Open Access Articles- Top Results for Brighton (UK Parliament constituency)

Brighton (UK Parliament constituency)

Former Borough constituency
for the House of Commons
County 1832–1888: Sussex
1888–1950: East Sussex
Major settlements Brighton
[[United Kingdom general election, 1832#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.1832]]–[[United Kingdom general election, 1950#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.1950]]
Number of members Two
Replaced by Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Pavilion and Hove
Created from Sussex

Brighton was a parliamentary constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1832 until it was divided into single-member seats from the United Kingdom general election, 1950. Covering the seaside towns of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, it elected two Member of Parliament (MP) by the bloc vote system of election.


The constituency was created by the Reform Act 1832 for the 1832 general election. The constituency was based on the south coast seaside resort town of Brighton.

When it was proposed to enfranchise Brighton a Tory observed in Parliament that it would represent merely "toffy (sic), lemonade and jelly shops". Charles Seymour suggests he "obviously feared the Whig proclivities of the numerous tradespeople established there".[1]

The first representatives of the constituency were of radical opinions. Isaac Newton Wigney (MP 1832–1839 and 1841–1842) was described as being of "Whig opinions inclining to radicalism, in favour of the ballot, and pledged himself to resign his seat whenever his constituents called upon him so to do". His colleague, the Nonconformist preacher and attorney George Faithfull (MP 1832–1835), went much further. He advocated "the immediate abolition of slavery, of all unmerited pensions and sinecures, the standing army, all useless expense, the Corn Laws, and every other monopoly. He said that if the extent of suffrage at that time was not found efficient he would vote for universal suffrage: and if triennial Parliaments did not succeed, would vote for having them annually; he was an advocate of the ballot". [2]

Seymour provides figures for the voting qualification of Brighton electors, following the Reform Act 1867. The town was one of six boroughs in England where the £10 occupiers, enfranchised in 1832, were much more numerous than the householders who received the vote under the 1867 Act. There were 7,590 £10 occupiers and only 944 householders on the electoral register.[1]

Members of Parliament for the constituency, after the first two, were of more conventional views; but most elections were won by the Liberal Party until 1884. In 1884 the Liberal MP, William Marriott, broke with his party as he disagreed with Prime Minister Gladstone's foreign and Egyptian policy. Marriott resigned his seat and was re-elected as a Conservative. From that time onwards the Liberal Party never won an election in the constituency, except for a by-election in 1905 and both seats in the landslide victory of 1906. Apart from those few years of liberal strength, Brighton became a safe Conservative constituency.

The 1931 election of Sir Cooper Rawson holds the record for the largest majority ever received at a general election (62,253), as well as the most votes received by an individual (75,205).[3]


The constituency was defined in the Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 as comprising the "respective Parishes of Brighthelmstone and Hove".[4] The act named the parliamentary borough as "Brighthelmstone", but the name "Brighton" was invariably used.[5]

The two parishes were adjacent coastal resorts in the historic county of Sussex in South East England. Brighton obtained a charter of incorporation to become a municipal borough in 1854, while Hove formed a local board of health in 1858, becoming a borough forty years later. These changes in local government made no changes to the boundaries of the constituency.[6] Under the Representation of the People Act 1867 the constituency was enlarged to include the Preston area which fell inside Brighton's municipal boundaries.[6]

These boundaries were used until the 1918 general election when seats were redefined in terms of the local government areas then in existence. The parliamentary borough was defined as consisting of the County Borough of Brighton and the Municipal Borough of Hove. The constituency was enlarged to include Aldrington which lay with Hove's borough boundaries.[6]

Under the Representation of the People Act 1948 the remaining multi-member constituencies were abolished and replaced with single-member ones from the 1950 election. The County Borough of Brighton was divided into Brighton Kemptown and Brighton Pavilion. The Municipal Borough of Hove, which had also been included in the old Brighton seat was combined with Portslade by Sea Urban District to form the new Hove constituency.[6]

