Category Archives: Parliamentary by-elections

Liz Leffman’s Witney campaign hits the ground running

Sal Brinton Liz Leffman Paul Walter Charlie dog at Witney by-election 24th Sep 2016

(R-L) Party President Sal Brinton, Witney candidate Liz Leffman and Paul Walter with veteran Focus delivery dog Charlie at the Witney by-election campaign HQ today

The Lib Dem Witney by-election HQ was abuzz with activity when I visited to help today. I was astonished by the busy team all set to work so early in the campaign. It was great weather for delivering leaflets. I enjoyed doing my very large bundle in Carterton, with the sound of the aircraft at Brize Norton in the background.

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Has Oldham had more parliamentary by-elections than any other place in the UK?

On Tuesday I asked: “Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?”. I genuinely didn’t know the answer to that question when I wrote that post. We had to employ Mounted Police to deal with the deluge of replies to the question. Thanks to Tim Hill for showing interest. Prompted by Tim’s enquiry, I did a bit of research and came up with the following tentative answer.

The Oldham wards of Crompton, Lees and Shaw have had more parliamentary by-elections, spread relatively frequently over two centuries, than any other part of the UK.

Those wards were part of Littleborough and Saddleworth constituency for the by-election there in 1995. They were part of Oldham East and Saddleworth for the by-election there in 2010. And they were part of the old Oldham Borough parliamentary constituency for by-elections there in:

  • 1835
  • 1852
  • 1857
  • 1862
  • 1877
  • 1899
  • 1911
  • 1925

I haven’t exhaustively researched this, so let me know in the comments thread below if you think differently. But I think it’s a fair bet, from my reading of the lists, that those three Oldham wards, or perhaps Oldham itself, have had the most by-elections when looked at over the last two centuries. The nearest contender I could find was the “Combined Scottish Universities” seat which had by-elections in 1936,1938 and 1945. If someone can point me in the direction of a list of pre-1900 by-elections that would be very helpful in nailing this question. I couldn’t find such a list.

I think that where the Oldham by-election frequency record is so impressive is that it covers a good range of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections. It’s just a shame that the current Oldham West and Royton by-election doesn’t cover those three wards mentioned above but it does cover wards in the old Oldham Borough such as Chadderton. So, you could actually say that Chadderton and other western wards have had the most by-elections but that would mainly be relying on pre-1900 by-elections. Lees, Crompton and Shaw are the wards in Oldham with the most impressive frequency of pre-1900 and post-1900 by-elections.

But you don’t get away with reading this that lightly! Please help Jane Brophy and the team at Oldham West and Royton in the next few days.

Here’s all the info you need on how to get there:

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Which piece of ground in the UK has had the most parliamentary by-elections?

Tim Farron and Paul Walter in OldhamThat is a convoluted way of crow-barring in an immodest mention of this fact: I have now helped the Liberal Democrats at three by-elections in Oldham:

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A real opportunity at Oldham West and Royton

image
I spent the weekend helping Jane Brophy’s campaign at Oldham West and Royton. Here are some of my observations in random order:

  • Jane Brophy is an excellent candidate with a proven campaigning track record.
  • There is a fantastic, young and enthusiastic team running the campaign – working extremely hard.
  • We are fighting in what is a “development constituency” for us – which means there are great gains to be had in terms of new members and supporters to be recruited.
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Rochester & Strood by-election: Ukip win, Lib Dems lose 11th deposit

Mark Reckless won his bid to be re-elected an MP under the UKIP banner last night, following his eve-of-conference defection from the Conservatives. That this wasn’t at all a surprise — the swing from the Tories to UKIP was 28% — says something about the febrile dynamics of politics at the moment. Support for Labour in a seat they held until 2010 also slumped. Geoff Juby for the Lib Dems trailed in fifth place behind the Greens, having shed some nine-tenths of the party’s May 2010 vote. This was Lib Dems’ 11th lost deposit of the parliament.

Here are the votes:

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Newark by-election: what I told BBC’s Daily Politics

imageI got a call from the BBC’s Daily Politics this morning asking if I’d be willing to pitch up this lunchtime to discuss the Lib Dem performance, as the party wasn’t willing to put up anyone official. (Labour didn’t either.) I duly did so and you can see what I said below. If you want to skip Grant Shapps and Roger Helmer, I pop up briefly at the 12 minute mark. As ever, you only really get to string together a couple of sentences: I blogged my fuller views on Newark …

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Newark by-election: Tories win well, Ukip falls short, Labour dips, Lib Dems collapse

Phot @bbcalexforsyth newark by-electionA lot of politics is about momentum. At the moment it’s the Tories who have it. Not quite the Big Mo, but a Moderate Mo that’s growing.

Here are the results of last night’s Newark by-election:

    Robert Jenrick (Con) 17,431 (45.03%, -8.82%)
    Roger Helmer (UKIP) 10,028 (25.91%, +22.09%)
    Michael Payne (Lab) 6,842 (17.68%, -4.65%)
    Paul Baggaley (Ind) 1,891 (4.89%)
    David Kirwan (Green) 1,057 (2.73%)
    David Watts (LD) 1,004 (2.59%, -17.41%)
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