The City of Portsmouth was recognised on 21st April 1926. It replaced the Borough which had been in place since 1835 when the Municipal Corporations Act came into force.
The sitting Councillors and Aldermen were assumed to have been elected to the City Council according to their three year cycles already in place. Initially the annual elections were held in the first week in November when the retiring Councillors and Aldermen were entitled to seek re-election, but whereas the Councillors had to place themselves before the electorate the Aldermen were re-elected without contest.
The information in this section is derived from "The Records of the Corporation" compiled by William Gates (1926-1935) and G.E. Barnett (1936-1945). In addition the 'Year Books', issued by the City Council to the Council Members, enabled confirmation of the serving officers in each year. The annual elections and bye-elections were not initially recorded in detail and so some extrapolation has been necessary in order to indicate the changes in membership of the two benches.
The records for the Aldermanic Bench are however more or less complete up until 1945 as we know that the Aldermen served continuously until they either died or resigned. Thereafter Aldermen were replaced by death, resignation or election until 1974 when Local Government Acts removed the Aldermanic tier altogether.
In 1974 some of the functions of the City Council were handed to Hampshire County Council; simultaneously the City were asked to elect 13 Councillors to Hampshire (as well as 48 to the City Council). The ward boundaries were slightly different for each election. This situation was reversed in 1997 when Portsmouth once again became a unitary authority. The City Council 'Year Books' from 1995-1996 onwards are not held at the City Museum and Record Office and it is not known if they were actually published.