List of UK Parliamentary election petitions

An election petition is a petition challenging the result of an election to a United Kingdom Parliament constituency. The Parliamentary Elections Act 1868 transferred the jurisdiction for considering petitions from the House of Commons to the High Court of Justice. The following table lists all those petitions which subsequently came to trial.

Glossary (by columns)

  • Election: The year of a general election, or the full date of a by-election.
  • Constituency: The parliamentary constituency concerned.
  • Petitioner: The person or people bringing the petition and challenging the election.
  • Respondent: The defendant in the case. The elected MP was always a respondent; if procedural irregularity was alleged, the Returning Officer could be added.
  • 'Bribery, etc.' : It was routine for election petitions in the 19th century brought on grounds of bribery also to make accusations of treating and undue influence. Some petitions were apparently written using boilerplate text.
  • Personation: One person knowingly voting in the name of another.
  • Scrutiny of votes: A process where the votes were recounted, the eligibility of each voter was checked, and ineligible votes struck off.
  • Treating: The act of giving free food and drink with intent to persuade the recipient to vote for a particular candidate.
  • Undue influence: Any attempt to win votes by threats.
  • Duly elected: The court upheld the election, and declared the sitting Member the rightful winner. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured green in the table.
  • Undue election: The court found that the person who was elected had not won the election, but that another candidate had the majority of lawful votes, and therefore declared the other candidate elected. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured red in the table.
  • Void election: The court found that the election had not been conducted fairly, and annulled the result. This meant that the seat was vacant and another election had to be held to fill it. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured purple in the table.
  • Withdrawn: The judges allowed the petitioner to withdraw the case, and the election result stood. As petitioners might be induced to withdraw a petition by a further act of corruption, the judges had to give permission on the basis that they were satisfied no corrupt consideration was involved. One of four possible outcomes of a petition trial; coloured yellow in the table.
  • Agent: Anyone acting directly or indirectly on behalf of the candidates; not merely the election agent but anyone employed by them. Many cases turned on whether a person proved to have carried out illegal activity was an agent (voiding the election) or was acting independently.
  • Recriminatory case: Where a petition was presented by a defeated candidate claiming to have been the rightful winner (and not that the election be declared void), it was open to the Respondent to bring forward accusations against their election campaign.
  • Relief: If certain aspects of election law have been broken through inadvertence, it is possible for those involved to be relieved from the consequences of breaking the law. The effect of relief is as if the breach of the law never occurred.
  • Special case: Where the dispute in an election petition concerned the law and not the facts, it was referred to three Judges of the High Court (England and Wales), the Court of Session (Scotland) or the High Court of Northern Ireland.

Election Petitions tried from 1868 to 1883

1868BelfastJames M'Tier and Charles Murray ArundellThomas McClureBribery, etc.Duly electedThe Judge did not believe voters who claimed to have been bribed. McClure's campaign had given £200 to support William Johnston's campaign for the other seat, which appeared to be corrupt spending intended to help McClure, but did not fall within the legal definition of bribery.1 O'M & H 281; Fitzgerald p. 19-27; HCP 1869 120-I p. 214-217
1868BeverleyLuke Hind, John Armstrong and Joseph DannattSir Henry Edwards and Edmund Hegan KennardBribery, etc.Void electionAt least 800 and up to 1,000 people were bribed.1 O'M & H 143; HCP 1869 120 p. 2-6
1868BewdleyCharles Sturge and John BaldwinSir Richard Atwood GlassBribery, etc.Void electionGlass's campaign paid for free drink to be provided in 19 or 20 public houses in the borough during the election, and the agent submitted an inaccurate return of election expenses to hide it. Bribery was not proved. There was no evidence that Glass expected this treating.1 O'M & H 16; HCP 1869 120 p. 6-11
1868BlackburnJohn Gerald Potter and Montague Joseph FeildenWilliam Henry Hornby and Joseph FeildenBribery, etc.Void electionAllegations of bribery and treating were abandoned, but it was found that workmen in mills in the borough owned by supporters of Hornby and Feilden who supported their opponents, were sacked or prevented from working. Neither candidate nor their agent were responsible; no order as to costs.1 O'M & H 198; HCP 1869 120 p. 11-25
1868BodminRichard Adams, Abraham Hambly, and James FellHon. Edward Frederick Leveson-GowerBribery, etc.Duly electedWilliam Grose did give a meal in Lanivet for supporters of Leveson-Gower, but it was frugal and involved few people, so did not appear to be corrupt treating.1 O'M & H 117; HCP 1869 120 p. 25-35
