United Kingdom general election, 1922

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United Kingdom general election, 1922
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
← 1918 15 November 1922 1923 →

All 615 seats in the House of Commons
308 seats needed for a majority
Turnout 73.0%, Increase15.8%
  First party Second party
  Andrew Bonar Law 01.jpg J.R. Clynes LCCN2014709745.tif
Leader Bonar Law J. R. Clynes
Party Conservative Labour
Leader since 23 October 1922 14 February 1921
Leader's seat Glasgow Central Manchester Platting
Last election 382 seats, 38.4%[a] 57 seats, 21.5%
Seats won 344 142
Seat change Decrease38 Increase85
Popular vote 5,294,465 4,076,665
Percentage 38.5% 29.7%
Swing Increase0.1% Increase8.9%

  Third party Fourth party
  The mirrors of Downing street; some political reflections (1921) (14595514940).jpg LloydGeorge.jpg
Leader H. H. Asquith David Lloyd George
Party Liberal National Liberal
Leader since 30 April 1908 7 December 1916
Leader's seat Paisley Caernarvon Boroughs
Last election 36 seats, 13.3% 127 seats, 12.6%[b]
Seats won 62 53
Seat change Increase26 Decrease74
Popular vote 2,601,486 1,355,366
Percentage 18.9% 9.9%
Swing Increase5.9% Decrease2.7%

UK General Election, 1922.png
Colours denote the winning party—as shown in § Results

Prime Minister before election

Bonar Law
Conservative

Appointed Prime Minister

Bonar Law
Conservative

The 1922 United Kingdom general election was held on Wednesday 15 November 1922. It was the first general election held after most of Ireland left the United Kingdom to form the Irish Free State, and was won by the Conservatives led by Andrew Bonar Law, who gained an overall majority over Labour, led by J. R. Clynes, and a divided Liberal Party.

This election is considered a realigning election, with the Conservative Party going on to spend all but eight (comprising the second Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald, and Clement Attlee's six years as Prime Minister) of the next forty-two years as the largest party in Parliament, Labour emerging as the main competition to the Conservatives, and the Liberal Party falling to third-party status, never to return.

Background[edit]

The Liberal Party were split between the "National Liberals" following David Lloyd George, who had been ousted as Prime Minister the previous month, and the "Liberals" following former Prime Minister H. H. Asquith. The Conservatives had been in coalition with the National Liberals led by David Lloyd George until the previous month, at which point Bonar Law had formed a Conservative majority government.

Although still leader of the Liberal Party and a frequent public speaker, Asquith was no longer a particularly influential figure in the national political debate, and he had played no part in the downfall of the Lloyd George coalition. Most attention was focused on the new and most recent Prime Ministers. Asquith's daughter Violet Bonham-Carter, a prominent Liberal Party campaigner, likened the election to a contest between a man with sleeping sickness (Bonar Law) and a man with St Vitus Dance (Lloyd George).[1]

Some Lloyd George National Liberals were not opposed by Conservative candidates (e.g. Winston Churchill, who was defeated at Dundee nonetheless) whilst many leading Conservatives (e.g. former leaders Sir Austen Chamberlain and Arthur Balfour and former Lord Chancellor Lord Birkenhead) were not members of Bonar Law's government and hoped to hold the balance of power after the election (comparisons were made with the Peelite group—the ousted Conservative front bench of the late 1840s and 1850s); this was not to be, as Bonar Law won an overall majority.

Some Liberal candidates stood calling for a reunited Liberal Party whilst others appear to have backed both Asquith and Lloyd George. Few sources are able to agree on exact numbers, and even in contemporary records held by the two groups, some MPs were claimed for both sides, it was the first election where Labour surpassed the combined strength of both Liberal parties in votes and seats.

By one estimate, there were 29 seats where Liberals stood against one another, this is thought to have cost them at least 14 seats, 10 of them to Labour, so in theory a reunited Liberal Party would have been much closer to, and perhaps even ahead of, Labour in terms of seats. However, in reality the two factions were on poor terms and Lloyd George was still hoping for a renewed coalition with the Conservatives.[2]

Neither of the leaders of the two main parties would get to enjoy their success in the election for very long; within less than a week of the election, Clynes was defeated in a leadership challenge by former Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald, while Law would only last a little over seven months as Prime Minister before being forced to step down due to a terminal illness, resulting in Stanley Baldwin succeeding him as both party leader and Prime Minister.