Members of Parliament

Election 1st Member 1st Party 2nd Member 2nd Party
1832 Isaac Newton Wigney Radical George Faithfull Radical
1835 George Pechell
(from 1849 Sir George Brook-Pechell, Bt)
1837 Sir Adolphus John Dalrymple, Bt Conservative
1841 Isaac Newton Wigney Radical
1842 Lord Alfred Hervey Conservative
1857 William Coningham Liberal
1860 James White Liberal
1864 Henry Moor Conservative
1865 Henry Fawcett Liberal
1874 James Lloyd Ashbury Conservative Charles Cameron Shute Conservative
1880 John Robert Hollond Liberal Rt Hon. Sir William Thackeray Marriott 1 Liberal
1884 Conservative
1885 David Smith Conservative
1886 Sir William Tindal Robertson Conservative
1889 Gerald Walter Erskine Loder Conservative
1893 Bruce Canning Vernon-Wentworth Conservative
1905 (5 April 1905) Ernest Amherst Villiers Liberal
1906 (Edward) Aurelian Ridsdale Liberal
1910 Rt Hon. George Clement Tryon Conservative Hon. Walter FitzUryan Rice Conservative
1911 Hon. John Edward Gordon Conservative
1914 Charles Thomas-Stanford Conservative
1918 Coalition Conservative Coalition Conservative
1922 Conservative Sir Alfred Cooper Rawson Conservative
1940 Lord Erskine 2 Conservative
1941 Anthony Alfred Harmsworth Marlowe Conservative
1944 Luke William Burke Teeling Conservative
1950 constituency divided – see Brighton Kemptown, Brighton Pavilion and Hove


  • 1 Marriott resigned his seat as a Liberal MP in February 1884, because of dissatisfaction with the foreign and Egyptian policy of the Liberal government. He was re-elected in March 1884 as a Conservative candidate.
  • 2 Lord Erskine was a courtesy title. He was the heir apparent of The 12th Earl of Mar and 14th Earl of Kellie, but as he died before his father he never inherited the hereditary titles of his family.


Elections in the 1940s

United Kingdom general election, 1945: Brighton (2 seats)[7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Teeling 49,339 30.8
Conservative Anthony Marlowe 49,026 30.6
Labour J. T. Huddart 31,074 19.4
Labour G. H. Barnard 30,844 19.2
Brighton by-election, 1944
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative William Teeling 14,591 53.6
Independent Bruce Dutton Briant 12,635 46.4

Elections in the 1920s

File:Cyril Berkeley Dallow.jpg
Cyril Berkeley Dallow
General Election 1929: Brighton[8]

Electorate 122,641

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist 13pxY Sir Alfred Cooper Rawson 46,515
Unionist 13pxY Rt Hon. George Clement Tryon 46,287
Labour Rev. L S Cheshire 19,494
Labour W McLaine 18,770
Liberal Cyril Berkeley Dallow 14,770
Liberal J. Charles Brudenell-Bruce 13,816
Unionist hold Swing
General Election 1922: Brighton[9]

Electorate 80,674

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Unionist 13pxYRt Hon. George Clement Tryon 28,549 32.0
Unionist 13pxY Sir Alfred Cooper Rawson 26,844 30.0
Liberal Charles Burgess Fry 22,059 24.7
Independent Unionist H Wheater 11,913 13.3
Majority 4,785 5.3
Turnout 70.1
Unionist hold Swing

Elections in the 1900s

General Election January 1906[10]

Electorate 20,976

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rev. Ernest Amherst Villiers 9,062 26.4 n/a
Liberal Edward Aurelian Ridsdale 8,919 26.0
Conservative George Clement Tryon 8,188 23.8
Conservative Hon. John Edward Gordon 8,176 23.8
Turnout 82.5
Majority 731 2.2
Liberal hold Swing
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
File:Ernest Villiers.jpg
Ernest Villiers
Brighton by-election, 1905[10]

