Bath (UK Parliament constituency)

Bath
Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Bath2010Constituency.svg
Constituency location within Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset
Outline map
Location of Somerset within England
County Somerset
Population 88,859 (2011 census)[1]
Electorate 59,887 (2018)[2]
Current constituency
Created 1295
Member of Parliament Wera Hobhouse (Liberal Democrats)
Number of members Two (1295–1918)
One (1918–present)

Bath is a constituency[n 1] in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom[n 2] represented by Wera Hobhouse of the Liberal Democrats.

Perhaps its best-known representatives have been the two with international profiles: William Pitt the Elder (Prime Minister 1766–1768) and Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong (1992-1997).[n 3]

History

Bath is an ancient constituency which has been constantly represented in Parliament since boroughs were first summoned to send members in the 13th century.

Unreformed constituency before 1832

Bath was one of the cities summoned to send members in 1295 and represented ever since,[3] although Parliaments in early years were sporadic. Like almost all English constituencies before the Great Reform Act of 1832, it originally returned two members to each Parliament.[4]

The precise way in which Bath's MPs were chosen in the Middle Ages is unknown. It is recorded that "election was by the Mayor and three citizens being sent from thence to the county court who in the name of the whole community, and by the assent of the community, returned their representatives"; but whether the "assent of the community" was real or what form it took is unrecorded, even assuming it was not a completely dead letter. By the 17th century, elections had become more competitive, as the means of election in Bath had become a franchise restricted to the Mayor, Aldermen, and members of the Common Council (the City Corporation), a total of thirty voters.[4] The freemen of the city challenged this state of affairs in 1661 and again in 1705, claiming the right to vote and petitioning against the election of the candidates chosen by the corporation, but on both occasions the House of Commons, which at the time was still the final arbiter of such disputes, decided against them. The Commons resolution of 27 January 1708, "That the right of election of citizens to serve in Parliament for this city is in the mayor, aldermen and common-council only",[5] settled the matter until 1832.

Bath was the most populous of the English boroughs where the right to vote was restricted to the corporation.[4] At the time of the 1801 census, it was one of the ten largest towns or cities in England by population, and was almost unique in that the voters generally exercised their powers independently. As was the case elsewhere, the Common Council was not popularly elected, all vacancies being filled by co-option by the existing members, so that once a united interest had gained majority control it was easy to retain it. Most corporation boroughs quickly became pocket boroughs in this way, the nomination of their members of parliament being entirely decided by a patron who may have given some large benefaction to the area or simply used bribery to ensure only his supporters or croneys became members of the corporation. But in Bath, the Common Council retained its independence in most periods and took pride in electing two suitable members of parliament who had either strong local connections or else a national reputation. Nor was there any suggestion of bribery or other corruption, prolific in other "independent" constituencies. Pitt the Elder wrote to the corporation in 1761, on the occasion of his re-election as one of Bath's members, to pay tribute to "a city ranked among the most ancient and most considerable in the kingdom, and justly famed for its integrity, independence, and zeal for the public good".[6]

But even in Bath the limited electorate who voted for its members of parliament expected them to work to procure favours for their constituents and enterprises to a degree that would be considered corrupt today. By exercising efforts successfully in this direction, the representatives could in return expect a degree of influence over the voters that differed little from patronage in the pocket boroughs, except that its duration was limited. Thus the lawyer Robert Henley, a Bath MP from 1747 and also Recorder of Bath from 1751, seems to have been assumed to have control over both seats while he held one of them and immediately after; yet when he gained a peerage and thus a seat in the House of Lords, Pitt replaced him on the understanding of being independently chosen. Pitt himself then acquired similar influence: the Council vetoed Viscount Ligonier's suggestion that he should be succeeded by his nephew when he was elevated the Lords in 1763, but instead allowed Pitt to nominate a candidate to be his new colleague, and voted overwhelmingly for him when he was opposed by a local man. But Pitt's influence also waned when he fell out with the Council over the Treaty of Paris later in 1763.[7]

In the final years before the Reform Act, however, local magnates exerted a more controlling influence in Bath. Oldfield, writing early in the 19th century, stated that at that time the Marquess of Bath nominated one member and John Palmer the other; both were former members of parliament for the city (Lord Bath having sat as Viscount Weymouth, before his father's death took him to the Lords), but neither was then in the Commons β€“ each had a relation sitting as one of the members for Bath. Palmer had succeeded Earl Camden[n 4] who held one of the two seats before 1802. At the time of the Reform Act, the Lord Bath was still being listed as influencing one of the seats, although the second was considered independent once more.[8]

Reformed constituency (1832–1918)

The Great Reform Act opened up the franchise to all resident (male) householders whose houses had a value of at least Β£10 a year and imposed uniform voting provisions for all the boroughs. Bath was one of the boroughs which continued to elect two members. Given the city's medium size and its generally high property values, its electorate increased by a factor of almost 100[n 5], from 30 in 1831 to 2,853 in 1832,[9] and created a competitive and generally marginal constituency which swung between Whig and Tory (later Liberal and Conservative) control. The parliamentary borough's boundaries were also slightly extended, but only to take in those areas into which the built-up area of the city had expanded. Bath's most notable member during this period was probably the Conservative social reformer Lord Ashley, better remembered under his eventual title of 7th Earl of Shaftesbury, for the Factory Acts, the first of which came into effect while he was one of the MPs for Bath.[10]

