Birmingham (UK Parliament Constituency)
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Birmingham UK Parliament Constituency

Birmingham was a parliamentary constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for the city of Birmingham, in what is now the West Midlands Metropolitan County, but at the time was Warwickshire.

Boundaries and History

Until 1832, excepting for the single year 1275, Birmingham was only represented in Parliament as part of the county constituency of Warwickshire.

It became a Parliamentary borough in its own right following the passage of the 1832 Reform Act and remained a single constituency electing two members of parliament until it was divided in 1885.

The 1832 Reform Act introduced a uniform borough franchise on top of ancient franchise rights in existing Parliamentary boroughs: (see the Unreformed House of Commons for a list of the different franchises in each borough). As new boroughs, like Birmingham, had no ancient franchise holders only the new franchise rules applied to them. Seymour explains that:-

Only one class of new rights was created by the act of 1832. This was the £10 occupation qualification. According to the act, the franchise was granted to all male persons who for a year before registration had occupied as owner or tenants "any house, warehouse, country house, shop or other building, either separately or jointly with any land" of a clear yearly value of £10. The land must be within the electoral limits of the borough; and in order to qualify, the occupier must have been rated in respect of such premises, to all rates for the relief of the poor; and he must have paid at the time of registration all rates and taxes due from him the preceding April.

This occupation franchise was the characteristic of the borough franchise after 1832. As ownership furnished the ordinary qualification for franchise in the counties, so in the boroughs, occupation, actual or constructive, was the basis of the suffrage. While however, in the counties no provision was made for ascertaining the true value or bona fide rent which was to qualify for the franchise; in the boroughs, assessment to the taxes was embodied with the condition of value, and actual payment was super-added. There was another difference between the character of the county and borough franchises, as determined by the Reform Act. In the latter no claimant could be registered as a voter if he had received parochial relief within the past twelve months; in the counties, no disqualification was attached to the receipt of poor-relief. ...

From 1832 to 1868 the constituency returned two members, but the Representation of the People Act 1867 conferred a third seat from the 1868 United Kingdom general election. However the 1867 Act also introduced the limited vote restricting electors in three member constituencies to casting a maximum of two votes.

A way in which the limited vote system may fail to achieve its end of minority representation, is if the largest party is very well organised and is able to arrange the distribution of its supporters vote for maximum advantage. Charles Seymour explained the reaction of the Liberals of Birmingham after the limited vote was enacted.

The Liberals of Birmingham realized that if they were to retain the third seat, their vote must be divided economically between the three candidates. To prevent waste of votes, an organization must be built up which could control absolutely the choice of the elector; and each elector must vote invariably as he was told. The success of the Birmingham organization, which soon became known as the Caucus was unbroken and no Conservative candidate was returned. It was copied in many other constituencies and inaugurated a new era in the development of party electoral machinery, the effect of which upon the representative system has been profound.

The area was split into seven single-member constituencies in 1885; Birmingham Bordesley, Birmingham Central, Birmingham East, Birmingham Edgbaston, Birmingham North, Birmingham South and Birmingham West.

Members of Parliament

  • Constituency created (1832)
  • Third member added (1868)
Year First member First party Second member Second party Third member Third party
1868 George Dixon Liberal Philip Henry Muntz Liberal John Bright Liberal
1876 Joseph Chamberlain Liberal
  • Constituency abolished (1885)

Elections



Note: When the exact number of electors voting is unknown, turnout is estimated on the basis of dividing votes cast by two. To the extent that electors did not use both their possible votes, turnout will be underestimated.

