The 1924 Ladywood Election: Neville Chamberlain faces Oswald Mosley

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At 4am on the morning of 30th October 1924 during the General Election results from the Ladywood Constituency were announced after three recounts - the sitting Unionist candidate and future Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain had won by just 77 votes.

The result was greeted by uproar and fighting in the public gallery of Birmingham Town Hall by his charismatic Labour party opponent Oswald Mosley - who in the coming decades became the notorious leader of the British Union of Fascists, - 'The Black Shirts'

How close did Mosley come to winning? At the first count Chamberlain was elected by just seven votes.  At the recount Mosley had a majority of two and Chamberlain immediately demanded another recount.  Ever after Mosley claimed that Labour votes had been spirited away. 

And that night the spell on the Chamberlain Dynasty's stronghold on Birmingham politics was broken in nearby Kings Norton where Labour won. Chamberlain himself was never a candidate in Ladywood again.  Thereafter, he stood in the adjacent safe seat of Edgbaston.

Author and historian Andrew Reekes reveals how this election was fought between two very different figures who each played such important roles in Britain's political history before the second world war.

Keywords: Neville Chamberlain, Oswald Mosley, Ladywood, Political History

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