1868Bradford (No. 1)John Haley, Charles Hastings, Angus Holden, Titus Salt Jr.Henry William RipleyBribery, etc.Void electionRipley was found to have given his agent an unlimited bank account, which was used to keep 115 public houses open supplying drink to voters who would vote for Ripley.1 O'M & H 30; HCP 1869 120 p. 35-39
1868Bradford (No. 2)Samuel Storey and Thomas GarnettWilliam Edward ForsterBribery, etc.Duly electedEvidence of bribery by cash gifts was described by the Judges as "beneath contempt", and while refreshments were provided for campaign workers, this was not corrupt as all of them had always intended to vote for Forster.1 O'M & H 35; HCP 1869 120 p. 39-44
1868BreconDr. Thomas Prestwood Lucas and Mordecai JonesHowel GwynBribery, etc.Void electionJohn New, a spy from the Lucas and Jones's party, had received a bribe from someone known to be an agent of Gwyn.1 O'M & H 212; HCP 1869 120-I p. 219
1868BridgwaterHenry Westropp and Charles William GreyAlexander William Kinglake and Philip VanderbylBribery, etc.Void electionIt was established that voters had been given cash by Henry Chapman Bussell, who was clearly acting for Kinglake and Vanderbyl.1 O'M & H 112, HCP 1869 120 p. 44-46
1868CarrickfergusRobert TorrensMarriott Robert DalwayBribery, etc.Duly electedAssaults on two voters were not part of deliberate intimidation. Food and drink did not appear to be given corruptly. No order as to costs.1 O'M & H 264; HCP 1869 120-I p. 219-227
1868CashelHenry MunsterJames Lyster O'BeirneBribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votesVoid electionO'Beirne was found to have bribed voters under the guise of paying claims from previous elections and room hire charges. A recriminatory case found that Munster had also committed bribery by his agents.1 O'M & H 286; Fitzgerald p. 28-48; HCP 1869 120-I p. 228-235
1868CheltenhamJames Tynte Agg-GardnerHenry Bernhard SamuelsonBribery, etc.Duly electedA prize-fighter had been employed on behalf of Samuelson to intimidate voters, but there was no general riot. Some voters had had their rates paid to qualify them as electors, but it was not proved that Samuelson was responsible.1 O'M & H 62; HCP 1869 120 p. 46-52
1868CoventryThomas Berry Bishop and 31 othersHenry William Eaton and Alexander Staveley HillBribery, etc.Duly electedEaton's agreement to pay Hill's election expenses was not illegal. Any food and drink was supplied with a total absence of corrupt design. The weight of evidence was against bribery having occurred. No order as to costs.1 O'M & H 97; HCP 1869 120 p. 53-69
1868DoverJohn HelliottMajor Alexander George DicksonBribery, etc.WithdrawnWitnesses expected to prove the charges were unbelievable and the Petitioner successfully applied to withdraw the case.1 O'M & H 210; HCP 1869 120 p. 69
1868DroghedaSir Francis Leopold M'ClintockBenjamin WhitworthUndue influenceVoid electionWhitworth was found to have organised a system of intimidation through the Roman Catholic clergy of the borough.1 O'M & H 252; HCP 1869 120-I p. 320-332
1868Dublin City (No. 1)Thomas Woodlock and George FoleySir Arthur Edward Guinness, Bt.Bribery, etc.Void electionBribery of 30-40 freemen was proved. 41 voters living outside Dublin were also bribed by promises of payment of their travelling expenses.1 O'M & H 270; HCP 1869 120 p. 69-90
1868Galway BoroughThomas M'GovernLord St Lawrence and Sir Rowland Blennerhasset, Bt.Bribery, etc.Duly electedPayments to voters had been reckless but had been voters taking advantage of the candidates rather than bribes. The Roman Catholic clergy had the right to address their congregations on the merits of the candidates. No order as to costs.1 O'M & H 303; HCP 1869 120 p. 332-351
1868GreenockWilliam Dougal ChristieJames Johnston GrieveBribery, etc.; illegal arrangements for pollingDuly electedThe Sheriff as Returning Officer had taken the advice of the town clerk and polling places were not in accordance with the law, but it did not affect the result. The Judge found the claims of bribed voters to be of no consequence.1 O'M & H 247; HCP 1869 120 p. 91-99
1868GuildfordWilliam Edward Elkins and othersGuildford Hillier Mainwaring Ellerker OnslowBribery, etc.Duly electedTwo non-resident voters had had their travel expenses paid but it was not proved that the person sending the money was an agent. Drink was supplied by debating societies, not the candidate. No bribery was shown. No order as to costs.1 O'M 13; HCP 1869 120 p. 99-106
1868Hastings (No. 1)Edward Barker Sutton and Robert RansomFrederick NorthBribery, etc.Duly electedBrassey's lavish spending on his household was not illegal even if it intended to influence the election; to be illegal it must aim at a particular vote. An association set up by North and Brassey's party to encourage registration of their voters paid the voters for time off to register and gave them refreshments, but this was not bribery or treating when they came to vote many months later.1 O'M & H 217; HCP 1869 120-I p. 235-242
1868Hastings (No. 2)Hon. Colonel Calthorpe and Clement Arthur ThrustonThomas BrasseyBribery, etc.Duly elected
1868HerefordFrancis Henry Thomas, Josiah Webbe Goldsworthy, and John CleaveGeorge Clive and John William Shaw WyllieBribery, etc.Void electionA breakfast was given by one Harrison for anyone who wanted to have a drink; it was established that he was an agent for Clive and Wyllie, although they were unaware of it.1 O'M & H 194; HCP 1869 120 p. 106-113
1868HorshamRobert Henry HurstJohn AldridgeScrutiny of votesUndue electionThe candidates polled the same number of votes and had both been returned. The respondent Aldridge did not defend his claim on the seat.HCP 1869 120-I p. 399.
