Election Addresses

Election addresses from the 1979 first European Election

Special Collections holds an extensive collection of over 30,000 election addresses for every British General Election since 1892, and subsequent by-elections. The collection, was originally established by the National Liberal Club and has been maintained by the University Library since the mid-1970s.

It also includes addresses from London County Council elections held between 1889 and 1913, and European Parliament elections from 1979 to date. We collect materials relating to the whole of the British Isles.

2017 General Election Appeal for election addresses and publicity materials

This collection is of national and international importance, and we want to carry on collecting, by concentrating on the Westminster General Election to be held on 8 June 2017. By helping us you can ensure that researchers in the future get a clear picture of how the General Election of 2017 was fought; and of which issues were of interest to the electorate and candidates.

Special Collections is appealing for donations of material published by candidates relating to the 2017 General Election and subsequent Westminster by-elections. Please send election addresses, manifestos, and related publicity from any UK Westminster constituency and any political party to:

  • Special Collections
    Arts and Social Sciences Library
    University of Bristol
    Tyndall Avenue
    BS8 1TJ

  • Telephone: (0117) 928 8014
  • Email: special-collections@bristol.ac.uk

What is the University of Bristol Library Special Collections Election Address Collection?

What is an election address?  An election address is the leaflet that a prospective parliamentary candidate distributes to their electorate laying down party policies and local issues, and appealing for their vote. We also collect party manifestos and related publicity and leaflets.

What geographical areas do you cover?  We cover all of the 650 seats in the Westminster Parliament in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

What political parties are covered?  We collect all political parties from small one-constituency campaigns, regional and nationalist parties, to the larger national political parties.

What about social media?  We concentrate on the physical election addresses which go through the door, but we are aware of the growth of digital materials and social media. You are welcome to send us links to websites or pdfs of election addresses and the like, but you can also send us physical leaflets through the post.

Who can use the Collection?  The Special Collections Election Address Collection is open to all, and at the moment is used by University of Bristol staff and students, other national and international academics and students; journalists and the media; interested individuals; and politicians themselves. Do contact us if you wish to use the Collection.

Where can you see what we have?  The Collection is catalogued in some detail on line on our Archive Catalogue: http://oac.lib.bris.ac.uk/DServe/, and in more detail in Special Collections. Do contact us if you want to find out more.  DM2676 is our 2015 General Election Collection.

Who can help us?  We would encourage political parties, prospective parliamentary candidates, and interested individuals throughout the country to collect election addresses for the forthcoming General Election to be held on 8 June 2017, and send them to us. Please let us know which constituency they were sent from, and preferably the postal address of the property where they were posted to.

What can you do to help us enhance this collection of historical and national importance in relation to the 2017 General Election?

Prospective parliamentary candidates: Send us physical copies of the election addresses which you and your teams are putting through your constituents' doors from now onwards (and have already produced); and also send us digital copies, and links to your webpages and other social media. Please talk to us.

Political parties: If you carry out the production of election addresses for individual candidates can you collect physical election addresses centrally (or regionally) and send us copies?  This is particularly true of the election addresses which are sent out by the Post Office to all people on the electoral roll. Can you provide us with contact details of your candidates, links to useful websites, or ask them to send us materials? Please talk to us.

Interested individuals and members of the public: Rather than throwing away the election literature which comes through your door can you save it in an envelope and send it to us after the election, with a note of your postal address? If you are worried about people using the archive seeing your details on the leaflet (name/address) stick a sticker on it or cross it out with a marker pen. If you want to get in touch to let us know you are collecting that would be wonderful, but if you just want to send us a parcel and spread the word to others to join in that would be equally wonderful. Do contact us if you want to discuss this further.

Examples of election addresses collected from the 1945, 2005 and 2010 General Elections

Harold Macmillan

The Right Honourable Harold Macmillan stood as the Conservative Party candidate in the 1945 election in the constituency of Stockton and Thornaby. He came second to the Labour Party candidate G.R. Chetwynd but won a seat at Bromley in the November 1945 by-election.

Frank Byers

Lt.Col. Frank Byers stood as the Liberal Party candidate in the 1945 election in the constituency of North Dorset. He won the seat with 53.6% of the vote.

Denis Healey

Major Denis Healey stood as the Labour Party candidate in the 1945 election in the constituency of Pudsey and Otley. He came second to the Conservative Party candidate M. Stoddart-Scott.

Stephen Williams

Stephen Williams won the 2010 Bristol West constituency for the Liberal Democrats.

Kerry McCarthy

Kerry McCarthy won the 2010 and 2015 Bristol East constituency for the Labour Party.

Charlotte Leslie won the 2010 and 2015 Bristol North West constituency for the Conservative Party.


See also the ElectionLeaflets.org website which has electronic copies of current election addresses: https://electionleaflets.org/
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