Scottish Workers' Representation Committee

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Scottish Workers' Representation Committee
General SecretaryRobert Allan (1900–1902)
George Carson (1902–1909)
Merged intoLabour Party
Trade Union WingScottish Trades Union Congress
IdeologyBig Tent Socialism
Political positionLeft-wing

Scottish Workers' Representation Committee was the parliamentary outfit of the Scottish Trades Union Congress from 1899 until 1909. It was known as the Scottish Workers Parliamentary Elections Committee until 1903. In contrast to the Labour Representation Committee (LRC) in England, SWRC was able to maintain organisational unity between different strands of ideological tendencies in Scotland, ranging from Marxist, Catholic and Fabian socialists.


The SWPEC's first contest was the 1900 UK general election. It sponsored radical journalist A. E. Fletcher in Glasgow Camlachie. He received 3,107 votes and did not win the seat. It then stood Robert Smillie, a leader of the miners' trade union, at the 1901 North East Lanarkshire by-election, and was also defeated. When another by-election arose in North East Lanarkshire, in 1904, another miners' leader was selected, John Robertson, who again failed to win the seat.[1]

At the 1906 general election, The SWRC stood five candidates: John Robertson in North East Lanarkshire, Joseph Sullivan in North West Lanarkshire, David Gilmour in Falkirk Burghs, James Brown in North Ayrshire, and Robert Smillie in Paisley. The candidates altogether won a total of 14,877 votes, but all failed to win a single seat.[1]

Following this failure, the party decided to align itself more closely with the successor of the LRC, the Labour Party, and it took the name Labour Party (Scottish Section).[2] In 1909, it merged fully with the Labour Party. In 1915, a Scottish Council was formed within the Labour Party.

Election results[edit]

1900 UK general election[edit]

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position Sponsor[3]
Glasgow Camlachie Alfred Ewen Fletcher 3,107 41.7 2 ILP

By-election, 1900 - 1906[edit]

Election Candidate Votes Percentage Position Sponsor[3]
1901 North East Lanarkshire by-election Robert Smillie 2,900 21.7 3 Miners
1904 North East Lanarkshire by-election John Robertson 3,984 27.9 3 Miners

1906 UK general election[edit]

Constituency Candidate Votes Percentage Position Sponsor[3]
Falkirk Burghs David Gilmour 1,763 17.5 3 Miners
North Ayrshire James Brown 2,684 20.8 3 Miners
North East Lanarkshire John Robertson 4,658 29.2 3 Miners
North West Lanarkshire Joseph Sullivan 3,291 23.9 3 Miners
Paisley Robert Smillie 2,482 23.1 3 Miners


  1. ^ a b Frank Bealey and Henry Pelling, Labour and Politics, 1900-1906, p.296
  2. ^ Knox, William (1987). James Maxton. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 7. ISBN 0719021529.
  3. ^ a b c Frank Bealey and Henry Pelling, Labour and Politics 1900-1906, p.296