1868King's LynnWilliam Armes and George HolditchHon. Robert BourkeBribery, etc.Duly electedOnly one allegation of a bribed voter would require an answer; there the evidence was contradicted.1 O'M & H 206; HCP 1869 120 p. 113-115
1868LichfieldMajor Hon. Augustus Henry Archibald AnsonColonel Richard DyottBribery, etc.Duly electedIndividual accusations of bribery were made, which did not show organised corruption. The individual cases were unbelievable. One landlord did supply free food in order to create good will for his pub, but not at the instigation of the candidate.1 O'M & H 22; HCP 1869 120 p. 115-123
1868Limerick CityDaniel Ryan, Thomas M'Knight, Mathew Brennan, Robert Stacpool, Thomas M'Namara, and Denis GrimesMajor George Gavin and Francis William RussellBribery, etc.Duly electedNo proof of bribery could be found; evidence of refreshments did not show they were given to influence votes. The respondents had summoned a mob, paid by being given £300-£400 of beer, to defend them from what they reasonably suspected to be an attempt to attack them. No order as to costs.1 O'M & H 260; Fitzgerald p. 2-18; HCP 1869 120-I p. 243-248
1868Londonderry CityDavid John M'Gown and George David ChristieRichard DowseBribery, etc.Duly electedPeople employed in the election had been paid wages but had all promised votes to Dowse long before. No evidence was offered to support allegations of intimidation.1 O'M & H 274; HCP 1869 120-I p. 249-260
1868ManchesterFrederic Royse and Charles WrightHugh BirleyDisqualificationDuly electedBirley was a partner in a company which held two contracts with the Government. One of the contracts had been fully delivered by the time of the election, and although the company had not been paid, it was held to have been a completed and finished contract. Birley did not know of the other contract. Special case.HCP 1869 120-I p. 260-268
1868Norfolk, NorthernEdward ColmanHon. Frederick Walpole and Sir Edmund Henry Knowles Lacon, Bt.Bribery, etc.; employing person reported guilty of corrupt practiceDuly electedA man named Preston had previously been reported guilty of corrupt practices but had only chaired public meetings and proposed Lacon as a candidate, which was not illegal. Bribery claims were not made out. A squire had given a dinner to his tenants to celebrate after the election, to increase his influence unconnected with the candidates.1 O'M & H 236; HCP 1869 120-I p. 269-282
1868NorthallertonJasper Wilson JohnsJohn HuttonBribery, etc.; scrutiny of votesDuly electedThe scrutiny confirmed Hutton's victory. Hutton made no corrupt promises, the treating alleged amounted only to a suspicion about a single glass of beer and a cigar, and the intimidation amounted only to a squabble between two people.1 O'M & H 167; HCP 1869 120-I p. 283-285
1868NorwichJacob Henry TillettSir Henry Josias Stracey, Bt.Bribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votesVoid electionIt was proved that a man called Hardiment had bribed voters to support Stracey, and he was definitely an agent. The petitioner did not press his claim to the seat on a scrutiny.1 O'M & H 8; HCP 1869 120 p. 123-127
1868OldhamJohn Morgan Coblett, Frederick Lowton Spinks, Thomas Evan Lees and John BentleyJohn Tomlinson Hibbert and John PlattScrutiny of votesWithdrawnSeveral votes given by wrongly registered electors were struck off; other tendered votes were held good, but after six days the petitioners accepted that Platt had a majority of one vote.1 O'M & H 151; HCP 1869 120 p. 127-128
1868Penryn and FalmouthRobert Richard Broad and othersRobert Nicholas Fowler and Edward Backhouse EastwickBribery, etc.Duly electedVoters had not been employed in order to influence their votes; an attempt to prove a deaf voter had been promised a cure if he supported Fowler and Backhouse broke down in court.1 O'M & H 127; HCP 1869 120 p. 128-137
1868SalfordRoderick Anderson; Jesse Bryant; and Edward Charlton HardingCharles Edward Cawley and William Thomas CharleyBribery, etc.; hiring cabs to convey voters to the pollDuly electedThe cabs were to convey canvassers to workplaces. The respondents hired a gang of roughs after hearing rumours about Irish interference, which the Judges criticised. 2s. 6d. of bribery by an agent was proved in isolated acts, but this did not upset the election.1 O'M & H 133; HCP 1869 120 p. 138-144
1868SalisburyGranville Richard RyderEdward William Terrick HamiltonVotes were cast by people wrongly registeredDuly electedSmall tenant farmers, whose rates were compounded and paid by their landlords, were entitled to register. Special case.HCP 1869 120-I p. 286-289
1868Sligo BoroughMichael Foley and Joseph FoleyMajor Lawrence Edward KnoxBribery, etc.Void electionProof of bribery of many voters, by a man named Cherry on behalf of Major Knox, was established. There was also a system of intimidation and violence was practiced by large mobs opposed to Knox.1 O'M & H 300; HCP 1869 120 p. 144-155