The franchise was further reformed in 1867 and 1885 with only minor boundary changes. Bath was lucky to retain its two-member representation in the 1885 reforms, as its electorate of under 7,000 was near the lower limit, and this situation lasted until the 1918 reforms.[11] The continued Liberal strength was unusual for a prosperous and predominantly middle-class town, and the seats could until 1918 not be considered safe for the Conservatives.[12]

Modern single-member constituency (since 1918)

Bath's representation was reduced to a single member in 1918. The Conservatives held the seat continuously until 1992, except in the 1923 Parliament, and until World War II generally won comfortably – the Liberals retained such strength that the non-Conservative vote was split, and Labour could not rise above third place until the landslide of 1945, when the Conservative James Pitman achieved a very marginal majority. From 1945 to 1970, Labour presented the main challenge, and came within 800 votes of taking the seat in 1966.

The Liberal revival in the 1970s saw the two more left-wing parties swap places, helped by the adoption of a nationally known candidate, Christopher Mayhew, who had defected from the Labour Party.[13] The formation of the SDP–Liberal Alliance made Bath a realistic target. The SDP came 1500 votes from winning in 1987 under Malcolm Dean. In 1992, Conservative Chris Patten was ousted by Liberal Democrat Don Foster in a narrow defeat widely blamed on Patten's strategising, campaign leading and communicating as Conservative Party chairman rather than canvassing his own constituents.[14] At each election from 1992 to 2015, a different Conservative candidate contested the constituency.

The boundary changes implemented in 1997 took Bathampton, Batheaston, Bathford, Charlcombe and Freshford from the Wansdyke district, containing about 7,000 voters; these were moved elsewhere in 2010. Nominally, these areas had a slightly higher tendency to prefer a Conservative candidate but, the national government suffering from sleaze, in 1997 Don Foster more than doubled his almost 4,000 vote majority to over 9,000 votes. After winning two intervening elections, in 2010 Foster achieved his highest majority of 11,883 votes.[15]

In the 2015 general election, following the national Liberal Democrat collapse and Foster standing down, the seat was regained by the Conservatives under Ben Howlett with a 3,833-vote majority.[16]

Bath is estimated to have voted to remain in the European Union by 68.3% in the 2016 referendum on the UK's membership of the EU.[17]

In the 2017 general election, the constituency was regained by the Liberal Democrats' Wera Hobhouse, with the second-highest Liberal Democrat vote share increase nationally (after Richmond Park).[18]

Boundaries

Bath is one of only two UK Parliament constituencies to be surrounded by another constituency. Bath is entirely surrounded by the North East Somerset constituency. The other constituency, York Central, is entirely surrounded by York Outer.

Current boundaries

Following the review of the constituencies in the former county of Avon carried out by the Boundary Commission for England, as of the 2010 general election the constituency covers only the city of Bath, and none of the surrounding rural area. Between 1997 and 2010, it also included some outlying villages such as Southstoke and Freshford now in the North East Somerset constituency. The changes in 2010 also resulted in Bath becoming a borough constituency, instead of a county constituency as it was before.

In 2019, taking effect at that year's local elections, boundary changes to the wards took place, which included the abolition of Abbey ward, the merger of Lyncombe and Widcombe wards, the creation of Moorlands ward, and the replacement of Oldfield with Oldfield Park.[19] These ward changes did not change the parliamentary constituency boundary.

The constituency's electoral wards are:[n 6]

Historic boundaries

  • Before 1832: The parishes of St James (Bath), St Peter and St Paul (Bath), and St Michael (Bath), and part of the parish of Walcot
  • 1832–1867: As above, plus the parishes of Bathwick and Lyncombe & Widcombe, and a further part of the parish of Walcot
  • 1867–1918: As above, plus part of the parish of Twerton
  • 1918–1983: The county borough of Bath (boundary changes in 1955)
  • 1983–1997: The City of Bath (no boundary changes)
  • 1997–2010: The City of Bath, and the District of Wansdyke wards of Bathampton, Batheaston, Bathford, Charlcombe, and Freshford

Members of Parliament

The current Member of Parliament is Wera Hobhouse of the Liberal Democrats.

William Pitt the Elder was briefly Prime Minister from 30 July 1766 while a Bath MP ending when on 4 August 1766 he was raised to the peerage as Earl of Chatham.

