1932 Croydon South by-election

The Croydon South by-election, 1932 was a by-election held on 9 February 1932 for the British House of Commons constituency of Croydon South in Surrey.


The seat had become vacant when the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), Sir William Mitchell-Thomson had been elevated to the peerage as Baron Selsdon. He had held the seat since the 1923 general election.


The Conservative candidate was Herbert Williams, who had been MP for Reading until his defeat at the 1929 general election.

His only opponent was the Labour Party candidate, Rudolph Putnam Messel, who had contested South Molton in 1929 and 1931.

The local Liberal association, who had polled a strong third in 1929 but had not stood in 1931 selected barrister Alun Llewellyn to run as their candidate.[1] However, a week later, Llewellyn decided to withdraw.[2] He did contest the seat at the subsequent general election.


On a low turnout, the result was a victory for Williams: a swing of 12.8% to Labour merely reduced the Conservative majority from huge to large. He was re-elected in 1935, but defeated at the 1945 general election.


Croydon South by-election, 9 February 1932
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Herbert Williams 19,126 67.5 −12.8
Labour Rudolph Putnam Messel 9,189 32.5 +12.8
Majority 9,937 35.0 −25.6
Turnout 28,315 38.2 −30.1
Conservative hold Swing −12.8

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Western Morning News Devon, 14 Jan 1932
  2. ^ Dundee Courier Angus, 21 Jan 1932


  • Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918–1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  • Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "C" (part 6)