1920 Cardiff City Council election

The 1920 Cardiff City Council election was held on Monday 1 November 1920 to elect councillors to Cardiff City Council in Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales. It took place on the same day as many other local elections in Wales and England.

This was the second annual all-Cardiff elections since the 1914-18 Great War. The previous elections were in November 1919 and the next annual all-Cardiff elections were to take place in November 1921.

The election saw campaigning to stop the Labour Party repeating its successes of November 1919.


Cardiff County Borough Council had been created in 1889. Cardiff became a city in 1905. Elections to the local authority were held annually, though not all council seats were included in each contest, because the three councillors in each ward stood down for election in three-yearly rotation. Ten seats in ten electoral wards were up for election in November 1920.

The council consisted of 30 councillors who were elected by the town's voters and ten aldermen who were elected by the councillors.[1]

The previous all-Cardiff elections in 1919 had seen significant gains of seats for the Labour Party and Ex-Servicemen candidates.[2]

Overview of the resultEdit

In November 1920 contests took place in eight of the ten Cardiff electoral wards. The two retiring Conservative Party councillors in the Central and South wards were elected unopposed.[3]

The Western Mail was partisan in South Wales, having campaigned for two months to stop the Labour "extremists" from repeating their successes of 1919.[3] In the Canton, Grangetown, Riverside, Roath and Splott wards the Conservative and Liberal parties came together to put forward a joint candidate, so as to not split the vote.[4]

The Liberal-Conservative Coalition candidates won by substantial majorities over Labour in four of the five wards in which they stood. In contrast, Labour's Herbert Hiles won against the Coalition candidate (who was the retiring member) in the Splott ward. The only other sitting candidate (a Liberal) to lose their seat was in the Park ward, where the Conservatives won the contest.[3]

Turnout was substantially up on 1919 (42.4%) with 55.1% turning up to vote in November 1920. Women voters often outnumbered men, in some wards by 2 to 1.[3]

Council compositionEdit

Following the November 1919 election the balance on the city council was 17 Liberal, 15 Conservative, 4 Labour, 3 Ex-Servicemen, 1 Independent.[5] In 1920 Labour increased their number by one, as did the Independents. Four previously Liberal/Conservative members were elected as, or were replaced by 'Coalition' members.

Ward resultsEdit


Adamsdown ward 1920
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Independent Edward Curran 1,389
Labour William Williams 1,247

Curran had stood unsuccessfully for the Liberal Party in the Cardiff South UK parliamentary ward for the 1918 General Election.[3]


Canton ward 1920 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Con-Lib Coalition W. B. Francis * 3,195
Labour Alfred Marsh 1,653


Cathays ward 1920 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal W. R. Williams 2,983
Labour T. R. Morgan 1,989


Retiring Conservative Party councillor re-elected unopposed.


Grangetown ward 1920 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Con-Lib Coalition H. W. Bruton 2,154
Labour J. H. Rogers 1,638


Park ward 1920 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Edmund Charles Willmott 2,484
Liberal William Charles * 2,141
Labour D. J. Skelly 1,249


Riverside ward 1920 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Con-Lib Coalition John Daniel * 2,808
Labour Roderick Hughes 682
Ex-Servicemen Barnett Janner 562


Roath ward 1920
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Con-Lib Coalition A. J. Howells * 3,540
Labour John W. Pickles 1,424


Retiring Conservative Party councillor re-elected unopposed.


Splott ward 1920
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Herbert Hiles 2,295
Con-Lib Coalition Frederick Dash 2,187

* = 'retiring' ward councillor for re-election


  1. ^ B. W. Row, F. G. Squire (1974), Cardiff 1889-1974 - The Story of the County Borough, The Corporation of Cardiff, City Hall, Cardiff, pp. 14–16
  2. ^ "26 Labour gains - Features of South Wales Elections". South Wales Weekly Post. 8 November 1919. p. 6 – via Welsh Newspapers Online.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "South Wales Elections - Results of the Poll - Labour's Heavy Defeat At Cardiff". The Western Mail. 2 November 1920. p. 6.
  4. ^ "Your Vote Wanted Today - Large Issues At Stake In Elections - South Wales - Cardiff Must Defeat The Extremists". The Western Mail. 1 November 1919. p. 4.
  5. ^ "Cardiff Council - Balance Of Power Transferred". South Wales Echo. 3 November 1919. p. 5.