1868SouthamptonAlfred PeglerThe Rt Hon. Russell Gurney, Q.C. and Peter Merrick HoareBribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votesDuly electedSome voters' sons were employed to help in the election, but this employment was not corrupt. A cabman hired for election day and paid his normal fare was not bribery. The scrutiny and a recriminatory case were abandoned.1 O'M & H 222; HCP 1869 120-I p. 289-294
1868Stafford (No. 1)Richard Croft ChawnerColonel Walter MellerBribery, etc.Void electionAn agent of Meller had put names of voters down on a list for payments after the election, if there were funds available. Meller was not personally involved. A recriminatory case established that Chawner had appointed a corrupt agent and was therefore disqualified from election.1 O'M & H 228; HCP 1869 120-I p. 295-302
1868Stafford (No. 2)Joseph Wile and Thomas SmallmanHenry Davis PochinBribery, etc.Void electionFive or six men were deterred from voting by threats of violence from a mob. Pochin was not personally responsible.
1868StalybridgeJames Ogden, John Woolley and Abel BuckleyJames SidebottomBribery, etc.Duly electedThe evidence of treating at two pubs was not trustworthy. There was no evidence that intimidation was instigated by the candidates. One voter was promised a day's wages to vote for Sidebottom, but by two volunteers.1 O'M & H 66; HCP 1869 120 p. 156-162
1868Tamworth (No. 1)John Hill and Thomas WattonSir Robert Peel, Bt. and Sir Henry Lytton Bulwer, Bt.Bribery, etc.Duly electedClaims of personal bribery by Peel were groundless, and Peel's land agent Carmichael had not bribed either. Bulwer had allowed his agent Barraclough to hire men to keep the peace on polling day, and Barraclough had hired 130 (many more than necessary), but this was done without approval.1 O'M & H 75; HCP 1869 120 p. 163-183
1868Taunton (No. 2)Thomas Meredith Williams and Joseph MellorMr. Serjeant Edward William CoxBribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votesUndue electionAn association had been formed for registering voters. A long time after the registration, the association paid voters 5s. each for registering; no check was made for what anyone had done for the money. The candidates worked closely with the association. When the corrupted votes were struck off, Henry James had a majority and was duly elected.1 O'M & H 181; HCP 1869 120 p. 352-357
1868WallingfordSir Charles Wentworth Dilke, Bt.Stanley VickersBribery, etc.Duly electedSeven voters living outside the town were invited to the house of Deacon, an agent of Vickers, who gave them food and drink and took them to vote in his carriage, but there was no corrupt intention.1 O'M & H 57; HCP 1869 120 p. 184-189
1868WarringtonMiles Crozier and othersPeter RylandsIrregular taking of votes at one polling boothDuly electedThere had been confusion at the No. 1 polling booth in the south-east of the town, and for an hour votes were incorrectly recorded or not recorded at all. However it was the legal duty of the voters to make sure their votes were recorded properly.1 O'M & H 42; HCP 1869 120 p. 189-191
1868WestburyAbraham LavertonJohn Lewis PhippsBribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votesVoid electionJoseph Harrop, a manufacturer in the town, told his employees that they would be dismissed if they voted for Laverton who was his business rival. A recriminatory case against Laverton failed but brought forward serious evidence.1 O'M & H 47; HCP 1869 120 p. 191-197
1868WestminsterJames Beal and othersWilliam Henry SmithBribery, etc.Duly electedSmith spent an enormous amount to pay shopkeepers to display his posters, but without an intention to bribe the shopkeepers. Campaign workers were supplied with food and drink, but only ordinary meals.1 O'M & H 89; HCP 1869 120 p. 198-202
1868Wexford BoroughJohn Sutton, Thomas Edward Cavanagh, John Wheelock, James Jones, Patrick Brian, and Michael HughesRichard Joseph DevereuxReturning Officer wrongly accepted withdrawal of a candidateVoid electionA show of hands went in favour of Standish Motte, and a poll was demanded. Motte then withdrew, and the Returning Officer subsequently declared Devereux elected; he had no authority to do so. A poll should have been held. Special case.HCP 1869 120 p. 202-203
1868WiganDaniel Brayshay and William AtkinsonHenry Woods and John LancasterBribery, etc.Duly electedAn employee of the political association formed in the town to support Woods and Lancaster had corruptly paid the rates of one voter, but he was not acting as their agent in this action.1 O'M & H 188; HCP 1869 120 p. 203-207