Electorate 20,439

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal Rev. Ernest Amherst Villiers 8,209 52.6
Conservative Gerald Walter Erskine Loder 7,392 47.4
Turnout 76.3
Majority 817
Liberal gain from Conservative Swing
General Election January 1900[10]

Electorate 18,634

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Gerald Walter Erskine Loder 7,858
Conservative Bruce Canning Vernon-Wentworth 6,626 34.6
Independent Conservative J. Kensit 4,693 24.5
Turnout 62.2
Majority 1,933 10.1
Conservative hold Swing
Conservative hold Swing

Elections in the 1840s

General Election, 30 July 1847: Brighton (2 seats)[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Captain George Pechell 1,571 46.3 +6.1
Conservative Lord Alfred Hervey 1,239 36.5 -29.6
Whig William Coningham 586 17.3 N/A
Brighton by-election, 6 May 1842[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Lord Alfred Hervey 1,277 66.1 +41.8
Radical Summers Harford 640 33.1 N/A
Chartist Charles Brooker 16 0.8 +0.3
Independent Nicholson 0 0.0 N/A

Wigney declared bankrupt forcing byelection

General Election, 1 July 1841: Brighton (2 seats)[13]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Captain George Pechell 1,446 40.5 -8.4
Whig Isaac Newton Wigney 1,260 35.3 +13.6
Conservative Sir Adolphus Dalrymple 868 24.3 +2.0
Chartist Charles Brooker 17 0.5 N/A

Elections in the 1830s

General Election, 26 July 1837: Brighton (2 seats)[14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Captain George Pechell 1,814 48.9 +9.4
Conservative Sir Adolphus Dalrymple 826 22.3 +2.5
Whig Isaac Newton Wigney 806 21.7 +0.2
Radical George Faithfull 266 7.2 -11.9
General Election, 8 & 9 January 1835: Brighton (2 seats)[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Whig Captain George Pechell 959 39.5 +7.6
Radical Isaac Newton Wigney 523 21.5 -8.2
Tory Sir Adolphus Dalrymple 482 19.8 +11.4
Radical George Faithfull 465 19.1 -6.8
General Election, 12 December 1832: Brighton (2 seats)[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Radical Isaac Newton Wigney 826 29.7 N/A
Radical George Faithfull 720 25.9 N/A
Whig Captain George Pechell 609 21.9 N/A
Tory William Crawford 391 14.0 N/A
Tory Sir Adolphus Dalrymple 232 8.4 N/A

See also

Further reading


  1. ^ a b Seymour, Charles (1915). Electoral reform in England and Wales: the development and operation of the parliamentary franchise, 1832–1885. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. pp. 69–70. 
  2. ^ Michael Stenton, ed. (1981). Who's who of British members of Parliament. A biographical dictionary of the House of Commons based on annual volumes of Dod's Parliamentary companion and other sources (4 volumes). Humanities Press. ISBN 0-391-00613-4. 
  3. ^ Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher, ed. (2000). British Electoral Facts 1832–1999. Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 1-84014-053-4. 
  4. ^ Parliamentary Boundaries Act 1832 c.64 Sch O
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 19231. p. 102. 20 January 1835.
  6. ^ a b c d Youngs, Frederic A, Jr. (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. pp. 693, 767. ISBN 0-901050-67-9. 
  7. ^ UK General Election results July 1945
  8. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  9. ^ British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949, FWS Craig
  10. ^ a b c British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 by Craig
  11. ^ "The General Election". The Times. 31 July 1847. p. 3. 
  12. ^ "Brighton Election. Close of Poll". The Times. 7 May 1842. p. 6. 
  13. ^ "The General Election. Elections Decided". The Times. 2 July 1841. p. 3. 
  14. ^ "The Elections". Morning Post. 27 July 1837. p. 3. 
  15. ^ "Brighton, Jan 9. Second and Last Day". The Times. 10 January 1835. p. 2. 
  16. ^ "General Election. Members Returned". The Times. 13 December 1832. p. 4.