Coalition Labour was a description used by candidates in the 1918 General Election who identified with the labour movement, and in most cases were former Labour Party Members of Parliament, but supported the ruling coalition.

The Labour Party left the coalition government led by David Lloyd George in 1918. Four Labour Party MPs preferred to remain as ministers: G. N. Barnes, James Parker, George Henry Roberts and George Wardle. They, along with the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union-sponsored candidate John R. Bell, contested the election independently of the Labour Party, and were termed "Coalition Labour" candidates. Only Bell and Parker received a Coalition Coupon, and they were wrongly identified in official coalition literature as Coalition National Democratic and Labour Party and Coalition Liberal candidates, respectively.[1][2] The National Democratic and Labour Party was a separate organisation which also supported the Coalition and had a background in the Labour Party.

Of the five candidates in the 1918 General Election, the four former ministers were successful:

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position Sponsor
Cannock James Parker 8,068 51.8 1 ?
Glasgow Gorbals George Nicoll Barnes 14,347 65.9 1 ?
Kingston upon Hull South West John R. Bell 5,005 30.9 2 Sailors
Norwich George Henry Roberts 26,642 45.1 1 None
Stockport George James Wardle Unopposed N/A 1 None

Following the election, the four ministers continued in position. Stephen Walsh, who had been elected as a Labour Party candidate, also agreed to join the coalition government. However, he was sponsored by the Lancashire and Cheshire Miners' Federation, which voted against his participation, and he therefore left the government a few days later.[1]

Of the remaining four Coalition Labour MPs, Wardle resigned in 1920 due to poor health, and Barnes retired at the 1922 United Kingdom general election. Parker and Roberts stood in that election; as the coalition had ended, they were termed independent candidates, and only Roberts won his seat. He stood again at the 1923 United Kingdom general election, as a Conservative Party candidate, but was then defeated.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c F. W. S. Craig, British Parliamentary Election Statistics, 1918-1968, p.2
  2. ^ G. D. H. Cole, History of the Labour Party from 1914, pp.87–88