South Somerset by-election, 1911

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The South Somerset by-election, 1911 was a Parliamentary by-election for the South Somerset constituency. South Somerset was a county constituency in the county of Somerset, England, which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, elected by the first past the post voting system.


Sir Edward Strachey the Liberal MP since 1892, was raised to the peerage as Baron Strachie, of Sutton Court in the County of Somerset and accepted a seat in the House of Lords.[1]

Electoral history[edit]

General Election December 1910: South Somerset[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Edward Strachey 4,784 52.6
Conservative Aubrey Herbert 4,317 47.4
Majority 5.2
Liberal hold Swing


Henry Vivian

Henry Harvey Vivian was given the task of defending a seat that had been Liberal since it was created in 1885. He had been Liberal MP for Birkenhead until his defeat at the December 1910 General Election.

The Conservative candidate was Aubrey Herbert who had stood here unsuccessfully in both 1910 General Elections.


The campaign seems to have fought mostly on the issue of the National Insurance Act.[3][4] On 13 November, in a portent of things to come, the Unionists won a Liberal seat in a by-election at Oldham. Herbert entered polling day in a mood of great optimism [5]


Aubrey Herbert
By-Election 21 November 1911: South Somerset[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Aubrey Herbert 4,878 50.8
Liberal Henry Harvey Vivian 4,730 49.2
Majority 148 1.6
Conservative hold Swing


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.

For the 1918 elections, the South Somerset seat was replaced by Yeovil

General Election 14 December 1918: Yeovil
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Unionist 10,522
Labour W. T. Kelly 7,589
Liberal J. R. Brough 2,743
Unionist hold Swing
  • endorsed by the Coalition Government.


  1. ^ "No. 28547". The London Gazette. 3 November 1911. p. 7952. 
  2. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1885-1918 (Craig)
  3. ^ The Times, 14 November 1911 p10
  4. ^ The Times, 16 November 1911 p8
  5. ^ The Times, 21 November 1911 p10
  6. ^ "British by-election: Unionist returned". Dominion. 24 November 1911. Retrieved 6 October 2012.