Kilmarnock by-election, 1929

The Kilmarnock by-election, 1929 was a by-election held on 27 November 1929 for the British House of Commons constituency of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire.

The first Scottish by-election since the general election in May 1929, it was won by the Labour Party candidate Craigie Mason Aitchison.


The seat had become vacant when the sitting Labour Member of Parliament (MP), Robert Climie had died at the age of 61 on 3 October 1929. He had held the seat since the general election in May 1929, having previously been Kilmarnock's MP from 1923 until his defeat in the 1924 general election.


The Labour Party candidate was 47-year-old Craigie Mason Aitchison KC, who had been the Lord Advocate of Scotland since June 1929. He had stood as a Liberal Party candidate in Clackmannan and East Stirlingshire at the 1922 and 1923 general elections. He had contested the 1924 general election a Labour candidate in The Hartlepools, and in May 1929 came within a small margin of winning the Unionist-held Glasgow Central seat.

The Unionist candidate was 41-year-old Charles Glen MacAndrew, who had won the seat from Climie in 1924, but lost it again in May 1929.

The third candidate was Isabel Brown, of the Communist Party of Great Britain. The Liberals, who had finished third at the general election, did not field a candidate.


The result was a victory for the Labour candidate, Craigie Aitchison, who held the seat with an increased share of the vote. However, his majority was lower than Climie's, the Unionists having benefitted from the absence of a Liberal candidate.

Aitchison was re-elected at the 1931 general election as a National Labour candidate, having sided with Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald when the Labour Party split and MacDonald formed a National Government with the Conservative Party. He resigned his seat in 1933, when he was appointed Lord Justice Clerk.

MacAndrew returned to the House of Commons in 1931 as MP for Glasgow Partick.


Kilmarnock by-election, 27 November 1929
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Craigie Mason Aitchison 18,465 55.6 +7.4
Unionist Charles Glen MacAndrew 13,270 40.0 +9.6
Communist Isabel Brown 1,448 4.4 N/A
Majority 5,195 15.6 2.2
Turnout 33,183 71.7 6.1
Labour hold Swing 12.6
General Election, May 1929: Kilmarnock
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Robert Climie 17,368 48.2 +0.4
Unionist Charles Glen MacAndrew 10,939 30.4 21.8
Liberal J. R. Rutherford 7,700 21.4 N/A
Majority 6,429 17.8 N/A
Turnout 36,007 77.8 0.7
Labour gain from Unionist Swing +11.2

See also


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