Gateshead by-election, 1931

The Gateshead by-election, 1931 was a parliamentary by-election held on 8 June 1931 for the British House of Commons constituency of Gateshead.

Previous MP

The seat had become vacant on when the constituency's Labour Member of Parliament (MP), Sir James Melville, had died on 1 May, aged 46. He been Gateshead's MP since the 1929 general election, and had been Solicitor-General from 1929 to 1930.


The Conservative Party candidate was Cuthbert Headlam, who had been MP for Barnard Castle from 1924 until his defeat in 1929. Labour selected Herbert Evans, who had stood unsuccessfully at the 1929 election in the Maldon constituency in Essex.

In 1929, there had been both a Liberal and an independent candidate in Gateshead, but the by-election was a two-way contest between Labour and Conservative.


The result was a narrow victory for Evans. His 51.6% share of the votes was only a small fall from his predecessor's result in 1929, but Headlam picked up the votes which had previously gone to Liberal and independent candidates, and cut the Labour majority from a safe 31.1% to a precarious 3.2%.

However, Evans did not live to defend the seat; he died on 7 October 1931, the day on which Parliament was dissolved for the 1931 general election. The Gateshead seat was then won by the National Liberal Party candidate, Thomas Magnay, and Headlam was re-elected in Barnard Castle.


Gateshead by-election, 8th June 1931
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Herbert Evans 22,893 51.6 1.0
Conservative Cuthbert Headlam 21,501 48.4 +26.9
Majority 1,392 3.2 27.9
Turnout 44,394 60.8 13.1
Labour hold Swing

See also


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