|Former County constituency|
for the House of Commons
|Number of members||one|
|Replaced by||Easington and Houghton-le-Spring|
|Created from||South East Durham and part of Houghton-le-Spring|
Seaham was a parliamentary constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that was in existence between 1918 and 1950. It elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. Incorporating a lot of the mining area of the eastern part of County Durham around Seaham, it has a history of strong Labour Party support.
In the so-called Coupon Election of 1918, Major Evan Hayward was issued a Coalition 'coupon'. Hayward however repudiated the 'coupon' and stood as a Liberal and was elected. The following general election, in 1922, Sidney Webb, an early socialist and author of the Labour Party's then-new constitution, was returned. Webb was easily re-elected in 1923 and 1924. Sidney Webb was raised to the peerage and his successor in the parliamentary constituency was Ramsay MacDonald, the leader of the Labour Party at the time. At the 1929 general election, MacDonald won and for the second time became Prime Minister over a minority Labour administration.
The economic crisis after 1929 led to a political crisis in mid-1931 and MacDonald failed to secure agreement in cabinet for his proposed cuts in 'outdoor relief' for the unemployed. MacDonald went to see King George V who persuaded him to form a National Government. In the General Election that followed MacDonald stood in Seaham as National Labour and was comfortably elected and continued to serve as a Prime Minister of a National Government that was predominantly Conservative-supported.
MacDonald retired as Prime Minister in 1935 but remained in the Cabinet. In the general election of 1935 he was resoundingly defeated at Seaham by Emanuel Shinwell, the official candidate of the Labour Party. Shinwell was re-elected in the Labour landslide at the 1945 election, and served as MP for Easington which simply renamed the area.
The Urban District of Seaham Harbour, and the Rural District of Easington.
Members of Parliament
|1929||Rt Hon Ramsay MacDonald||Labour|
Elections in the 1910s
- Hayward had been issued with the "coalition coupon", but repudiated it.
Elections in the 1920s
|Unionist||Thomas Andrews Bradford||8,315||24.6||n/a|
|Labour gain from Liberal||Swing||n/a|
|Unionist||William Arthur Fearnley-Whittingstall||6,821||13.9||-20.6|
|Liberal||Henry Augustus Haslam||5,266||10.7||n/a|
Elections in the 1930s
|National Labour||Ramsay MacDonald||28,978||55.0||n/a|
|National Labour gain from Labour||Swing||n/a|
|National Labour||Ramsay MacDonald||17,882||31.8||-23.2|
|Labour gain from National Labour||Swing||+23.8|
General Election 1939/40
Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1940. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the Autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected;
Elections in the 1940s
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Constituency represented by the Prime Minister