1868WindsorColonel Robert Richardson GardnerRoger EykynBribery, etc.Duly electedA voter who had previously promised Eykyn his vote subsequently was given £1 to help him after his two children died, but this was an isolated gift and not a bribe. Eykyn chaired the Odd Fellows Society and had paid for wine at its annual dinner, but it was a non-political occasion.1 O'M & H 1; HCP 1869 120 p. 208-212
1868Yorkshire (West Riding), SouthernHon. Francis Dudley Stuart Wortley and George Wilton ChambersViscount Milton and Henry Frederick BeaumontBribery, etc.WithdrawnA list containing voters alleged to have been bribed was delivered to the respondents too late and was inadmissible. A recriminatory case established that railway fares were paid to allow farmers in Penistone to come to Sheffield to vote, but they would have gone to market on that day in any case. The second petition was withdrawn before any evidence was offered.1 O'M & H 213; HCP 1869 120-I p. 303-304
1868Yorkshire (West Riding), SouthernWalter Thomas William Spencer StanhopeHenry Frederick BeaumontBribery, etc.Withdrawn
1868YoughalJohn Welling BrasierChristopher WeguelinBribery, etc.Void electionFrom the time he proclaimed himself a candidate until the dissolution of Parliament, Weguelin had offered drink to voters to get their support. The Judge obtained a ruling by the Court of Common Pleas that this was corrupt treating even if halted at dissolution.1 O'M & H 291; HCP 1869 120 p. 304-320
11 March 1869BewdleyHon. Augustus Henry Archibald AnsonJohn Cunliffe Pickersgill CunliffeScrutiny of votesUndue electionAnson established that some voters had wrongly been registered and had voted; when their votes were struck off he had a majority of eight. A counter-charge of bribery was withdrawn.1 O'M & H 174; HCP 1869 120-I p. 217-219
16 June 1869NottinghamLawrence Torr and othersCharles SeelyBribery, etc.; RiotingDuly electedEvidence of bribery did not establish it was done by the candidate's agents. A single voter was prevented by fear from voting but there was no general riot.1 O'M & H 245; HCP 1872 268 p. 131-133
22 November 1869Waterford CityJohn Slattery and Daniel CarriganSir Henry Winston Barron, Bt.Bribery, etc.Void electionSir Henry had appointed his cousin, Marcus Barron, as his agent; Marcus Barron had arranged for extensive bribery to be carried out by Nathaniel Allen.2 O'M & H 1; HCP 1872 268 p. 145-150
31 December 1869LongfordThomas Broderick, Michael Lynch, Alexander Birne, and Edward DugganHon. Reginald Greville-NugentFailure to give proper notice of election; Bribery, etc.Void electionThe Judge thought the sheriff was entitled to proclaim the election on 27 December after receiving the writ on 24 December. There was "unusual violence" around the election but no proof of intimidation. There was a systematic system of corrupt treating.2 O'M & H 6; HCP 1872 268 p. 86-103
3 February 1870MallowMajor Lawrence Edward KnoxHenry MunsterBribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votesVoid election22 out of the 47 publicans in the borough were given orders to distribute free food and drink, and all voted for Munster despite some having previously opposed him. Knox was unable to strike off enough votes to prove himself the winner.2 O'M & H 18; HCP 1872 268 p. 103-113
25 February 1870Waterford CityThomas Condon and Michael O'SheaRalph Bernal OsborneBribery, etc.Duly electedClaims of undue influence by landlords, employers and spiritual intimidation were abandoned at trial. Claims of corrupt offers were not believed.2 O'M & H 24; HCP 1872 268 p. 151-157
28 February 1870Tipperary CountyPatrick Mackay and Thomas Patrick O'ConnorDenis Caulfield HeronBribery, etc.; interruption of telegramsDuly electedAll charges but those relating to bribery and undue influence were abandoned at trial. There was insufficient evidence of bribery and the Roman Catholic clergy were exercising legitimate influence.2 O'M & H 31; HCP 1872 268 p. 140-145
29 March 1870BristolJames Brett, Frederick Meers, Henry Matthews, and George PalmerElisha Smith RobinsonBribery, etc.Void electionPrior to the election, a test ballot had taken place between three candidates of Robinson's party to determine which of them should be nominated. It was proved that Robinson organised corrupt treating at this election. A special case determined that treating at the test ballot would void the subsequent election.2 O'M & H 27; HCP 1872 268 p. 8-19
13 July 1870NorwichGardener Christopher StevensJacob Henry TillettBribery, etc.; employment of corrupt agent; candidate previously guilty of briberyVoid electionTillett had run in the 1868 election with Sir William Russell, who employed Orlando Dennis Ray as agent; Ray had been reported guilty of bribery.2 O'M & H 38; HCP 1872 268 p. 113-130
