Westminster Abbey (UK Parliament constituency)


Westminster Abbey (UK Parliament constituency)

UK former constituency infobox
Name = Westminster Abbey
Type = Borough
Year = 1918
Abolition = 1950
Members = One

Westminster Abbey was a constituency in the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It was created for the 1918 general election and returned one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system until it was abolished for the 1950 general election. It is sometimes known as the Abbey Division of Westminster or simply Abbey. The seat was held by the Conservative Party for its entire history.

Boundaries

The City of Westminster is a district of Inner London. Its southern boundary is on the north bank of the River Thames. In 1918 it was to the west of the City of London, to the south of Holborn and St. Pancras and to the east of Kensington and Chelsea. It consisted of eastern part of the Metropolitan Borough of Westminster, comprising the then wards of Covent Garden, Great Marlborough, Pall Mall, Regent, St. Anne, St. John, St. Margaret, Strand and part of Charing Cross.

History

The constituency was created in 1918 from the constituencies of Strand and Westminster. From 1918 to 1950, Westminster Abbey returned five Conservative MPs, with Labour and the Liberals having little support. parties had little support in the area.

After William Burdett-Coutts, the first MP, died in 1921 there was a by-election where all three candidates claimed to be anti-waste. At the time the Anti-Waste League was active. It was formed to advance the political ambitions of the newspaper owner Lord Rothermere. The objects of the League were to insist upon measures being taken to restore the country to solvency, urge a wholesale reduction of expenditure, fight the battle of local rates and oppose sham Anti-Waste candidates. The Conservative candidate won the election, but the Anti-Waste League (whose candidate later became a Conservative MP) polled respectably and the Liberal candidate (a former MP) came third.

After Nicholson's death in 1924 a further by-election took place. The new Conservative candidate Otho Nicholson was challenged by the very prominent politician Winston Churchill as a Constitutionalist, the formidable Labour stalwart and future MP Fenner Brockway and an unknown Liberal. The Constitutionalist label was one used by a number of candidates, mostly ex-Liberals like Churchill, in the 1920s. The Constitutionalists did not function as a party and many of them ended up in the Conservative Party. Nicholson beat Churchill, by a small majority of 43 votes.

By the 1945 general election, the electorate of the area had dropped by almost half since the pre-war by-election. Labour almost equalled the 27% vote Brockway had received in 1924. Carritt, the Independent Progressive of 1939, reappeared as a Communist candidate and received 17.6% of the vote. The Conservatives still had an absolute majority of the vote. For the 1950 general election, the seat became the central part of the Cities of London and Westminster constituency.

Members of Parliament

*"Constituency created (1918)"
*"Constituency abolished (1950)

Elections

1910s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Coalition Conservative
candidate = William Burdett-Coutts
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

1920s

Election box begin
title=By-Election, 25 August 1921
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = John Nicholson
votes = 6,204
percentage = 43.6
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Anti-Waste League
candidate = Reginald Applin
votes = 5,874
percentage = 34.9
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = Arnold Lupton
votes = 3,053
percentage = 21.5
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 1,234
percentage = 8.7
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 36,952
percentage = 38.5
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = John Nicholson
votes = 13,620
percentage = 75.6
change = +32.0
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Joseph Butler
votes = 2,454
percentage = 13.6
change = +13.6
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent (politician)
candidate = Sydney Drury-Lowe
votes = 1,950
percentage = 10.8
change = +10.8
Election box majority
votes = 11,166
percentage = 62.0
change = +53.3
Election box turnout
votes = 36,763
percentage = 49.0
change = +10.5
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = John Nicholson
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box begin
title=By-Election, 19 March 1924
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Otho Nicholson
votes = 8,187
percentage = 35.9
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Constitutionalist
candidate = Winston Churchill
votes = 8,144
percentage = 35.8
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Fenner Brockway
votes = 6,156
percentage = 27.0
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Liberal Party (UK)
candidate = John Scott Duckers
votes = 291
percentage = 1.3
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 43
percentage = 0.1
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 36,999
percentage = 61.6
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Otho Nicholson
votes = 17,915
percentage = 80.6
change = +44.7
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = A.H. Woolf
votes = 4,308
percentage = 19.4
change = -7.6
Election box majority
votes = 13,607
percentage = 61.2
change = +61.1
Election box turnout
votes = 38,069
percentage = 58.4
change = -3.2
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Otho Nicholson
votes = 18,195
percentage = 74.0
change = -6.6
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = J.H. MacDonell
votes = 6,406
percentage = 26.0
change = +6.6
Election box majority
votes = 11,789
percentage = 48.0
change = -13.2
Election box turnout
votes = 48,524
percentage = 50.7
change = -7.7
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = -6.6

1930s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Otho Nicholson
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box begin
title=By-Election, 12 July 1932
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Sidney Herbert
votes = Unopposed
percentage = "N/A"
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Sidney Herbert
votes = 18,117
percentage = 77.5
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = W.S. Kennedy
votes = 5,255
percentage = 22.5
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 12,862
percentage = 55.0
change = "N/A"
Election box turnout
votes = 47,538
percentage = 49.2
change = "N/A"
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

Election box begin
title=By-Election, 17 May 1939
Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Harold Webbe
votes = 9,678
percentage = 67.4
change = -10.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Independent Progressive
candidate = Billy Carritt
votes = 4,674
percentage = 32.6
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 5,004
percentage = 34.8
change = -20.2
Election box turnout
votes = 47,396
percentage = 30.3
change = -18.9
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

1940s

Election box candidate with party link
party = Conservative Party (UK)
candidate = Harold Webbe
votes = 9,160
percentage = 54.4
change = -23.1
Election box candidate with party link
party = Labour Party (UK)
candidate = Jeremy Hutchinson
votes = 4,408
percentage = 26.1
change = +3.6
Election box candidate with party link
party = Communist Party of Great Britain
candidate = Billy Carritt
votes = 2,964
percentage = 17.6
change = "N/A"
Election box candidate with party link
party = Democratic Party (UK, 1942)
candidate = Norman Leith-Hay-Clark
votes = 326
percentage = 1.9
change = "N/A"
Election box majority
votes = 4,752
percentage = 28.3
change = -6.5
Election box turnout
votes = 28,823
percentage = 58.5
change = +28.2
Election box hold with party link
winner = Conservative Party (UK)
swing = "N/A"

References

*
* "Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972", compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1972)
* "Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume III 1919-1945", edited by M. Stenton and S. Lees (The Harvester Press 1976)
* "British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949", compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (The Macmillan Press 1979)
* "Minor Parties at British Parliamentary Elections 1885-1974", compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (The Macmillan Press 1975)


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