Members of Parliament 1295–1640

  • Constituency created (1295)
Parliament First member Second member
1386 Sewal Fraunceys John Honybrigge[20]
1388 (February) John Palmer Edmund Ford[20]
1388 (September) William Shropshire Roger Skinner[20]
1390 (January) Richard Clewer William Rous[20]
1390 (November)
1391 Hugh de la Lynde Nicholas Sambourne I[20]
1393 Hugh de la Lynde Thomas Ryton[20]
1394 John Touprest John Marsh I[20]
1395 Robert Draper John Marsh I[20]
1397 (January) Robert Aunger John Marsh I[20]
1397 (September) Hugh de la Lynde John Chaunceys[20]
1399 John Chaunceys John Whittocksmead[20]
1401
1402 John Whittocksmead John Haygoby[20]
1404 (January)
1404 (October)
1406 Thomas Rymour Henry Bartlett[20]
1407 Henry Bartlett John Whittocksmead[20]
1410 Henry Bartlett John Whittocksmead[20]
1411
1413 (February)
1413 (May) Richard Widcombe Roger Hobbes[20]
1414 (April) John Marsh II Walter Rich[20]
1414 (November) Richard Widcombe William Radstock[20]
1415
1416 (March) William Chapman[21]
1416 (October)
1417 Ralph Hunt Walter Rich[20]
1419 Richard Widcombe John Marsh II[20]
1420 Richard Widcombe William Philips[20]
1421 (May) Richard Widcombe John Marsh II[20]
1421 (December) Walter Rich Robert Newlyn[20]
1510–1523 No names known[22]
1529 John Bird Thomas Welpley[22]
1536 ?
1539 John Reynold John Clement[22]
1542 ?
1545 Matthew Colthurst Silvester Sedborough[22]
1547 Richard Denys John Clerke[22]
1553 (March) ?
1553 (October) Richard Chapman Edward Ludwell[22][23]
1554 (April) William Crowche Edward Ludwell[22]
1554 (November) John Story William Crowche[22]
1555 ?Henry Hodgkins ?[22]
1558 Edward Ludwell John Bale[22]
1558/59 Edward St Loe William Robinson[24]
1562/63 Edward Ludwell, died
and replaced 1566 by
John Gwynne
Thomas Turner[24]
1571 Edward Baber George Pearman[24]
1572 George Pearman Edward Baber[24]
1584 Thomas Ayshe William Shareston[24]
1586 Thomas Ayshe William Shareston[24]
1588 John Court John Walley[24]
1593 William Shareston William Price[24]
1597 William Shareston William Heath[24]
1601 William Shareston William Heath[24]
1604–1611 William Shareston Christopher Stone
1614 Sir James Ley Nicholas Hyde
1621–1622 Sir Robert Phelips Sir Robert Pye
1624 Sir Robert Pye John Malet
1625 Nicholas Hyde
sat for Bristol
replaced by
Ralph Hopton
Edward Hungerford
1626 Richard Gay William Chapman
1628–1629 John Popham Sir Walter Long
1629–1640 No Parliaments summoned

Members of Parliament 1640–1918

Year First member First party Second member Second party[25]
April 1640 Sir Charles Berkley Alexander Popham
November 1640 William Bassett Royalist Alexander Popham Parliamentarian
February 1642 Bassett disabled from sitting β€“ seat vacant
1645 James Ashe
1653 Bath was unrepresented in the Barebones Parliament
1654 Alexander Popham[26] Bath had only one seat in the First and
Second Parliaments of the Protectorate
1656 James Ashe
January 1659 John Harrington
May 1659 One seat vacant
March 1660 Alexander Popham William Prynne
November 1669 Sir Francis Popham
November 1669 Sir William Bassett
1675 Sir George Speke
1679 Sir Walter Long
1681 Viscount Fitzhardinge Sir William Bassett
1690 Joseph Langton
1693 William Blathwayt Whig
1695 Sir Thomas Estcourt
1698 Alexander Popham
1707 Samuel Trotman
1710 John Codrington
1720 Robert Gay
1722 General George Wade[27]
1727 Robert Gay
1734 John Codrington
1741 Philip Bennet
1747 Robert Henley
1748 General Sir John Ligonier[28]
1757 William Pitt the Elder Whig
1763 Major-General Sir John Sebright Whig[29]
1766 John Smith Tory[29]
1774 Abel Moysey Tory[29]
1775 Lieutenant-General Sir John Sebright Whig[29]
1780 Hon. John Pratt[30] Tory[29]
1790 Viscount Weymouth Tory[29]
1794 Sir Richard Pepper Arden Tory[29]
1796 Lord John Thynne Tory[29]
1801 John Palmer Whig[29]
1808 Charles Palmer Whig[29][31]
1826 Earl of Brecknock Tory[29]
1830 Charles Palmer Whig[29][31]
1832 John Arthur Roebuck Radical[29][32]
1837 Viscount Powerscourt Conservative[29] William Heald Ludlow Bruges Conservative[29]
1841 Viscount Duncan Whig[32][33][34][35] John Arthur Roebuck Radical[29][32]
1847 Lord Ashley Conservative
1851 George Treweeke Scobell Whig[36]
1852 Thomas Phinn Whig[37]
1855 William Tite Whig[38]
1857 Sir Arthur Elton Whig[39]
1859 Liberal Arthur Edwin Way Conservative
1865 James McGarel-Hogg Conservative
1868 Donald Dalrymple Liberal
May 1873 Viscount Chelsea Conservative
June 1873 Viscount Grey de Wilton Conservative
October 1873 Arthur Hayter Liberal
1874 Nathaniel Bousfield Conservative
1880 Edmond Wodehouse Liberal
1885 Robert Stickney Blaine Conservative
1886 Liberal Unionist Colonel Robert Laurie Conservative
1892 Wyndham Murray Conservative
1906 Donald Maclean Liberal George Peabody Gooch Liberal
1910 Lord Alexander Thynne Conservative Sir Charles Hunter Conservative
1918 Representation reduced to one Member

