1 +3.1
Majority 532 4.3 n/a
Turnout 91.4 +1.5
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +8.3
  • Change of vote share and swing calculated from the 1910 party ticket vote.

Scurr threatened that he would continue to harass Masterman by standing against him wherever he was a candidate.[5] He never stood against Masterman again.


Masterman's defeat forced him to resign from the Government. At the 1918 elections he unsuccessfully fought West Ham Stratford. A general election was due to take place by the end of 1915. By the autumn of 1914, the following candidates had been adopted to contest that election. Due to the outbreak of war, the election never took place.

General election 1914/15: Ipswich Electorate 14,231
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist John Ganzoni
Liberal Daniel Ford Goddard

At the 1918 general election, Scurr unsuccessfully contested the Conservative Party safe seat of Buckingham. The Ipswich constituency had its representation cut from two to one member.

General election 14 December 1918: Ipswich Electorate 37,348
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist John Ganzoni 13,553 53.5 +2.9
Labour Robert Jackson 8,143 32.1 +29.0
Liberal George Hay Morgan 3,663 14.4 −31.9
Majority 5,410 21.4 +17.1
Turnout 67.9 −23.5
Unionist hold Swing n/a
  • Ganzoni was the endorsed candidate of the Coalition Government.


  1. ^ Craig, F. W. S., British parliamentary election results 1885-1918
  2. ^ Eastern Daily Press, 18 May 1914
  3. ^ C. F. G. Masterman by Lucy Masterman
  4. ^ Lloyd George, Liberalism and the Land: The Land Issue and Party Politics in England 1906-14 by Ian Packer
  5. ^ C. F. G. Masterman by Lucy Masterman
  • Craig, F. W. S. (1974). British parliamentary election results 1885-1918 (1 ed.). London: Macmillan.
  • Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org
  • Who's Who: www.ukwhoswho.com
  • Debrett's House of Commons 1916