Party platforms[edit]

The Conservative party basically offered the continuation of the status quo with no new adventures. Bonar Law's election address stated:

The crying need of the nation have this moment ... Is that we should have tranquility and stability both at home and abroad so that the free scope should be given to the initiative and enterprise of our own citizens, for it is in that way, far more than by any action of the Government that we can hope to recover from the economic and social results of the war.[3]

The Labour Party proposed to nationalise the mines and railways, to impose a levy on financial capital, and to revise the peace treaties, it promised a higher standard of living for workers, higher wages, and better housing.[4]

Results[edit]

344 142 62 53 14
Conservative Labour Lib NL O
UK General Election 1922
Candidates Votes
Party Leader Stood Elected Gained Unseated Net % of total % No. Net %
  Conservative Bonar Law 482 344 −38 55.9 38.5 5,294,465 +0.1
  Labour J. R. Clynes 414 142 87 7 +85 23.1 29.7 4,076,665 +8.9
  Liberal H. H. Asquith 334 62 42 25 +26 10.1 18.9 2,601,486 +5.9
  National Liberal David Lloyd George 155 53 9 76 −74 8.6 9.9 1,355,366 −2.7
  Independent Conservative N/A 20 3 3 1 +2 0.5 0.9 116,861 +0.5
  Independent N/A 15 3 3 2 +1 0.5 0.8 114,697 −0.2
  Nationalist Joseph Devlin 4 3 2 6 −4 0.5 0.4 57,641 −1.8
  Communist Albert Inkpin 5 2 2 0 +2 0.17 0.2 30,684 N/A
  Agriculturalist Harry German 4 0 0 0 0 0.2 21,510 0.0
  Independent Labour N/A 4 1 0 1 −1 0.17 0.1 18,419 −1.0
  Constitutionalist N/A 1 1 1 0 +1 0.17 0.1 16,662 N/A
  Scottish Prohibition Edwin Scrymgeour 1 1 1 0 +1 0.17 0.1 16,289 +0.1
  Independent Liberal N/A 3 1 1 1 0 0.17 0.1 13,197 −0.1
  Independent Unionist N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.1 9,861 N/A
  Independent Communist N/A 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 4,027 N/A
  Anti-Parliamentary Communist Guy Aldred 1 0 0 0 0 0.0 470 N/A

Votes summary[edit]

Popular vote
Conservative
38.51%
Labour
29.65%
Liberal
18.92%
National Liberal
9.86%
Independent
2.01%
Nationalist
0.42%
Communist
0.22%
Others
0.41%

Seats summary[edit]

Parliamentary seats
Conservative
55.93%
Labour
23.09%
Liberal
10.08%
National Liberal
8.62%
Independent
1.3%
Nationalist
0.49%
Communist
0.16%
Others
0.33%

Transfers of seats[edit]