Members of Parliament since 1918

Elections

Bath election results

Elections in the 2010s

Candidates at the Bath 2019 general election declaration
General election 2019: Bath [40] [41]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Democrats Wera Hobhouse 28,419 54.5 +7.2
Conservative Annabel Tall 16,097 30.9 βˆ’4.9
Labour Mike Davies 6,639 12.7 βˆ’1.9
Brexit Party Jimi Ogunnusi 642 1.2 N/A
Independent Bill Blockhead 341 0.7 N/A
Majority 12,322 23.6 +12.1
Turnout 52,138 76.9 +2.6
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +6.0
General election 2017: Bath [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Democrats Wera Hobhouse 23,436 47.3 +17.6
Conservative Ben Howlett 17,742 35.8 βˆ’2.0
Labour Joe Rayment 7,279 14.7 +1.5
Green Eleanor Field 1,125 2.3 βˆ’9.7
Majority 5,694 11.5 N/A
Turnout 49,582 74.3 βˆ’1.2
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing +9.8
General election 2015: Bath [47]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Ben Howlett[48] 17,833 37.8 +6.4
Liberal Democrats Steve Bradley[49] 14,000 29.7 βˆ’26.9
Labour Ollie Middleton[50][51] 6,216 13.2 +6.3
Green Dominic Tristram[52] 5,634 11.9 +9.6
UKIP Julian Deverell[53] 2,922 6.2 +4.3
Independent Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst[54][55] 499 1.1 N/A
English Democrat Jenny Knight 63 0.1 N/A
Majority 3,833 8.1 N/A
Turnout 47,167 77.5 +5.7
Conservative gain from Liberal Democrats Swing +16.7
General election 2010: Bath [56] [57]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Democrats Don Foster 26,651 56.6 +11.2
Conservative Fabian Richter 14,768 31.4 βˆ’0.5
Labour Hattie Ajderian 3,251 6.9 βˆ’7.5
Green Eric Lucas 1,120 2.4 βˆ’3.6
UKIP Ernie Warrender 890 1.9 +0.2
Christian Steve Hewett 250 0.5 N/A
Independent A.N.ON 69 0.1 N/A
Independent Sean Geddis 56 0.1 N/A
All The South Party Robert Craig 31 0.1 N/A
Majority 11,883 25.2 +15.1
Turnout 47,086 71.8 +2.7
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +5.8

Elections in the 2000s

General election 2005: Bath [58]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Democrats Don Foster 20,101 43.9 βˆ’6.6
Conservative Sian Dawson 15,463 33.7 +4.6
Labour Harriet Ajderian 6,773 14.8 βˆ’0.9
Green Eric Lucas 2,494 5.4 +2.2
UKIP Richard Crowder 770 1.7 +0.2
Independent Patrick Cobbe 177 0.4 N/A
Independent Graham Walker 58 0.1 N/A
Majority 4,638 10.1 βˆ’11.3
Turnout 45,836 68.6 +3.7
Liberal Democrats hold Swing βˆ’5.6
General election 2001: Bath [59]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Democrats Don Foster 23,372 50.5 +2.0
Conservative Ashley Fox 13,478 29.1 βˆ’2.1
Labour Marilyn Hawkings 7,269 15.7 βˆ’0.7
Green Michael Boulton 1,469 3.2 +2.1
UKIP Andrew Tettenborn 708 1.5 +0.9
Majority 9,894 21.4 +4.1
Turnout 46,296 64.9 βˆ’11.3
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +2.1

Elections in the 1990s

General election 1997: Bath [60]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Democrats Don Foster 26,169 48.5 βˆ’0.4
Conservative Alison McNair 16,850 31.2 βˆ’9.4
Labour Tim Bush 8,828 16.4 +8.6
Referendum Tony Cook 1,192 2.2 N/A
Green Richard Scrase 580 1.1 +0.3
UKIP Peter Sandell 315 0.6 N/A
Natural Law Nicholas Pullen 55 0.1 N/A
Majority 9,319 17.3 +10.2
Turnout 53,989 76.2 βˆ’9.3
Liberal Democrats hold Swing +4.9
General election 1992: Bath [61] [62]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Democrats Don Foster 25,718 48.9 +6.3
Conservative Chris Patten 21,950 41.8 βˆ’3.6
Labour Pamela Richards 4,102 7.8 βˆ’2.8
Green Duncan McCanlis 433 0.8 βˆ’0.5
Liberal May Barker 172 0.3 +0.3
Anti-Federalist League Alan Sked 117 0.2 +0.2
Independent John Rumming 79 0.2 +0.2
Majority 3,768 7.2 N/A
Turnout 52,571 82.4 +2.9
Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative Swing +4.9

