1955 Greenock by-election

The Greenock by-election, 1955 was a parliamentary by-election held on 8 December 1955 for the British House of Commons constituency of Greenock in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

The vacancy had been created by the death of the incumbent Labour MP Hector McNeil, and the seat was won by the future Labour Minister Dickson Mabon.


Labour selected Mabon, who at only thirty would become the youngest Labour MP. He had served as a Bevin Boy and in the army. He had been chairman of the Labour Club (1948–50), then chairman of the National Association of Labour Students in 1949–1950, and finally president of Glasgow University Union in 1951–52, and of the Scottish Union of Students, 1954–55.

The Unionist candidate was Ian MacArthur, who was also thirty, and who worked as an associate director of a marketing and advertising company; he had also contested the seat at the general election earlier that year.

Previous resultEdit

General election 1955: Greenock[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Hector McNeil 19,378 51.4
Unionist Ian MacArthur 18,345 48.6
Majority 1,033 2.8
Turnout 37,723
Labour hold Swing

By-election resultEdit

Greenock by-election, 1955[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Dickson Mabon 19,698 53.7 +2.3
Unionist Ian MacArthur 17,004 46.3 -2.3
Majority 2,694 7.4 +4.6
Turnout 36,702
Labour hold Swing


  1. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1950–1973 by FWS Craig
  2. ^ British parliamentary election results, 1950–1973 by FWS Craig