  • All comparisons are with the 1918 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, and then retained in 1922. Such circumstances are marked with a †.
From To No. Seats
Labour Labour (HOLD) 51 Aberdeen North, Abertillery, Ayrshire South, Bedwellty, Bishop Auckland, Broxtowe, Burnley, Burslem, Caerphilly, Chester-le-Street, Deptford, Derby (one of two), Dundee (one of two), Ebbw Vale, Edinburgh Central, Fife West, Forest of Dean, Govan, Gower, Hamilton, Hemsworth, Holland with Boston, Houghton-le-Spring, Ince, Kingswinford, Leeds South East, Leek, Morpeth, Nelson and Colne, Newton, Normanton, Nottingham West, Ogmore, Plaistow, Platting, Pontypool, Preston (one of two), Rhondda East, Rhondda West, Rother Valley, Rothwell, St Helens, Salford North, Smethwick, Wednesbury, Wentworth, West Bromwich, Westhoughton, Wigan, Woolwich East, Workington
Liberal 1 Mansfield
National Liberal 1 Wellingborough
Conservative 5 Barnard Castle, Bolton (one of two), Clitheroe, Kettering, Ormskirk
Coalition Labour Labour 3 Cannock, Gorbals, Gorton*
National Liberal 1 Norwich (one of two)*
Conservative 1 Stockport (one of two)†
Independent Labour Independent Labour 1 Anglesey
Coalition National Democratic Labour 8 Aberdare, Bradford East, Don Valley, East Ham South, Hanley, Leicester West, Wallsend, Walthamstow West
Conservative 1 Duddeston
National Socialist Party Labour 1 Silvertown*
Labour Unionist abolished 3 Shankill, St Anne's, Victoria
Sinn Féin Nationalist 1 Fermanagh and Tyrone (one of two) (replaced Fermanagh South)
abolished 71 Londonderry City, Tyrone NW, N Donegal, S Donegal, W Donegal, N Monaghan, S Monaghan, E Cavan, W Cavan, Connemara, E Galway, N Galway, S Galway, Leitrim, N Roscommon, S Roscommon, N Sligo, S Sligo, E Mayo, N Mayo, S Mayo, W Mayo, Longford, Louth, King's County, Queen's County, Westmeath, Carlow, N Meath, S Meath, Dublin College Green, Dublin Harbour, Dublin St Patrick's, Dublin St Stephen's Green, N Dublin, S Dublin, National University of Ireland, Dublin Clontarf, Dublin Pembroke, Dublin St James's, Dublin St Michan's, E Wicklow, W Wicklow, N Kildare, S Kildare, N Kilkenny, S Kilkenny, N Wexford, S Wexford, E Clare, W Clare, E Tipperary, Mid Tipperary, N Tipperary, S Tipperary, Limerick City, E Limerick, W Limerick, E Kerry, N Kerry, S Kerry, W Kerry, Cork (both seats), E Cork, Mid Cork, N Cork, NE Cork, S Cork, SE Cork, W Cork, County Waterford
Nationalist Nationalist 2 Fermanagh and Tyrone (one of two) (replaced Tyrone North-East), Liverpool Scotland
abolished 3 Armagh South, Belfast Falls, Down South
Irish Parliamentary abolished 2 East Donegal, Waterford City
Liberal Labour 11 Stirling and Falkirk, Midlothian South & Peebles, Derbyshire North East, Spennymoor, Seaham, Consett, Leigh, Bermondsey West, Whitechapel and St Georges, Wansbeck, Newcastle-under-Lyme*
Liberal (HOLD) 14 Greenock, Paisley, Leith, Edinburgh East, Chesterfield, Belper, Derbyshire West, Hull South West, Lambeth North, Wolverhampton East, Middlesbrough West, Penistone, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire
National Liberal 7 Camborne, Cornwall North*, Western Isles, Kinross and West Perthshire*, Loughborough, Norwich* (one of two), Sheffield Park*
Conservative 7 Bodmin, Saffron Walden, Portsmouth Central, Stourbridge, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Middlesbrough East, Cardiff East
Coalition Liberal Communist 1 Battersea North
Scottish Prohibition 1 Dundee (one of two)
Labour 32 Dunfermline Burghs, Glasgow Cathcart, Renfrewshire East, Renfrewshire West, Rutherglen, Dumbarton Burghs, Glasgow Bridgeton, Crewe, Clay Cross, Ilkeston, Blaydon, Jarrow, Poplar South, Stepney Limehouse, Newcastle upon Tyne East, Newcastle upon Tyne West, Pontefract, Sheffield Hillsborough, Sheffield Attercliffe, Sheffield Brightside, Leeds South, Doncaster, Barnsley, Batley and Morley, Colne Valley, Wrexham, Llanelli, Carnarvonshire, Aberavon, Merthyr, Neath, Swansea East
