chapter  11
The 1931 election
Pages 3

The results of the election of October 1931 were catastrophic for the Labour party. It won only 46 seats, as compared with 288 in the 1929 election – although we may fairly add to this figure the six seats retained by ILP candidates, now standing independently. Its poll fell from 8.4 million to 6.5 million (or about 6.6 million if we include the ILP vote). As a proportion of all votes cast, its share declined from 37.1 per cent to 30.7 per cent. It was deprived of almost all its previous leadership: only one former Cabinet member, Lansbury, returned to the opposition benches, to become head of the party there. The rest of its MPs were composed largely of trade unionists, including 23 miners. And the party was to suffer further losses in the local government elections the following month.