Graham has a wonderful collection of memorabilia some of which he has kindly allowed me to use, and so I jumped at his offer to tell the story of this 1920 Parliamentary election along with some of material which was published at the time.
On Friday 27 February 1920 the Stockport Advertiser reported the death of the Liberal Stockport Coalition MP ''Its with deep regret we announce the death of Spencer Leigh Huges MP age 40 ''
To understand the 1920 Stockport By-election we need to know that there was a coalition government and that the Labour Party withdrew from the coalition in 1918.
The Labour Party unveiled Sir Leo Cheozza Money and was given full support by the Labour and Co-operatives.
We should recall the Unionist stood down in 1918 General Election in favour of Huges (Liberal) and Wardle (Labour) who were coalition candidates. Wardle decision to remain in government evoked a great deal of hostility.
The Liberal Party, it was their MP who died so they expected to have the candidate for the coalition.
Stockport Liberals recommended T.B. Leigh as a coalition candidate.
The newspapers headlines proclaimed ''Deadlock in Stockport'' followed by ''Deadlock, coalition divided against itself''
Then a significant development happened on 8 March Sir George Younger Chairman of the Conservatives and Unionist Whip a central figure in Government visited Stockport.
Event moved quickly, first T.B. Leigh resigned his nomination then the sitting MP Wardle resigned his seat claiming ill health. Was Wardle persuaded to go by Lloyd George government?
The Co-operatives were in no doubt two hours after Sir George Younger returns Wardle resigns.
After the events of Wednesday Mr William Greenwood was adopted as a Unionist/coalition candidate, Mr Henry Flides as a Liberal candidate.
Stockport voters had two votes and the result was declared on 11 April with William Greenwood and Mr Henry Flides voted to Parliament,
By 1922 the coalition had collapsed and in the General Election H. Flidles and William Greenwood were re-elected as Liberal and Unionist MPs. W Greenwood died in 1925 and in a subsequent by-election A.E. Townend won the seat for Labour winning 36.5% of the vote.
Labour had now arrived in Stockport.
© Graham Gill
Pictures; the candidates in the 1920 election from the collection of Graham Gill, graph by Andrew Simpson