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Plaistow (UK Parliament constituency)

Plaistow was a borough constituency returning a single Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom through the first-past-the-post voting system. The constituency was one of four divisions of the Parliamentary Borough of West Ham, which had at the time the same boundaries as the County Borough of West Ham. Although administratively separate since 1889, the area was formally part of the county of Essex; since 1965 it has been part of the London Borough of Newham in Greater London.

Plaistow
Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
Plaistow1918.png
Plaistow within Essex, showing boundaries used from 1918 to 1950.
CountyEssex
19181950
Number of membersOne
Replaced byWest Ham South
Created fromWest Ham South

The creation of the constituency was recommended by the Boundary Commission in a report issued in 1917, and formally created by the Representation of the People Act 1918. It came into existence at the 1918 general election. Its first member was Labour's Will(iam) Thorne who won with an impressive 94.9% of the popular vote, a record for an English parliamentary seat held to this day. As the borough of West Ham had only 120,586 electors on 15 October 1946, the relevant date for the subsequent Boundary Commission review, the borough was only entitled to two Members of Parliament; North and South divisions were recommended. As a consequence Plaistow was abolished as a separate constituency by the Representation of the People Act 1948 and went out of existence at the 1950 general election.

Contents

BoundariesEdit

Plaistow was based on Plaistow and Hudsons wards of the County Borough of West Ham. The large wards in the southern County Borough of West Ham at the time of the 1917 Boundary Commission review made it necessary to split one ward across two constituencies, or else the divisions of West Ham would have had significantly different sizes. The ward which was split was the Canning Town ward, with the northern and western part of the ward included in Plaistow: the commissioners drew a line along the centre of the Woolwich branch of the Great Eastern Railway (now the North London Line) from Canning Town station north to join up with Star Lane (near the future Star Lane DLR station), then east along Star Lane, to join up with the ward boundary at Hermit Lane and Beckton Road.[1]

In 1950 the territory of this division was transferred to form part of the West Ham South constituency.

Members of ParliamentEdit

Election Member Party
1918 Will Thorne Labour
1945 Elwyn Jones Labour
1950 constituency abolished

ElectionsEdit

Elections in the 1910sEdit

General election 1918: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Will Thorne 12,156 94.9 n/a
Independent Liberal Arnold Lupton 657 5.1 n/a
Majority 11,499 89.8 n/a
Turnout 12,813 37.8 n/a
Labour win

Elections in the 1920sEdit

General election 1922: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Will Thorne 12,321 63.3 -31.6
Unionist George Penny 7,140 36.7 n/a
Majority 5,181 26.6 -63.2
Turnout 19,461 54.7 +16.9
Labour hold Swing n/a
General election 1923: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Will Thorne 13,638 74.6 +11.3
Unionist George Penny 4,643 25.4 -11.3
Majority 8,995 49.2 +22.6
Turnout 18,281 49.9 -4.8
Labour hold Swing +11.3
General election 1924: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Will Thorne 15,609 67.1 -7.5
Unionist George Penny 7,638 32.9 +7.5
Majority 7,971 34.2 -15.0
Turnout 23,247 62.1 +12.2
Labour hold Swing -7.5
General election 1929: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Will Thorne 23,635 77.5 +10.4
Unionist Stephen M Lancaster 6,851 22.5 -10.4
Majority 16,784 55.0 +20.8
Turnout 30,486 63.2 +1.1
Labour hold Swing +10.4

Elections in the 1930sEdit

General election 1931: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Will Thorne unopposed n/a n/a
Labour hold Swing n/a
General election 1935: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Will Thorne 18,493 73.3 n/a
Conservative Margaret Dorothy Roddick 6,730 26.7 n/a
Majority 11,763 46.6 n/a
Turnout 25,223 53.1 n/a
Labour hold Swing n/a

General Election 1939/40

Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;

Elections in the 1940sEdit

General election 1945: Plaistow[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Elwyn Jones 17,351 87.6 +14.3
Conservative John Baldwin Raper 2,463 12.4 -14.3
Majority 14,888 75.2 +28.6
Turnout 19,814 68.4 +15.3
Labour hold Swing 14.3

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "103. Parliamentary Borough of West Ham" in "Report of the Boundary Commission (England and Wales)", vol. III (Cd. 8758).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig. p272. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  3. ^ Report of the Annual Conference of the Labour Party, 1939

BibliographyEdit