The Returning Officer: Bournemouth

Bournemouth was created as a constituency in 1918. The first MP was Henry Page Croft, founder of the imperialist Reveille movement and the National Party, which fought by-elections during the First World War and wanted “complete victory during the war and after the war”.

Croft was elected under this banner in 1918 but returned to the Tories. In 1923 and 1924, his Labour opponent was Minnie Pallister, author of The Orange Box. In the foreword, she admitted it was strange that the orange box was synonymous with open-air speaking as it was “inclined to be frail” and “weighty” speakers would need something “made of sterner stuff”.