Liberal 12 Orkney and Shetland, East Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire, Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine, Galloway, South Molton*, South Shields, Bethnal Green North-East, Norfolk South West*, Leeds West*, Huddersfield, Spen Valley, Combined Scottish Universities (one of three)*
National Liberal (HOLD) 45 Combined English Universities (one of two), University of Wales, Caithness and Sutherland, Inverness, Ross and Cromarty, Banff, Moray and Nairn, Montrose Burghs, Argyll, Partick, Kilmarnock, Roxburgh & Selkirk, Berwick & Haddington, Stockport (one of two), Romford, Bristol East, Bristol North, Bristol South, Dartford, Blackburn (one of two), Bolton (one of two), Heywood and Radcliffe, Middleton & Prestwich, Oldham (one of two), Stretford, Leicester East, Camberwell North-West, Hackney Central, Shoreditch, Southwark Central, Southwark North, Southwark South East, Northampton, Lichfield, Stoke, Shipley, Denbigh, Flintshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire, Carnarvon, Brecon and Radnor, Pontypridd, Swansea West
Independent Liberal 1 Eye*
Independent 1 Mossley*
Speaker 1 Halifax*
Conservative 27 St Ives, Perth, Bedford, Luton, Cambridgeshire, Isle of Ely, Derbyshire South, Barnstaple, Sunderland (one of two), Leyton East, East Ham North, Stroud, Thornbury, Southampton (both seats), Buckrose, Bosworth, Kennington, Peckham, Norfolk South, Banbury, The Wrekin, Lowestoft, Sudbury, Pudsey and Otley, Leeds North, Leeds Central, Newport (Monmouthshire)
Independent Conservative 1 Dorset East
Independent Conservative 2 Hackney South†, Sowerby
Coalition Independent Labour 1 Norfolk North
Speaker Liberal 1 Penrith and Cockermouth
Conservative Communist 1 Motherwell
Labour 31 Clackmannan and Eastern Stirlingshire, Stirlingshire West, Lanarkshire North, Glasgow Maryhill, Glasgow Camlachie, Bothwell†, Coatbridge, Glasgow Springburn, Glasgow Tradeston, Glasgow St. Rollox, Glasgow Shettleston, Linlithgow, Durham, Sedgefield, Gateshead, Stratford, Accrington, Eccles, Farnworth, Manchester Ardwick, Oldham (one of two), Rochdale, Bow and Bromley, Camberwell North, Edmonton, Tottenham North, Newcastle upon Tyne Central, Elland, Bradford Central, Keighley, Dewsbury
Liberal 29 Aberdeen and Kincardine Central†, Forfarshire, Fife East, Edinburgh West, Dumfriesshire, Bedfordshire Mid, Birkenhead East, Derby (one of two), Tavistock, Dorset North, The Hartlepools, Harwich, Isle of Wight, Worcester, Holderness, Hull Central†, Preston (one of two), Bootle, Grantham, Horncastle, Bethnal Green South-West, Great Yarmouth, Nottingham Central, Oxford, Taunton, Chippenham, Westbury, Bradford South, Louth
Independent Liberal 1 Cambridge University (one of two)
Independent 1 Harrow*
Conservative (HOLD) 290 Cambridge University (one of two), Combined English Universities (one of two), Oxford University (both seats), London University, Combined Scottish Universities (two of three), Aberdeen South, Ayr Burghs, Ayrshire N & Bute, Glasgow Central, Hillhead, Pollok, Kelvingrove, Dunbartonshire, Lanark, Edinburgh South, Midlothian N, Edinburgh North, Abingdon, Newbury, Reading, Windsor, Aylesbury, Buckingham, Wycombe, Cambridge, Huntingdonshire, Altrincham, Birkenhead West, Chester, Eddisbury, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Northwich, Stalybridge and Hyde, Wallasey, Wirral, Penryn and Falmouth, Cumberland North, Westmorland, High Peak, Exeter, Honiton, Plymouth Devonport, Plymouth Drake, Plymouth Sutton, Tiverton, Torquay, Totnes, Dorset South, Dorset West, Darlington, Sunderland (one of two), Chelmsford, Colchester, Epping, Essex SE, Ilford, Maldon, Leyton West, Southend, Walthamstow E, Upton, Bristol Central, Bristol West, Cheltenham, Cirencester and Tewkesbury, Gloucester, Aldershot, Basingstoke, Fareham, New Forest & Christchurch, Petersfield, Portsmouth North, Portsmouth South, Winchester, Hereford, Leominster, Bewdley, Dudley, Evesham, Kidderminster, Hitchin, St Albans, Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Ealing, Hornsey, Twickenham, Wood Green, Finchley, Brentford and Chiswick, Hendon, Spelthorne, Uxbridge, Willesden East, Acton, Enfield, Tottenham South, Willesden