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General Elections

Administrative/Biographical History

A large collection of material, around 80 boxes in total, collected by the Labour Party mainly covering the years 1910 to 2001. While there is some material from earlier elections, the bulk of the collection begins with the 1910 general election.


  • 1910 – The bulk of the 1910 material consists of constituency leaflets for each Labour Party candidate. There is also some interesting Conservative & Unionist Party material.
  • 1918 – A small number of leaflets, press releases and manifestos, including a rough draft of the Labour Party manifesto and some press cuttings.
  • 1922, 1923, and 1924 – Due to the frequency of these elections the material is limited to three boxes. However there are leaflets for most constituencies, plus press cuttings and press releases, candidates’ lists, and handbills. There is also a small amount of correspondence.
  • 1929 – This was the first election in which women had equal voting rights with men, one person one vote at 21 and the election material reflects this. There are constituency leaflets, circulars, handbills, press cuttings and official Labour Party correspondence. There is also an interesting file labelled Pressure Groups which includes material from temperance and trade union groups.
  • 1931 – An election dominated by the impact of the Great Depression and responses to it. There are a large number of constituency leaflets for Labour Party candidates, covering Scottish, Welsh and English constituencies and boroughs, plus a separate file for London constituencies. The boxes also contain Conservative and Liberal material.
  • 1935 – A large number of files containing constituency leaflets that are divided up into London Boroughs, English Counties, English Boroughs, Welsh Counties & Boroughs, Scottish Burgs and Scottish Counties etc. There is also material such as leaflets, handbills and speakers’ notes from the other main parties.
  • 1945 – Four boxes of material, including one for the Communist Party of Great Britain. One box contains a substantial collection of press cuttings from the election campaign. Also included are leaflets, speakers’ notes, correspondence and material from the separate Rural Campaign, ran by the Labour Party. Papers that complement this collection well are to be found in the General Secretaries Papers: LP/GS/45.
  • 1950 – Seven boxes of material including election addresses, press cuttings, election leaflets, constituency leaflets and correspondence.
  • 1951 – Substantial press cuttings and constituency leaflets for English counties, English boroughs, Wales and Scotland. There are also scripts for election broadcasts and a box of Conservative Party material.
  • 1955 – A large collection of around nine boxes, with a considerable amount of correspondence, some of which relates to the developing importance of television. As well as election leaflets covering the whole country there is also some excellent Conservative Party material, mainly posters, leaflets and handbills.
  • 1959 – A large collection of 16 boxes. Apart from the usual and detailed constituency leaflets and related material, there are boxes which contain material on opinion polls. Material from this year also includes policy statements, speakers’ handbooks, secretarial documents and Conservative and Liberal Party material.
  • 1964 – 17 boxes of material consisting of press cuttings, posters, correspondence, press releases and constituency leaflets for almost all Labour Party candidates.
  • 1966 – 22 boxes of material including correspondence, press cuttings, party political broadcast scripts, manifestos, constituency leaflets, handbills and posters.
  • 1970 – Over 30 boxes of material. Areas covered include press cuttings, posters, leaflets for English boroughs, Wales and Scotland, manifestos and broadcasts.
  • 1974 – There were two elections in 1974, one in February and the other in October. The material for both elections covers around 20 boxes. Areas covered include manifestos for all parties, speeches, broadcasts, leaflets for the Conservative Party and English, Scottish and Welsh boroughs.
  • 1979 – 22 boxes including material on English, Welsh and Scottish boroughs, Conservative broadcasts, speeches, posters and handbills.
  • 1983 – 15 boxes including press cuttings, English and Welsh boroughs, Scottish constituencies, broadcasts, posters and press releases.
  • 1987 – 14 boxes, of which six contain election addresses, plus press releases for various parties, broadcastings and manifestos.
  • 1992 – 15 boxes including election addresses for almost every constituency in the country. There are also press statements, CLP leaflets, national and regional leaflets.
  • 1997 – 11 boxes including constituency leaflets, leaflets from Liberal Democrats and Conservative Party, press cuttings and election results. There is also one box of mixed material such as rosettes, stickers and badges.
  • 2001 – 9 boxes including constituency leaflets and Labour Party, Conservative Party, Liberal Democrat Party and Socialist Alliance press cuttings.
  • 2010 – 2 boxes including election addresses and Labour Party braille manifesto
  • 2015 – 7 boxes of candidate election addresses
  • 2017 – 1 box of candidate election addresses and manifestos


Related material

The Times Guide to the House of Commons. These are comprehensive volumes of results for each constituency and candidate, backed up by copies of each of the main parties’ manifestos, plus analysis and comment. We hold volumes for the vast majority of 20th century general elections.

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