Support 100 years of independent journalism.

12 December 2013

The Returning Officer: Clubs III

By Stephen Brasher

The Liberal yearbook for 1909 records that many MPs of that party were members of the Eighty Club. This was not a traditional London club – it was founded shortly before the 1880 election for “promoting Liberal education and stimulating Liberal organisation”.

Its president in 1909 was Robert Reid, the first earl Loreburn, who had been MP for Hereford (1880-85) and Dumfries Burghs (1886-1905). Election to the club was by ballot only and the annual fee was a guinea. In 1887, its unity was shattered by the Home Rule question and Liberal Unionists resigned in a body. The club was wound up in 1978.

The Ninety-Five Club was formed after the defeat of 1895 to encourage “the younger men of the party” and was the first to propose “one member, one vote” for the Liberal leadership.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy