Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

1910 General Election, Political Poster Collection

Posters, Power & Parliament: The Wigan Borough 1910 General Election Collection

Project kindly funded by The National Manuscript Conservation Trust and the Pilgrim Trust

The collection consists of 141 political election posters; 55 of the posters are directly linked to local constituencies – Wigan, Ince, Chorley, Newton – with the remainder part of nationwide circulation.

Whilst all the posters give a unique insight into the political in-fighting of the day, the most interesting part of the collection is a series of some fifty coloured pictorial posters, many in the form of political cartoons.

1910 was one of the rare occasions on which two elections were called in one year; the elections arriving as a consequence of the refusal of the House of Lords to pass Lloyd George’s Peoples Budget of 1909. The main points at issue were reform of the House of Lords, Free Trade, the rights of working people and Irish Home rule – all of which are illustrated in the campaign posters.

The collection is of national as well as local importance, including electoral campaign material that does not survive elsewhere but helps to chart the history of British and Irish democracy and the changing nature of political representation in the period.

With the kind support of The National Manuscript Conservation Trust and the Pilgrim Trust, it has been possible to have the posters professionally conserved and restored, to make them available to researchers for the first time.