Elections in the 1980s

General election 1987: Bath [63]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Chris Patten 23,515 45.4 βˆ’1.7
SDP Malcolm Dean 22,103 42.7 +6.7
Labour Jenny Smith 5,507 10.6 βˆ’4.6
Green Derek Wall 687 1.3 +0.4
Majority 1,412 2.7 βˆ’8.4
Turnout 51,812 79.4 +5.0
Conservative hold Swing βˆ’4.2
General election 1983: Bath [64]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Chris Patten 22,544 47.1 +0.7
SDP Malcolm Dean 17,240 36.0 +8.0
Labour Adrian Pott 7,259 15.2 βˆ’7.8
Ecology Don Grimes 441 0.9 βˆ’1.3
Progressive Liberal R. S. Wandle 319 0.7 N/A
World Government Gilbert Young 67 0.1 N/A
Majority 5,304 11.1 -7.3
Turnout 47,870 74.4 -3.7
Conservative hold Swing -4.4

Elections in the 1970s

General election 1979: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Chris Patten 23,025 46.4 +8.7
Liberal Christopher Mayhew 13,913 28.0 βˆ’5.3
Labour M. Baber 11,407 23.0 βˆ’5.6
Ecology Don Grimes 1,082 2.2 N/A
National Front Thomas Mundy 206 0.4 N/A
Majority 9,112 18.4 +14.0
Turnout 49,633 78.1 -0.5
Conservative hold Swing +7.0
General election October 1974: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Edward Brown 18,470 37.7 βˆ’3.0
Liberal Christopher Mayhew 16,348 33.4 +2.7
Labour Malcolm Bishop 14,011 28.6 +0.59
United Democratic John Vernon Kemp 150 0.3 N/A
Majority 2,122 4.3 βˆ’5.8
Turnout 48,979 78.6 -4.4
Conservative hold Swing βˆ’2.9
General election February 1974: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Edward Brown 20,920 40.8 βˆ’8.2
Liberal Peter Downey 15,738 30.7 +17.6
Labour Malcolm Bishop 14,396 27.9 βˆ’8.2
Ind. Conservative H. B. de Laterriere 204 0.4 +0.4
World Government Gilbert Young 118 0.2 βˆ’1.6
Majority 5,182 10.1 βˆ’2.7
Turnout 51,376 83.0 +5.9
Conservative hold Swing βˆ’12.9
General election 1970: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Edward Brown 22,344 49.0 +6.0
Labour David Young 16,493 36.1 βˆ’5.1
Liberal Roger H. Crowther 5,957 13.1 βˆ’2.7
World Government Gilbert Young 840 1.8 +1.8
Majority 5,851 12.8 +11.0
Turnout 45,634 77.1 -3.4
Conservative hold Swing +5.5

Elections in the 1960s

General election 1966: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Edward Brown 19,344 43.0
Labour Frederick S. Moorhouse 18,544 41.2
Liberal Roger H. Crowther 7,095 15.8
Majority 800 1.8
Turnout 44,983 80.5
Conservative hold Swing
General election 1964: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Edward Brown 22,255 46.5
Labour Frederick S. Moorhouse 16,464 34.4
Liberal Brian R. Pamplin 8,795 18.4
World Government Gilbert Young 318 0.7
Majority 5,791 12.1
Turnout 45,832 84.2
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1950s

General election 1959: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative James Pitman 24,048 50.33
Labour George E Mayer 17,515 36.66
Liberal George Allen 6,214 13.01
Majority 6,533 13.67
Turnout 47,777 83.60
Conservative hold Swing
General election 1955: Bath [65]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative James Pitman 24,489 51.94
Labour Co-op Thomas W Richardson 17,646 37.43
Liberal Barbara Burwell 5,011 10.63
Majority 6,843 14.51
Turnout 47.146 82.46
Conservative hold Swing
General election 1951: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative James Pitman 27,826 55.26
Labour Victor Mishcon 22,530 44.74
Majority 5,296 10.52
Turnout 85.64
Conservative hold Swing
General election 1950: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative James Pitman 23,070 47.16
Labour Hugh Bruce Oliphant Cardew 19,340 39.54
Liberal Philip William Hopkins 6,508 13.30
Majority 3,730 7.63
Turnout 87.28
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1940s

General election 1945: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative James Pitman 20,196 43.6
Labour Dorothy Archibald 18,120 39.2
Liberal Philip William Hopkins 7,952 17.2
Majority 2,076 4.5
Turnout 46,268
Conservative hold Swing

Election in the 1930s

General Election 1939/40:

Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;

  • Conservative: Lord Ronaldshay[66]
  • Liberal: Philip William Hopkins[67]
  • Labour: George Gilbert Desmond[68]
  • A minority of Bath Conservatives, led by the town Mayor, Adrian Hopkins objected to Ronaldshay who had no link with the town. Hopkins was considering running as an Independent.[69] Desmond was under pressure to withdraw in favour of the Liberal candidate fighting on a Popular Front programme
General election 14 November 1935: Bath [70]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Loel Guinness 20,670 56.6 βˆ’7.4
Liberal Sidney Reginald Daniels 8,650 23.7 +2.4
Labour George Gilbert Desmond 7,185 19.7 +5.0
Majority 12,020 32.9 βˆ’9.8
Turnout 74.5 βˆ’6.0
Conservative hold Swing βˆ’4.7
General election 27 October 1931: Bath [70]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Loel Guinness 24,696 64.0 +17.1
Liberal Sidney Reginald Daniels 8,241 21.3 βˆ’8.8
Labour George Gilbert Desmond 5,680 14.7 βˆ’8.3
Majority 16,455 42.6 +25.8
Turnout 80.6 βˆ’0.7
Conservative hold Swing +12.9

