1902 Belfast South by-election
The Conservatives considered several candidates, who declined to stand. These included Colonel Robert Wallace, just returned from the Second Boer War in South Africa, who declined for business reasons; and Sir James Henderson, a previous Lord Mayor of Belfast. The shipbuilder and businessman William Pirrie (who had also been a Lord Mayor of Belfast) was also informally approached. They eventually picked Charles Buller, a former High Sheriff of Down and son-in-law of a previous MP for Belfast, George Dunbar.
Thomas Sloan was a sub-contractor for the cementing of ship's floors at the shipyard of Harland and Wolff, who had during 1902 become a leading member of the working class Belfast Protestant Association, after the association's founder Arthur Trew was imprisoned for inciting an anti-Catholic riot. He declared his candidacy as an independent unionist in protest of the treatment of Trew.
Issues and campaignEdit
The campaign was tumultuous, and the Belfast Protestant Association dominated the campaign, protesting the imprisonment of their founder. The Times reported that a final meeting for Dunbar Buller on 15 August was broken up by supporters of Slone, with only a large force of police preventing a more serious disturbance.
|Independent Unionist||Thomas Sloan||3,795||56.1||N/A|
|Irish Unionist||Charles William Dunbar Buller||2,969||43.9||N/A|
|Independent Unionist gain from Irish Unionist||Swing||N/A|
Sloan later founded the Independent Orange Order and reached an agreement with the Irish Unionist Party to disassociate himself from the Belfast Protestant Association. Sloan retained the seat in the 1906 general election.
- "Election intelligence". The Times (36829). London. 25 July 1902. p. 5.
- "Election intelligence". The Times (36831). London. 28 July 1902. p. 6.
- "Election intelligence". The Times (36836). London. 2 August 1902. p. 10.
- John F. Harbinson, The Ulster Unionist Party, 1882-1973, p.223
- "Election intelligence". The Times (36848). London. 16 August 1902. p. 8.
- "Election intelligence". The Times (36850). London. 19 August 1902. p. 3.
- "No. 27467". The London Gazette. 22 August 1902. p. 5462.
- The Constitutional Year Book, 1904, published by Conservative Central Office, page 193 (217 in web page)