Elections in the 1830s

General election 1832: Birmingham (2 seats)[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical Thomas Attwood Unopposed
Radical Joshua Scholefield Unopposed
Registered electors
Radical win (new seat)
Radical win (new seat)
General election 1835: Birmingham (2 seats)[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical Thomas Attwood 1,718 40.0 N/A
Radical Joshua Scholefield 1,660 38.7 N/A
Conservative Richard Spooner 915 21.3 N/A
Majority 745 17.4 N/A
Turnout 2,580 70.1 N/A
Registered electors 3,681
Radical hold Swing N/A
Radical hold Swing N/A
General election 1837: Birmingham (2 seats)[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical Thomas Attwood 2,145 40.4 +0.4
Radical Joshua Scholefield 2,114 39.8 +1.1
Conservative Augustus Stapleton 1,046 19.7 −1.6
Majority 1,068 20.1 +2.7
Turnout 3,135 59.9 −10.2
Registered electors 5,236
Radical hold Swing +0.6
Radical hold Swing +1.0

Back to Elections

Elections in the 1840s

By-election, 25 January 1840: Birmingham[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical George Muntz 1,458 61.4 −18.8
Conservative Charles Wetherell 917 38.6 +18.9
Majority 541 22.8 +2.7
Turnout 2,375 51.4 −8.5
Registered electors 4,619
Radical hold Swing −18.9
General election 1841: Birmingham (2 seats)[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical George Muntz 2,176 36.5 −3.9
Radical Joshua Scholefield 1,963 32.9 −6.9
Conservative Richard Spooner 1,825 30.6 +10.9
Majority 138 2.3 −17.8
Turnout 3,756 64.0 +4.1
Registered electors 5,870
Radical hold Swing −4.7
Radical hold Swing −6.2
  • Death of Scholefield
By-election, 15 July 1844: Birmingham[12][13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Richard Spooner 2,095 50.2 +19.6
Radical William Scholefield 1,735 41.5 −27.9
Radical Joseph Sturge 346 8.3 N/A
Majority 360 8.6 N/A
Turnout 4,176 68.1 +4.1
Registered electors 6,129
Conservative gain from Radical Swing +23.8
General election 1847: Birmingham (2 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical George Muntz 2,830 35.2 −1.3
Radical William Scholefield 2,824 35.1 +2.2
Conservative Richard Spooner 2,302 28.6 −2.0
Radical Robert Allen 89 1.1 N/A
Majority 522 6.5 +4.2
Turnout 5,110 72.2 +8.2
Registered electors 7,081
Radical hold Swing −0.2
Radical hold Swing +1.6
  • Note (1847): 5,110 electors voted. Scholefield was classified (for this election) as a Radical, as was Allen. (Source: Stooks Smith)

Back to Elections

Elections in the 1850s

General election 1852: Birmingham (2 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical George Muntz Unopposed
Radical William Scholefield Unopposed
Registered electors 7,936
Radical hold
Radical hold
General election 1857: Birmingham (2 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical George Muntz Unopposed
Radical William Scholefield Unopposed
Registered electors 9,074
Radical hold
Radical hold
  • Death of Muntz.
By-election, 10 August 1857: Birmingham[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Radical John Bright Unopposed
Radical hold
General election 1859: Birmingham (2 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal William Scholefield 4,425 43.2 N/A
Liberal John Bright 4,282 41.8 N/A
Conservative Thomas Dyke Acland 1,544 15.1 N/A
Majority 2,738 26.7 N/A
Turnout 5,898 (est) 64.0 (est) N/A
Registered electors 9,222
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A

Back to Elections

Elections in the 1860s

General election 1865: Birmingham (2 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Bright Unopposed
Liberal William Scholefield Unopposed
Registered electors 14,997
Liberal hold
Liberal hold
  • 'Death of Scholefield
By-Election 23 July 1867: Birmingham[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Dixon 5,819 58.0 N/A
Conservative Sampson Lloyd 4,214 42.0 N/A
Majority 1,605 16.0 N/A
Turnout 10,033 66.9 N/A
Registered electors 14,997
Liberal hold Swing N/A
General election 1868: Birmingham (3 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal George Dixon 15,198 25.3 N/A
Liberal Philip Henry Muntz 14,614 24.3 N/A
Liberal John Bright 14,601 24.3 N/A
Conservative Sampson Lloyd 8,700 14.5 N/A
Conservative Sebastian Evans[14] 7,061 11.7 N/A
Majority 5,901 9.8 N/A
Turnout 22,685 (est) 54.0 (est) N/A
Registered electors 42,042
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal win (new seat)
By-Election 21 December 1868: Birmingham[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Bright Unopposed
Liberal hold

