Leeds Parliamentary Election Results
1923 - 6th December
Sir C. Wilson (Conservative) 14,853
H. H. Slesser (Labour) 11,574
Sir G. Beckett (Conservative) 14,066
E. O Dodgson (Liberal) 6,624
Revd D. Stewart (Labour) 5,384
Major J. D. Birchall (Conservative) 12,767
F. Fountain (Co-op) 8,574
R. F. Walker (Liberal) 6,030
H. C. Charleton (Labour) 11,705
R. J. Neville (Conservative) 7,679
C. G. Gibson (Liberal) 7,083
J. O’Grady (Labour) 12,210
Hon. W. T. Whiteley (Liberal) 7,110
T. W. Stamford (Labour) 11,434
Capt. A. F. G. Renton (Conservative) 9,432
J. Murray (Liberal) 7,200
With Bonar Law resigning, it was Stanley Baldwin’s Conservatives that won 258 seats and became the first party. However, with Labour winning 191 seats and the Liberals, now united, with 158, the result was a hung Parliament. In Leeds one seat changed hands when Stamford won Leeds West for Labour. To the chagrin of the Liberals, Murray the sitting MP came third by some distance in what at one time was a safe Liberal seat. The fact that Murray held Prohibitionist sympathies may have explained, in part, his defeat.
Leeds Central was an unusual division with a large number of optional votes available. Wilson’s supporters appealed for voters to vote for him there rather than in the safe Conservative seats where they lived. It was felt by many that Fountain had done himself no favours in Leeds North East by standing as a Co-op candidate when he sat on the council as a Labour Party alderman. In Leeds North Sir Gervase Beckett had the use of sixty or seventy motorcars and Lord Harewood’s motor bus used for shooting parties but the biggest surprise regarding transport was in Leeds South East where Labour had more cars available than the Conservatives and Liberals put together. Even so, driving was difficult that day with the city shrouded by a heavy mist which at times became a dense fog.
Baldwin, the Prime Minister resigned in January after losing a vote of no confidence and Ramsay MacDonald then formed the first ever Labour government, albeit a minority one.