Nancy Astor is first woman elected

By United Press
Nancy Astor is first woman elected
Portrait of Lady Nancy Astor from 1908-09. File Image by John Singer Sargent

PLYMOUTH, Eng. -- Lady Nancy Astor has been elected to the house of commons, it was announced officially today.

The official announcement showed the following vote:


Lady Astor, 14,495; Gay, 9,292; Foot, 4,139.

Lady Nancy's majority was 1,064 -- almost 4,000 less than she had predicted.

Celebration of announcement

PLYMOUTH, Eng. -- The official result of the parliamentary by-elections of November 15, at which Lady Nancy Astor was a candidate to succeed to her husband's former seat in the house of commons, was to be announced from the balcony of the town hall here shortly before noon today.

Election of the American born "Gibson girl," who before her marriage was Nancy Langhorne, a famous Virginia beauty, was virtually conceded by everybody. Plymouth, however, was prepared to make a holiday of the formal announcement of the balloting. Great crowds were expected to be on hand to hear the reading of the vote.


Lady Nancy's opponents, Isaac Foote, liberal, and W.T. Gay, laborite, had little hope the official result would improve their showing.

The by-election resulted from succession of Viscount Waldorf Astor, former member of parliament from the Sutton division, to his father's title upon the death of the elder viscount. Lady Nancy, after urgent solicitation from her friends, agreed to enter the race for her husband's seat as the first woman candidate ever to ask for membership in the commons.

Following announcement of her election today, Lady Nancy will receive from the mayor a certificate of election, which has to be lodged with the speaker of the house of commons before a seat can be taken in the "mother of parliaments."

Usually the successful candidate takes the certificate to the speaker in person, but if he or she is not present at the declaration it is posted.

Since parliament is in session, Lady Astor may be able to assume her seat Monday, December 1. Parliament does not sit on Saturday.

Delay in announcing the result of the election was caused by a new election law passed last year to enable votes of soldiers serving abroad to be registered.

Welcomed with open arms


LONDON -- Commons is ready to welcome Lady Nancy Astor, its first woman member, with open arms. The commoners have allocated one of their pleasantest rooms, overlooking a terrace, in which is a "boudoir sitting romo" for the first lady M.P. A neat notice board near the door reads:

"Women members only."

Lady Nancy also will be allowed a smoking room, if she wishes, a library, reading, tea and dining room.

The question of hats still was unsolved today, but it was not considered of paramount importance since the house rules require a member to remain covered only when rising to a point of order.

Sister is glad

NEW YORK -- "It's great. But we all knew she would in," said Mrs. Charles Dana Gibson today in commenting on the election of her sister, Lady Nancy Astor, to the British house of commons. "I am confident, too, that she will make just as great a success of this as she has of everything she has ever undertaken in life," Mrs. Gibson continued. "There will undoubtedly be in the future many other women elected to parliament, but no greater honor could have come to my sister than that of being the first."


When told that the commons had offered a library, reading, tea and dining room for Lady Astor, Mrs. Gibson remarked, "what rot!"

She also said that the Plymouth M.P. will not need a smoking room because she doesn't smoke.

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