Remembering the Bodmin Byelection: Isaac Foot and the 1922 Centenary

A symposium Remembering the Bodmin Byelection: Isaac Foot and the 1922 Centenary

Date: Wednesday 23 February 2022

Time: 14:00 – 15:30 (GMT)

Location: Online event via Zoom


This centenary symposium hosted online by the Institute of Cornish Studies explores the 1922 byelection in the context of both Cornish and British politics with speakers covering its context, the events leading to Isaac Foot winning his seat as MP for the constituency of Bodmin and his legacy.


14:00 – Introduction and Welcome by Dr Garry Tregidga, Institute of Cornish Studies, University of Exeter

14:05 – Bob Keys, Associate of the Institute of Cornish Studies

1922 In Context will look at the changing nature of British politics around the time of the byelection. Covering the long-term background including the impact of Irish Home Rule on politics, the 1906 landslide of the Liberals, the 1916 split in the Liberal party between the supporters of Asquith and Lloyd and the decline of the Liberals despite the victory of Foot at the local level.

14:25 – Professor Chris Carter, University of Edinburgh

The Rise of Isaac Foot before 1922 will trace events from Isaac Foot’s early involvement in constituency politics as parliamentary candidate at Totnes and then Bodmin in the two general elections of 1910 with particular focus on his ability to articulate his identity as a radical politician amongst the local media.

14:45 – Dr Garry Tregidga

The Byelection and its Legacy will consider Foot’s ability to exploit the growing dissatisfaction with the Coalition government along with the significance of Labour’s decision not to put forward a candidate thereby ensuring the consolidation of the non-Conservative vote. Consideration is then given to the way in which the contest helped Cornish Liberalism to survive the process of realignment taking place in British politics.

15:05 – Group discussion

15:30 – Thanks and close, Dr Garry Tregidga

15:35 – Event close


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