25 M.P.s BUT IT'S STILL NOT ENOUGH
THE largest number of Catholic M.P.s since the war are among the 630 successful candidates in last week's general election. At the dissolution there were 22 Catholic M.P.s—now there are 25.
One former Catholic M.P. Mr. John McGovern, the exmember of the I.L.P. who represented Glasgow, Shettleston, for Labour—did not seek re-election.
Two other Labour M.P.s were defeated at the polls. They were Mrs. Mary McAlister, at Glasgow, Kelvingrove, where she polled 1,054 more votes than she did in the 1958 by-election, but who was all the same defeated by a Conservative majority of 1,101: and Sir Torn O'Brien, whose majority of 3,908 was transmuted into a 164 majority for his Conservative opponent at Nottingham West.
This latter defeat is partly due to boundary changes, and may also be seen as local electoral reaction to the Popkess affair.
There are thus six new Catholic M.P.s, five Conservative and one Labour, All but one of these inherited fairly comfortable majorities from their predecessors. The exception is Mr. Charles Curran, who at his third attempt has now won Uxbridge for the Conservatives with a majority of 1,390.
The balance between Catholic M.P,s of the two main parties-14 Conservatives to 11 Labour— approximately reflects the parties' strengths in the House, though, of course, the total number of Catholic M.P.s is still less than half what it would be if the number of Catholics in the House reflected the Catholic population of the country.
The two Catholic Conservatives standing in marginal constituencies both pushed their majorities up from below the 1,000 mark to over 3.000. At Eastteigh, David Price gained 4,734 more votes and increased . his majority from 545 to 3.256. At Yarmouth, Anthony Fell increased his share of the poll by 1,510, and his majority went up from 917 to 3,579.
Most of the eight Catholics standing as Liberal candidates shared in the general increase in the Liberal vote without. however, any of them reaching Westminster. One of the best results was recorded by George Bridge at Southgate, who polled 8,968 votes and forced the Labour candidate to the bottom of the poll.
But Sir Jeremy Mostyn, standing at Ealing South, and the Hon. Gerard Noel, at Argyll, both did worse than the Liberal candidates in the 1958 by-election. One explanation (apart from the swing back to normal party allegiances at general elections) may he that in both cases the seats were contested by different Liberal candidates in I958—and, in the case of Ealing South, Sir Jeremy is the third Liberal the electors have been faced with in three successive elections.
In Derbyshire South-East, the
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