Get City of London UK Parliament Constituency essential facts below. View Videos or join the City of London UK Parliament Constituency discussion. Add City of London UK Parliament Constituency to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Bounded south by the Thames, the City adjoins Westminster westward, enfranchised in 1545. In other directions a web of tiny liberties and parishes of diverse size adjoined from medieval times until the 20th century. Most of the population of Middlesex was beyond the city's boundaries. From the 17th century three of four new 'divisions' of Ossulstone Hundred adjoined the city reflecting their relative density - Holborn division and Finsbury division to the north and Tower division to the north-east and the east, all enfranchised in 1832.
London is first known to have been enfranchised and represented in Parliament in 1298. Because it was the most important city in England it received four seats in Parliament instead of the normal two for a constituency. Previous to 1298 from the middle of that century, the intermittent first parliaments, the area's households, officially, could turn to their Middlesex "two knights of the shire" - two members of the Commons - as to their interests in Parliament as the City formed part of the geographic county yet from early times wielded independent administration, its Corporation.
The City was represented by four MPs until 1885, when this was cut to two, and in 1950 the constituency was abolished.
The City of London was originally a densely populated area. Before the Reform Act 1832 the composition of the City electorate was not as democratic as that of some other borough constituencies, such as neighbouring Westminster. The right of election was held by members of the Livery Companies. However the size and wealth of the community meant that it had more voters than most other borough constituencies. Namier and Brooke estimated the size of the City electorate, in the latter part of the 18th century, at about 7,000. Only Westminster had a larger size of electorate.
During the 19th and 20th centuries the metropolitan area of London expanded greatly. The resident population of the City fell. People moved to the new definitively urban expansion and suburbs; businesses moved in. However the City authorities did not want to extend their jurisdiction beyond the traditional "square mile" so the constituency was left unchanged as its resident population fell. By 1900 almost all electors in the City qualified through Livery Company membership and lived outside of the City. The business voters were a type of plural voter which when abolished by the Representation of the People Act 1948 meant the City became immediately under-sized in electorate, akin to the least-worst examples of pre-1832 "rotten and pocket boroughs".
In 1950 the area was merged for Parliamentary purposes with the eldest parts of the neighbouring City of Westminster, to form the seat Cities of London and Westminster. The pre-1900 heavily-subdivided city became simplified for the period 1907 and 1965 into one civil parish, before in that year this level of local government complication was taken away. Statutory protection applied between 1986 and 2011 to prevent division of the City between seats:
There shall continue to be a constituency which shall include the whole of the City of London and the name of which shall refer to the City of London"
In multi-member elections the bloc voting system was used. Voters could cast a vote for one to four (or up to two in two-member elections 1885-1950) candidates, as they chose. The leading candidates with the largest number of votes were elected. In 1868 the limited vote was introduced, which restricted an individual elector to using one, two or three votes, in elections to fill four seats.
After 1832, when registration of voters was introduced, a turnout figure is given for contested elections. In multi-member elections, when the exact number of participating voters is unknown, this is calculated by dividing the number of votes by four (to 1868), three (1868-1885) and two thereafter. To the extent that electors did not use all their votes this will be an underestimate of turnout.
Where a party had more than one candidate in one or both of a pair of successive elections change is calculated for each individual candidate, otherwise change is based on the party vote.
Candidates for whom no party has been identified are classified as non-partisan. The candidate might have been associated with a party or faction in Parliament or consider himself to belong to a particular political tradition. Political parties before the 19th century were not as cohesive or organised as they later became. Contemporary commentators (even the reputed leaders of parties or factions) in the 18th century did not necessarily agree who the party supporters were. The traditional parties, which had arisen in the late 17th century, became increasingly irrelevant to politics in the 18th century (particularly after 1760), although for some contests in some constituencies party labels were still used. It was only towards the end of the century that party labels began to acquire some meaning again, although this process was by no means complete for several more generations.
Sources: The results are based on the History of Parliament Trust's volumes on the House of Commons in various periods from 1715-1820, Stooks Smith from 1820 until 1832 and Craig from 1832. Where Stooks Smith gives additional information this is indicated in a note. See references below for further details of these sources.
Dates of general and by-elections from 1660-1715 (excluding general elections at which no new MP was returned)
27 Mar 1660
19 Mar 1661
10 Feb 1663
17 Feb 1679
15 May 1685
9 Jan 1689
14 May 1689
11 Mar 1690
2 Mar 1693
25 Oct 1695
30 Jul 1698
1 Feb 1701
20 Mar 1701
24 Nov 1701
18 Aug 1702
17 May 1705
16 Dec 1707
14 May 1708
16 Nov 1710
Parliament of Great Britain election results 1713-1800
After a scrutiny the members returned were unchanged and vote totals were amended to Eyles 3,539; Barnard 3,514; Perry 3,396; Parsons 3,255; Thompson 3,244; Lockwood 2,977; Hopkins 2,921; Williams 2,914.
^"2 & 3 Will. 4 c. 64 Schedule O 22". The Statutes of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 2 & 3 William IV. London: His Majesty's Statute and Law Printers. 1832. p. 351. Retrieved 2019.; Commissioners on Proposed Division of Counties and Boundaries of Boroughs (20 January 1832). "City of London". Parliamentary Representation: Further Return to an Address to His Majesty, Dated 12 December, 1831; for Copies of Instructions Given by the Secretary of State for the Home Department with Reference to Parliamentary Representation; Likewise Copies of Letters of Reports Received by the Secretary of State for the Home Department in Answer to Such Instructions. Reports from Commissioners on Proposed Division of Counties and Boundaries of Boroughs. Volume II Part I. Parliamentary Papers. 1831-32 HC 39 (141) 1. p. 117. Retrieved 2019.; also Metropolitan Boroughs Map included with the report.
^[The House of Commons 1509-1558, by S.T. Bindoff (Secker & Warburg 1982)]
Boundaries of Parliamentary Constituencies 1885-1972, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Political Reference Publications 1972)
British Parliamentary Election Results 1832-1885, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (The Macmillan Press 1977)
British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (The Macmillan Press 1974)
British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (The Macmillan Press 1977)
The House of Commons 1715-1754, by Romney Sedgwick (HMSO 1970)
The House of Commons 1754-1790, by Sir Lewis Namier and John Brooke (HMSO 1964)
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)
Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
The Times, various editions, was used to obtain dates of elections or unopposed returns and first names of candidates not available in the above books (from 1885 to 1910). The dates of declarations are used before 1885 and the dates of the General Election polling day from 1918.