19 July 1870Brecon (No. 1)Overton and MainwaringJames Price William Gwynne HolfordBribery, etc.Duly electedThe petitioners attempted to withdraw the petition before trial but were not in time. No evidence was offered.2 O'M & H 33; HCP 1872 268 p. 4-6
19 July 1870Brecon (No. 2)Richard Watkins and J. WatkinsJames Price William Gwynne HolfordBribery, etc.Duly electedAfter the previous petition had been dismissed, Holford's mother (with his knowledge) organised a party to celebrate his election win. The attendees included some who had voted against him and the party had not been thought of until after the election.2 O'M & H 43; HCP 1872 268 p. 6-8
21 September 1870ShrewsburyButtress, Cock, Davies and WhitwellDouglas StraightBribery, etc.Duly electedThe pub owned by a Mr Townsend was used by Straight for the election, and he gave suppers to supporters of Straight, but it was not directed at encouraging voting.2 O'M & H 36; HCP 1872 268 p. 133-140
1 April 1872Galway CountyHon. William De La Poer TrenchJohn Philip NolanTreating; undue influence; candidate disqualified as previously guilty of corrupt practicesUndue electionThe Archbishop, suffragan bishop and majority of parish priests in the Roman Catholic Church of the county were held to have used all influence to overthrow all free will. A special case decided that notices put up by Trench alerting voters to Nolan's previous involvement in treating were sufficient to inform voters that he was disqualified.2 O'M & H 46; HCP 1872 268 p. 20-85
8 May 1873GloucesterSir William Vernon Guise, Bt., William Philip Price, William Charles Lucy, Herry Allen, and John Pleydell WiltonWilliam Killigrew WaitBribery, etc.; personationDuly electedClaims of bribery and treating were abandoned. Two men of the same name were registered in one street, only one of them qualified; the right one had voted. The under-age son of a voter had been persuaded to vote in his father's name but the canvasser was unaware he was not the right man.2 O'M & H 59; HCP 1874 374 p. 75-79
14 October 1873TauntonJohn Marshall and Walter Chorley BrannanHenry JamesBribery, etc.Duly electedBribery by a man named Rollings was shown, but it could not be established that Rollings was an agent of James.2 O'M & H 66; HCP 1874 374 p. 150-154
1874AthloneEdward SheilJohn James Ennis and Walter NugentReturning officer wrongly rejected votesUndue electionThe original result had given both candidates 140 votes. 21 clear votes for Sheil and 9 for Ennis placed the cross in the wrong place on the ballot paper. The court held that they should have been counted and not rejected, giving Sheil a majority. Special case. No order as to costs.2 O'M & H 186; HCP 1874 374 p. 3-6
1874BarnstapleJohn Fleming and John HoltThomas Cave and Samuel Danks WaddyBribery, etc.Duly electedThe Judges did not believe witnesses who accused the candidates of bribery. Evidence of intimidation by landlords was contradicted.2 O'M & H 105; HCP 1874 374 p. 6-12
1874BoltonJames Ormrod, William Hargreaves, Thomas Lever Rushton, William Walter Cannon, Nathaniel Greenhalgh, Charles Henry Houldon, William HeskethJohn Kynaston CrossBribery, etc.; unlawful communication of names of votersDuly electedIt was illegal for personation agents in polling stations to inform the candidate who had voted, but it did not upset the election. Giving railway passes to allow people to come in and vote was not bribery.2 O'M & H 138; HCP 1874 374 p. 12-18
1874BostonJohn Wingfield MalcolmWilliam James Ingram and Thomas ParryBribery, etc.; Scrutiny of votesUndue election877 voters received gifts of coal from agents of Parry with intent to influence their votes; several voters at the Bull Inn were treated by Henry Cabourn Simonds. When votes of those who received coal were struck off, Malcolm had a majority. A special case established this approach to deciding the case was correct.2 O'M & H 161; HCP 1874 374 p. 19-30; HCP 1875 342 p. 3-11
1874DroghedaMorton and othersDr. William Hagerty O'Leary and Mr DalyBribery, etc.; irregular procedure for voting and maintaining secrecyDuly electedCharges of corrupt practices were withdrawn. The poll opening was delayed by 45 minutes but no voter was prevented from voting. A special case found that, despite the voters' marked papers being visible to others within the polling station, no unauthorised person saw them.2 O'M & H 201; HCP 1874 374 p. 31-50
1874DudleyBenjamin Hingley, Edward Bowen, Josiah Robinson, and Thomas FoxallHenry Brinsley SheridanRiotingVoid electionVoid at common law because of rioting by both sides; the only reason there was more violence from Sheridan's side was that he had more riotous supporters.2 O'M & H 115; HCP 1874 374 p. 50-51
1874Durham CityJames and anotherJohn Henderson and Thomas Charles ThompsonBribery, etc.Void electionSeveral voters had been bribed by John Heaton, John Newton and Charles Dawson who were agents of Henderson and Thompson; Heaton, Newton and Thomas Marshall were also guilty of corrupt treating. The candidates were unaware.2 O'M & H 134; HCP 1874 374 p. 51-56