Election in the 1920s

General election 30 May 1929: Bath [70]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Unionist Charles Baillie-Hamilton 17,845 46.9 +1.8
Liberal Sidney Reginald Daniels 11,485 30.1 +0.8
Labour George Gilbert Desmond 8,769 23.0 βˆ’2.7
Majority 6,360 16.8 +1.0
Turnout 81.3 +8.5
Unionist hold Swing +0.5
1929 Bath by-election [70]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Unionist Charles Baillie-Hamilton 11,171 45.1 βˆ’10.7
Liberal Sidney Reginald Daniels 7,255 29.3 βˆ’1.3
Labour George Gilbert Desmond 6,359 25.7 +12.1
Majority 3916 15.8 βˆ’9.4
Turnout 24,785 72.8 βˆ’11.7
Unionist hold Swing βˆ’4.6
General election 29 October 1924: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Unionist Charles Foxcroft 16,067 55.8 +7.4
Liberal Frank Raffety 8,800 30.6 βˆ’21.0
Labour Walter Barton Scobell 3,914 13.6 +13.6
Majority 7,267 25.2 N/A
Turnout 84.5 +5.4
Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +14.2
General election 6 December 1923: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Frank Raffety 13,694 51.6 +19.6
Unionist Charles Foxcroft 12,830 48.4 βˆ’1.8
Majority 864 3.2 21.4
Turnout 79.1 N/A
Liberal gain from Unionist Swing +10.7
E.H. Spender
General election 15 November 1922: Bath [71]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Unionist Charles Foxcroft 13,666 50.2 βˆ’24.6
Liberal Harold Spender 8,699 32.0 n/a
Labour Herbert Elvin 4,849 17.8 βˆ’7.4
Majority
Turnout 82.4
Unionist hold Swing

Election in the 1910s

General election 1918: Bath
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
C Unionist Charles Foxcroft 15,605 74.8 N/A
Labour Alfred James Bethell 5,244 25.2 N/A
Majority 10,361 49.6 N/A
Turnout 20,849 66.2 n/a
Registered electors 31,512
Unionist hold Swing n/a
C indicates candidate endorsed by the coalition government.

General Election 1914/15:

Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;

Hardy
General election December 1910: Bath [74]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Lord Alexander Thynne 3,875 26.0 +0.2
Conservative Charles Hunter 3,841 25.7 +0.4
Liberal George Peabody Gooch 3,631 24.3 βˆ’0.2
Liberal George Hardy 3,585 24.0 βˆ’0.4
Majority 210 1.4 +0.6
Turnout 92.0 βˆ’2.7
Registered electors 8,144
Conservative hold Swing +0.2
Conservative hold Swing +0.4
Gooch
General election January 1910: Bath [74]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Lord Alexander Thynne 3,961 25.8 +4.1
Conservative Charles Hunter 3,889 25.3 +3.8
Liberal Donald Maclean 3,771 24.5 βˆ’4.0
Liberal George Peabody Gooch 3,757 24.4 βˆ’3.9
Majority 118 0.8 N/A
Turnout 94.7 +3.9
Registered electors 8,144
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +2.1
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +3.9

Elections in the 1900s

Maclean
General election 1906: Bath [75] [76]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Donald Maclean 4,102 28.5 +6.9
Liberal George Peabody Gooch 4,069 28.3 +7.2
Conservative Lord Alexander Thynne 3,123 21.7 βˆ’6.8
Conservative Wyndham Murray 3,088 21.5 βˆ’7.3
Majority 946 6.6 N/A
Turnout 90.8 +7.3
Registered electors 7,968
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +6.9
Liberal gain from Liberal Unionist Swing +7.3
Murray
General election 1900: Bath [75] [77] [76]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Wyndham Murray 3,486 28.8 +1.5
Liberal Unionist Edmond Wodehouse 3,439 28.5 +1.8
Liberal Donald Maclean 2,605 21.6 βˆ’1.6
Liberal Alpheus Morton 2,549 21.1 βˆ’1.7
Turnout 83.5 βˆ’6.2
Registered electors 7,300
Majority 881 7.2 +3.1
Conservative hold Swing +1.6
Majority 834 6.9 +3.4
Liberal Unionist hold Swing +1.8

