1993 Newbury by-election
The Newbury by-election, in West Berkshire, England, was held on 6 May 1993 after Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Judith Chaplin died, after only being elected the previous year. It was won by David Rendel of the Liberal Democrats with a large swing of 28.4%, and well over twice as many votes as the Conservative candidate. As with the overwhelming majority of UK by-elections, turnout was lower than at the general election – here falling from 83% to 71% (rounded).
The Newbury seat in the House of Commons.
Elected by simple majority using first past the post.
Triggered by death of incumbent
The by-election in Newbury was the first by-election of the 1992–1997 parliament, and the first in a string of by-election losses for the Conservative Party who were in their fourth consecutive term of office. Until 1993 the seat had been held by a Conservative MP since 1924.
Many independent candidates, or candidates from newly formed or minor parties stood in the by-election, with three candidates standing on an anti-Maastricht Treaty platform. Andrew Bannon, a Labour member from Slough stood as a Conservative Candidate in protest at a Conservative member standing as a Labour Candidate in the 1992 general election in Slough.
All candidates needed since 1985 to win at least 5% of the total votes to retain their deposit, which they must pay to stand for election. Every candidate apart from David Rendel and Julian Davidson lost their deposit, including Labour's Steve Billcliffe.
The by-election achieved a record of 19 candidates, beating the previous high of seventeen at the 1984 Chesterfield by-election. It remained the longest ballot paper in any Parliamentary election until the 2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election.
|Liberal Democrats||David Rendel||37,590||65.1||+27.8|
|Anti-Federalist League||Alan Sked||601||1.0||New|
|Conservative Candidate||Andrew Bannon||561||1.0||New|
|Commoners' Party||Stephen Martin||435||0.8||New|
|Monster Raving Loony||Lord David Sutch||432||0.7||New|
|Referendum Party||Robin Marlar||338||0.6||New|
|Conservative Rebel||John Browne||267||0.5||New|
|Corrective Party||Lindi St Clair||170||0.3||New|
|Maastricht Referendum for Britain||Bill Board||84||0.1||New|
|Natural Law||Michael Grenville||60||0.1||New|
|People & Pensioners Party||Johnathon Day||49||0.1||New|
|21st Century Independent Foresters||Colin Palmer||40||0.1||New|
|Defence of Children's Humanity Bosnia||Mladen Grbin||33||0.1||New|
|Communist (PCC)||Anne Murphy||32||0.1||New|
|Give the royal billions to schools||Michael Stone||21||0.1||New|
|Liberal Democrats gain from Conservative||Swing||+28.4|
General election result, 1992
This is the result of the 1992 general election in Newbury.
|Liberal Democrats||David Rendel||24,778||37.3||+5.57|
|Labour||Richard J E Hall||3,962||6.0||−2.13|
The loss of Newbury marked the beginning of a disastrous run of by-election defeats for John Major's Conservatives, as they went on to lose a further seven contests in seats they had held prior to the next general election in 1997. The result was later described by The Herald as "a major embarrassment for the Major Government", while Tim Farron would remember it as being "inspirational" for the Liberal Democrats.
- Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1992-97 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Archived from the original on 20 July 2017. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
- Mason, Chris (7 December 2012). "Analysis: Do by-elections mean anything?". BBC News. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
- "Obituary - David Rendel, MP who won stunning victory for Lib Dems". The Herald. 28 May 2016. Retrieved 2 October 2020.