1946 Kilmarnock by-election

The 1946 Kilmarnock by-election was a by-election held on 5 December 1946 for the British House of Commons constituency of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire.


The seat had become vacant on 2 October 1946 when the Labour Member of Parliament (MP), Clarice Shaw had resigned her seat. She died on 27 October at the age of 63.

Shaw had held the seat since the general election in July 1945, but ill-health had prevented her from ever attending the House of Commons.


The Labour Party candidate was 35-year-old Willie Ross, a schoolteacher before World War II who was recently demobilised from the British Army, where he had risen to the rank of Major. At the 1945 general election he had unsuccessfully contested the Ayr Burghs constituency.

The Unionist candidate was Lieutenant-Colonel George E. O. Walker, who had also been the Unionist candidate at the general election. The Scottish National Party fielded George Dott.


The result was a victory for Ross, who held the seat with a fractionally increased share of the vote. He held the seat until he stepped down at the 1979 general election, having been Secretary of State for Scotland for two periods totalling 8 years.


Kilmarnock by-election, 5 December 1946[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Willie Ross 22,456 59.7 +0.3
Unionist George E. O. Walker 12,239 32.5 −8.1
SNP George Dott 2,932 7.8 New
Majority 10,217 27.2 +8.4
Turnout 37,627 68.4 −7.7
Labour hold Swing +4.2
General election, July 1945: Kilmarnock
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Clarice Shaw 23,837 59.4 +26.0
Unionist G. E. O. Walker 16,300 40.6 New
Majority 7,537 18.8 N/A
Turnout 40,137 76.1 −2.7
Labour gain from National Labour Swing N/A

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "1946 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2015.