Elections in the 1890s

Conway
Fuller
General election 1895: Bath (2 seats) [75] [78] [77]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Wyndham Murray 3,445 27.3 +1.2
Liberal Unionist Edmond Wodehouse 3,358 26.7 +0.9
Liberal Martin Conway 2,917 23.2 βˆ’1.0
Liberal John Fuller 2,865 22.8 βˆ’1.1
Turnout 89.7 +0.4
Registered electors 7,059
Majority 528 4.1 +2.2
Conservative hold Swing +1.1
Majority 441 3.5 +1.9
Liberal Unionist hold Swing +1.0
Adye
General election 1892: Bath (2 seats) [75] [78]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Wyndham Murray 3,198 26.1 βˆ’1.7
Liberal Unionist Edmond Wodehouse 3,177 25.8 βˆ’2.5
Liberal Thomas P Baptie[79] 2,981 24.2 +2.0
Liberal John Miller Adye 2,941 23.9 +2.2
Turnout 89.3 +0.9
Registered electors 6,922
Majority 217 1.9 βˆ’3.7
Conservative hold Swing βˆ’1.9
Majority 196 1.6 βˆ’4.5
Liberal Unionist hold Swing βˆ’2.3

Elections in the 1880s

Verney
Murray
General election 1886: Bath (2 seats) [75] [78]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Unionist Edmond Wodehouse 3,309 28.3 +1.9
Conservative Robert Peter Laurie 3,244 27.8 +3.3
Liberal Arthur Hayter 2,588 22.2 βˆ’2.2
Liberal Frederick Verney 2,529 21.7 βˆ’2.8
Turnout 5,870 88.4 βˆ’3.5
Registered electors 6,637
Majority 721 6.1 +4.1
Liberal Unionist gain from Liberal Swing +2.1
Majority 656 5.6 N/A
Conservative hold Swing +3.1
Wodehouse
Hayter
General election 1885: Bath (2 seats) [75] [78]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Robert Stickney Blaine 3,208 26.4 +2.8
Liberal Edmond Wodehouse 2,990 24.7 βˆ’2.3
Conservative Robert Peter Laurie 2,971 24.5 +2.1
Liberal Arthur Hayter 2,953 24.4 βˆ’2.7
Turnout 6,099 91.9 +1.4 (est)
Registered electors 6,637
Majority 255 2.0 N/A
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +2.8
Majority 19 0.2 βˆ’3.2
Liberal hold Swing βˆ’2.2
By-election, 8 May 1880: Bath (1 seat) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Arthur Hayter Unopposed
Liberal hold
General election 1880: Bath (2 seats) [80] [81]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Arthur Hayter 2,712 27.1 +1.0
Liberal Edmond Wodehouse 2,700 27.0 +2.2
Conservative Reginald Hardy 2,359 23.6 βˆ’1.2
Conservative Thomas James Smyth 2,241 22.4 βˆ’1.9
Majority 341 3.4 +2.1
Turnout 5,006 (est) 90.5 (est) +2.0
Registered electors 5,534
Liberal hold Swing +1.1
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing +2.1

Elections in the 1870s

General election 1874: Bath (2 seats) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Arthur Hayter 2,520 26.1 βˆ’10.9
Conservative Nathaniel Bousfield 2,397 24.8 +9.6
Liberal John William Nicholas Hervey[82] 2,391 24.8 βˆ’7.9
Conservative Arthur Egerton 2,348 24.3 +9.1
Turnout 4,828 (est) 88.5 (est) +1.8
Registered electors 5,454
Majority 123 1.3 βˆ’1.1
Liberal hold Swing βˆ’10.0
Majority 6 0.0 N/A
Conservative hold Swing +8.7
By-election, 9 Oct 1873: Bath (1 seat) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal Arthur Hayter 2,210 50.9 βˆ’18.8
Conservative William Forsyth[83] 2,071 47.7 +17.4
Independent Liberal Charles Thompson[84] 57 1.3 N/A
Majority 139 3.2 +0.8
Turnout 4,338 83.7 βˆ’3.0
Registered electors 5,182
Liberal hold Swing βˆ’18.1
  • Caused by Dalrymple's death.
By-election, 28 June 1873: Bath (1 seat) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Arthur Egerton 2,194 50.4 +20.1
Liberal Arthur Hayter 2,143 49.2 βˆ’20.5
Independent Liberal John Charles Cox[85][86] 15 0.3 N/A
Majority 51 1.2 N/A
Turnout 4,352 84.0 βˆ’2.7
Registered electors 5,182
Conservative hold Swing +20.3
  • Caused by Cadogan's elevation to the peerage, becoming Earl Cadogan.
By-election, 7 May 1873: Bath (1 seat) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Viscount Chelsea 2,251 53.1 +22.8
Liberal Jerom Murch[87] 1,991 46.9 βˆ’22.8
Majority 260 6.1 N/A
Turnout 4,242 81.9 βˆ’4.8
Registered electors 5,182
Conservative hold Swing +22.8
  • Caused by Tite's death.