1874Durham, NorthernBurdon and othersIsaac Lowthian Bell and Charles Mark PalmerBribery, etc.; riot and intimidationVoid electionThe charges of corruption by the agent were rebutted, but there was intimidation in many towns: it took the form of shopkeepers being told they would lose custom if they did not vote in line with their customers, opposition committee rooms being wrecked and houses attacked.2 O'M & H 152; HCP 1874 374 p. 57-61
1874Galway BoroughPierce Joyce, jun.Francis Hugh O'DonnellBribery, etc.; employment of corrupt agentVoid electionA system of intimidation was organised by O'Donnell and mob violence used to intimidate voters. O'Donnell was assisted by some of the Catholic priests reported guilty of undue influence in the Galway County petition in 1872.2 O'M & H 196; HCP 1874 374 p. 62-74
1874HackneyWilliam John GillSir Charles Reed, John Holms, and Henry ChildFailure to hold a poll at some polling placesVoid electionThe returning officer had designated 19 polling places. In several of them ballot boxes and ballot papers were not available and no poll was taken; others opened late. At least 4,838 electors were unable to vote out of an electorate of 40,870.2 O'M & H 77; HCP 1874 374 p. 79-83
1874HaverfordwestThomas Whicher DaviesLord Kensington and William Lewis HardingRefusal to accept nominationVoid electionThe returning officer, Harding, refused to accept Davies as a candidate unless he gave a £40 deposit against the costs of a contested election (which at this point fell on candidates). Davies declined and was not accepted as a candidate, so Kensington was returned unopposed. The returning officer had no power to insist on a deposit. Special case.HCP 1874 374 p. 84-92
1874KidderminsterJames Youngjohns and Charles ThomasAlbert GrantBribery, etc.Void electionGrant had been invited to contest the seat at the last minute. On the eve of poll he gave a speech promising "an entertainment" if he won, and after winning he made the same promise. A grand fête costing £1,480 was later held. This constituted corrupt treating.2 O'M & H 170; HCP 1874 374 p. 92-99
1874LauncestonHerbert Charles DrinkwaterJames Henry DeakinBribery, etc.; candidate disqualified through corrupt practice; Scrutiny of votesVoid electionDeakin, a landowner, had allowed his tenants to kill rabbits on his estate, and sell them; this was a form of bribery. Drinkwater had published a notice declaring his actions corrupt and asserting that Deakin was thereby disqualified. The judges agreed it was corrupt. A special case determined that the notice did not automatically nullify votes for Deakin.2 O'M & H 129; HCP 1874 374 p. 99-118
1874MayoSir George Clendining O'DonelGeorge Ekins Browne, Thomas Tighe, and Joseph PrattRefusal to accept nominationVoid electionThe returning officer, Pratt, refused to accept O'Donel as a candidate despite his otherwise valid nomination, because he had not appointed an election agent. The returning officer had no right to do so and ought to have held a poll. Special case.2 O'M & H 191; HCP 1874 374 p. 119-123
1874PetersfieldHenry John Dayrell StoweHon. Sydney Hylton JolliffeBribery, etc.; voting by ineligible people; Scrutiny of votesDuly electedA house was let to a voter years before on the promise of a vote in return; reminding him of the promise without a threat was not undue influence and the letting was too long ago to constitute bribery. A recriminatory case was abandoned. On a special case, Insufficient ineligible voters were found to upset Jolliffe's majority.2 O'M & H 94; HCP 1874 374 p. 123-130
1874Poole (No. 1)Charles Hurdle and Henry StarkCharles WaringBribery, etc.Void electionThe agent received bills for drink and refreshment supplied during the election, which were paid. Beer had been ordered after the election by Waring's agents and given away free. Because neither was a spontaneous act, this was corrupt treating.2 O'M & H 123; HCP 1874 374 p. 130-140
1874Poole (No. 2)Hiram Young and John RennisonBribery, etc.; payments after the election
1874RenfrewshireCharles Edward Irvin and James MacgregorColonel William MureRecountDuly electedThe recount increased Mure's majority from 88 to 91. 22 irregularly marked ballots were found, with clear intentions of 8 to vote for Mure and 14 for the runner-up Colonel Campbell. They made no difference to the result.2 O'M & H 213; HCP 1874 374 p. 141
1874StroudBaynes and othersSebastian Stewart Dickinson and Walter John StantonBribery, etc.Void electionAn agent of the respondents, Smith, openly organised treating and entertainments as part of the campaign, probably in ignorance of the law. When this was proved the two MPs abandoned their defence save to establish that they had neither authorised it nor known about it.2 O'M & H 107; HCP 1874 374 p. 142-143