Back to Elections

Elections in the 1870s

By-election, 20 Oct 1873: Birmingham[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Bright Unopposed
Liberal hold
General election 1874: Birmingham (3 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Bright Unopposed
Liberal George Dixon Unopposed
Liberal Philip Henry Muntz Unopposed
Registered electors 51,361
Liberal hold
Liberal hold
Liberal hold
  • Resignation of Dixon
By-election, 27 June 1876: Birmingham[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Joseph Chamberlain Unopposed
Liberal hold

Back to Elections

Elections in the 1880s

General election 1880: Birmingham (3 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Philip Henry Muntz 22,969 24.3 N/A
Liberal John Bright 22,079 23.3 N/A
Liberal Joseph Chamberlain 19,544 20.7 N/A
Conservative Frederick Burnaby 15,735 16.6 N/A
Conservative Augustus Gough-Calthorpe 14,308 15.1 N/A
Majority 3,809 4.0 N/A
Turnout 74.6 N/A
Registered electors 63,398
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
Liberal hold Swing N/A
By-Election 8 May 1880: Birmingham (2 seats)[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John Bright Unopposed
Liberal Joseph Chamberlain Unopposed
Liberal hold
Liberal hold
  • Constituency abolished 1885

Back to Elections

References

  1. ^ a b Mosse, Richard B. (1838). The Parliamentary Guide: a concise history of the Members of both Houses, etc. p. 239. Retrieved 2018 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Political Reform: Constituencies: Birmingham". The History of Parliament. Retrieved 2018.
  3. ^ Moss, David (1990). Thomas Attwood: The Biography of a Radical (Illustrated ed.). McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 9780773507081. Retrieved 2018 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Thomas Attwood, 1783-1856". The History of Economic Thought. Retrieved 2018.
  5. ^ Stephens, W. B., ed. (1964). "Political and Administrative History: Political History to 1832". A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 7, the City of Birmingham. London: Victoria County History. pp. 270-297. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ Davis, R. W. (2004). "Scholefield, Joshua (1774/5-1844)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24814.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^ Urban, Sylvanus (1844). The Gentleman's Magazine: Volume XXII. 1844: John Bowyer Nichols and Son. p. 431. Retrieved 2018.CS1 maint: location (link)
  8. ^ a b Burke, Edmund (1842). The Annual Register of World Events: A Review of the Year, Volume 83. Longmans, Green. p. 65. Retrieved 2018 – via Google Books.
  9. ^ Upton, Chris (14 March 2014). "Muntz family distinguished themselves in industry and politics". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Timmins, Samuel (2004). "Muntz, George Frederick". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/19551.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  11. ^ Timmins, Samuel (2004). "Scholefield, William". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24815.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Craig, F. W. S., ed. (1977). British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885 (e-book) (1st ed.). London: Macmillan Press. pp. 47-48. ISBN 978-1-349-02349-3.
  13. ^ a b c d e f Stooks Smith, Henry (1845). The Parliaments of England, from 1st George I., to the Present Time. Vol II: Oxfordshire to Wales Inclusive. London: Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. p. 97. Retrieved 2018 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Birmingham". Birmingham Daily Gazette. 5 November 1868. p. 5. Retrieved 2018 – via British Newspaper Archive.

Sources

  • British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Macmillan Press 1977)
  • Electoral Reform in England and Wales, by Charles Seymour (David & Charles Reprints 1970) originally published in 1915, so out of copyright
  • The Parliaments of England by Henry Stooks Smith (1st edition published in three volumes 1844-50), second edition edited (in one volume) by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1973) originally published in 1844-50, so out of copyright
  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs - Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 3)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Birmingham_(UK_Parliament_constituency)
 



 



 
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