Elections in the 1860s

General election 1868: Bath (2 seats) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal William Tite 2,478 37.0 N/A
Liberal Donald Dalrymple 2,187 32.7 N/A
Conservative James Hogg 2,024 30.3 N/A
Majority 163 2.4 N/A
Turnout 4,357 (est) 86.7 (est) N/A
Registered electors 5,024
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing N/A
General election 1865: Bath (2 seats) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal William Tite Unopposed
Conservative James Hogg Unopposed
Registered electors 2,960
Liberal hold
Conservative hold

Elections in the 1850s

General election 1859: Bath (2 seats) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Liberal William Tite 1,349 34.7 +1.7
Conservative Arthur Edwin Way 1,339 34.5 +1.6
Liberal Thomas Phinn 1,198 30.8 βˆ’3.3
Turnout 2,613 (est) 82.0 (est) +5.1
Registered electors 3,185
Majority 10 0.3 +0.2
Liberal hold Swing +0.5
Majority 141 3.6 N/A
Conservative gain from Liberal Swing +1.2
General election 1857: Bath (2 seats) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig Arthur Elton 1,243 34.1 βˆ’0.3
Whig William Tite 1,200 33.0 βˆ’0.3
Conservative Arthur Edwin Way 1,197 32.9 +0.6
Majority 3 0.1 βˆ’0.9
Turnout 2,419 (est) 76.9 (est) βˆ’1.3
Registered electors 3,144
Whig hold Swing βˆ’0.3
Whig hold Swing βˆ’0.3
By-election, 5 June 1855: Bath [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig William Tite 1,176 51.0 βˆ’16.7
Peelite William Whateley[88] 1,129 49.0 +16.7
Majority 47 0.2 βˆ’0.8
Turnout 2,305 73.1 βˆ’5.1
Registered electors 3,155
Whig hold Swing βˆ’16.7
General election 1852: Bath (2 seats) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig George Treweeke Scobell 1,332 34.4 +17.3
Whig Thomas Phinn 1,290 33.3 +16.2
Peelite William Whateley[89][90] 1,253 32.3 βˆ’3.2
Majority 37 1.0 βˆ’2.8
Turnout 2,564 (est) 78.2 (est) βˆ’8.1
Registered electors 3,278
Whig hold Swing +9.5
Whig gain from Conservative Swing +8.9
By-election, 25 June 1851: Bath [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig George Treweeke Scobell 1,110 51.6 +17.5
Conservative William Sutcliffe[91] 1,041 48.4 +12.9
Majority 69 3.2 βˆ’0.6
Turnout 2,151 68.7 βˆ’17.6
Registered electors 3,310
Whig gain from Conservative Swing +2.3

Elections in the 1840s

General election 1847: Bath (2 seats) [80]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Anthony Ashley-Cooper 1,278 35.5 βˆ’8.4
Whig Adam Haldane-Duncan 1,228 34.1 +5.2
Radical John Arthur Roebuck 1,093 30.4 +3.1
Turnout 2,439 (est) 86.3 (est) +13.0
Registered electors 2,825
Majority 50 1.4 N/A
Conservative gain from Radical Swing βˆ’6.8
Majority 135 3.8 +2.2
Whig hold Swing +4.7
General election 1841: Bath (2 seats) [80] [29]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig Adam Haldane-Duncan 1,223 28.9 +4.7
Radical John Arthur Roebuck 1,157 27.3 +4.5
Conservative William Heald Ludlow Bruges 930 22.0 βˆ’3.7
Conservative Richard Wingfield 926 21.9 βˆ’5.4
Turnout 2,189 73.3 +4.3
Registered electors 2,985
Majority 66 1.6 N/A
Whig gain from Conservative Swing +4.6
Majority 227 5.4 N/A
Radical gain from Conservative Swing +4.5

Elections in the 1830s

General election 1837: Bath (2 seats) [80] [29]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Conservative Richard Wingfield 1,087 27.3 +14.9
Conservative William Heald Ludlow Bruges 1,024 25.7 +13.3
Whig Charles Palmer 962 24.2 βˆ’14.4
Radical John Arthur Roebuck 910 22.8 βˆ’13.8
Majority 62 1.6 N/A
Turnout 2,051 69.0 +4.7
Registered electors 2,973
Conservative gain from Whig Swing +14.7
Conservative gain from Radical Swing +13.6
General election 1835: Bath (2 seats) [80] [29]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig Charles Palmer 1,097 38.6 βˆ’2.1
Radical John Arthur Roebuck 1,042 36.6 +5.6
Conservative Henry Daubeney[92] 706 24.8 N/A
Turnout 1,776 64.3 βˆ’17.3
Registered electors 2,764
Majority 55 1.9 βˆ’7.7
Whig hold Swing βˆ’3.9
Majority 336 11.8 +9.1
Radical hold Swing +3.9
General election 1832: Bath (2 seats) [80] [29]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig Charles Palmer 1,492 40.7 N/A
Radical John Arthur Roebuck 1,138 31.0 N/A
Whig Henry William Hobhouse 1,040 28.3 N/A
Turnout 2,329 81.6 N/A
Registered electors 2,853
Majority 354 9.6 N/A
Whig hold Swing N/A
Majority 98 2.7 N/A
Radical gain from Tory Swing N/A
General election 1831: Bath (2 seats) [29]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig Charles Palmer Unopposed
Tory John Thynne Unopposed
Whig hold
Tory hold
General election 1830: Bath (2 seats) [29]
Party Candidate Votes % Β±%
Whig Charles Palmer Unopposed
Tory John Thynne Unopposed
Whig gain from Tory
Tory hold

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