West, Howdenshire, Hull East, Hull North West, Ashford, Bromley, Canterbury, Chatham, Chislehurst, Dover, Faversham, Gillingham, Gravesend, Hythe, Isle of Thanet, Maidstone, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Barrow-in-Furness, Blackburn (one of two), Blackpool, Chorley, Darwen, Fylde, Lancaster, Lonsdale, Rossendale, Ashton-under-Lyne, Bury, Manchester Blackley, Manchester Clayton, Manchester Exchange, Hulme, Moss Side, Rusholme, Withington, Royton, Salford South, Salford West, E Toxteth, Edge Hill, Everton, Liverpool Exchange, Fairfield, Kirkdale, Walton, Wavertree, West Derby, West Toxteth, Southport, Warrington, Waterloo, Widnes, Harborough, Leicester South, Melton, Brigg, Gainsborough, Grimsby, Lincoln, Rutland and Stamford, Balham and Tooting, Chelsea, Clapham, Dulwich, Fulham East, Hampstead, Holborn, Lewisham East, Lewisham West, Kensington South, Hackney North, Brixton, Fulham West, Hammersmith South, Islington North, Kensington North, Battersea South, Greenwich, Islington East, Hammersmith North, Finsbury, Islington South, Islington West, City of London (both seats), Mile End, Stoke Newington, Norwood, Paddington North, Paddington South, Putney, Rotherhithe, St Marylebone, St Pancras North, St Pancras South East, St Pancras South West, Streatham, Wandsworth Central, Waterloo, Westminster Abbey, Woolwich West, King's Lynn, Norfolk East, Daventry, Peterborough, Hexham, Newcastle upon Tyne North, Tynemouth, Bassetlaw, Nottingham South, Nottingham East, Rushcliffe, Newark, Henley, Ludlow, Oswestry, Shrewsbury, Bath, Bridgwater, Frome, Wells, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Burton, Stafford, Stone, Tamworth, Bilston, Wolverhampton West, Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Woodbridge, Chertsey, Croydon North, Croydon South, Epsom, Farnham, Guildford, Kingston upon Thames, Mitcham, Reigate, Surrey East, Wimbledon, Brighton (both seats), Chichester, East Grinstead, Eastbourne, Hastings, Horsham and Worthing, Lewes, Rye, Nuneaton, Coventry, Aston, Deritend, Erdington, King's Norton, Ladywood, Yardley, Sparkbrook, Birmingham West, Edgbaston, Handsworth, Moseley, Rugby, Warwick and Leamington, Devizes, Salisbury, Swindon, York, Cleveland, Richmond (Yorks), Scarborough and Whitby, Thirsk and Malton, Barkston Ash, Ripon, Ecclesall, Hallam, Skipton, Leeds North East, Sheffield Central, Bradford North, Wakefield, Rotherham, Monmouth, Llandaff & Barry, Cardiff C, Cardiff S
Independent Conservative 2 Westminster St George's, Richmond (Surrey)
UUP UUP 10 Antrim (both seats) (replaced South Antrim and Antrim Mid), Armagh (replaced Armagh North), Belfast East (replaced Belfast Pottinger), Belfast North (replaced Belfast Duncairn), Belfast South (replaced Belfast Ormeau), Belfast West (replaced Belfast Woodvale), Down (both seats) (replaced Down East and Down North), Londonderry (replaced Londonderry North)
abolished 9 Antrim East, Antrim North, Armagh Mid, Belfast Cromac, Down Mid, Down West, Londonderry South, Fermanagh North, Tyrone South
Irish Unionist abolished 2 Dublin Rathmines, Dublin University (one of two)
Independent Unionist abolished 1 Dublin University (one of two)
National Liberal 1 Walsall
Conservative 1 Bournemouth*
Silver Badge 1 Hertford1
Seat created Ulster Uni 1 Queen's University of Belfast
1 MP elected as an Anti-Waste League candidate at a 1921 by-election, but moved to the Conservatives for the 1922 election

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Including Conservatives not elected under the Coalition Coupon.
  2. ^ As Coalition Liberals.
  3. ^ All parties shown. Conservatives include Ulster Unionists. National Liberals were party formed by Lloyd George's Coalition Liberals after leaving the government. Their net seat change is compared with the Coalition Liberals' number of seats after the 1918 election.

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Jenkins 1964, p. 495.
  2. ^ Koss 1985, p. 257–8.
  3. ^ Craig 1970, p. 10.
  4. ^ Somervell 1936, p. 303; Craig 1970, pp. 9–17.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]