1874WakefieldWilliam Hartley Lee and Isaac BriggsEdward GreenBribery, etc.Void electionGreen was Vice-President of a society, many of whose members were his political supporters. Others who attended its meetings were bribed there by his supporters.2 O'M & H 100; HCP 1874 374 p. 155-159
1874Wigtown BurghsAndrew Haswell and Robert JamiesonMark John StewartReturning officer wrongly counted irregular votesUndue electionSome ballot papers were discounted, others held good. A special case was referred to the Court of Session on 19 irregularly marked ballot papers. At the end it was found that Stewart was one vote behind Rt Hon George Young; Young had since been made a judge so the seat was vacant.2 O'M & H 215; HCP 1874 374 p. 160-172
1874WindsorHerbert and anotherRobert Richardson-GardnerBribery, etc.Duly electedRichardson-Gardner had evicted tenants who voted against him in the 1868 election, but there was no proof this action influenced voters in 1874. Because it was reprehensible behaviour, no order as to costs.2 O'M & H 88; HCP 1874 374 p. 174-180
18 May 1874StroudMarling and othersJohn Edward DoringtonBribery, etc.Void electionDorington had been an unsuccessful candidate in the general election and his agents had sent large sums to voters living outside the town as travelling expenses, which were much more than a railway ticket would cost.2 O'M & H 179; HCP 1874 374 p. 143-146
18 May 1874StroudBaynes and othersAlfred John StantonBribery, etc.Duly electedMills in the town had closed for polling day but workmen were paid for a day's work. This was a kindness and not bribery.2 O'M & H 181; HCP 1874 374 p. 146-149
15 June 1874Wigtown BurghsAugustus SmithMark John StewartScrutiny of votesDuly electedThe scrutiny reduced Stewart's majority from 8 votes to 2.2 O'M & H 232; HCP 1874 374 p. 172-174
22 June 1874Durham, NorthernThomas Graholm and Samuel StoreySir George Elliot, Bt.Bribery, etc.Duly electedAfter "trifling" evidence of bribery, the petitioners applied to withdraw the petition. The Judge insisted on giving a full judgment.3 O'M & H 1; HCP 1875 342 p. 12-14
22 June 1874Durham, NorthernEdward Pickering and William WilliamsCharles Mark PalmerBribery, etc.WithdrawnAs soon as the case was opened the petitioners applied to withdraw it; the Judge allowed them.3 O'M & H 4; HCP 1875 342 p. 14-18
27 July 1874StroudHollowayHenry Robert BrandBribery, etc., at this and previous electionsVoid electionAt least 13 bribed voters were found (two more were offered bribes) and five bribers were named. Brand's agent, on realising what he would have to disclose in court, had absconded. There was a £1,200 fund for 'decorations' which was partly used for bribery.3 O'M & H 7; HCP 1875 342 p. 25-39
30 December 1874St IvesSir Francis LycettCharles Tyringham PraedBribery, etc.Void electionAfter it was established that several pubs in St Ives and surrounding areas were opened to supply free drink in support of Praed, Praed's counsel conceded that the election must be void.3 O'M & H 13; HCP 1875 342 p. 23-24
6 March 1875NorwichFrancis AmesJacob Henry TillettBribery, etc.; employment of corrupt agentsVoid electionAfter seven witnesses were called, counsel for Tillett declared that he believed that they and many other voters were bribed by being unjustifiably employed on the election. Tillett was unaware.3 O'M & H 15; HCP 1875 342 p. 18-22
11 March 1875Tipperary (No. 1)Matthew Villiers Sankey MortonJohn Mitchel (replaced after his death by Michael John Cahalan and Edward Galway)Candidate disqualified due to conviction for treason felonyUndue electionBefore the petition was heard, Mitchel died. Cahalan failed in an application to the Court of Common Pleas to set the petition aside. Mitchel had been convicted of treason felony in 1848 and had escaped, and in 1853 was naturalised as a citizen of the United States of America at San Francisco, renouncing his allegiance to Britain. As voters knew of his history, their votes for him were thrown away and the runner-up, Moore, was duly elected.3 O'M & H 19; HCP 1875 342 p. 39-52
11 March 1875Tipperary (No. 2)Captain Stephen MooreJames Scully and Michael John CahalanCandidate disqualified as a naturalised alien and through treason felony
18 October 1875Armagh CityDr James Ledlie Riggs, George Scott Riddell, and James GardnerCaptain George de la Poer BeresfordBribery, etc.Duly elected96 cases of bribery were alleged with 125 witnesses, but the Judge found that those for the defence always outweighed those for the petitioners.3 O'M & H 50
17 December 1875HorshamJohn AldridgeRobert Henry HurstBribery, etc.Void electionLetters sent to voters living outside the town offered to pay their travelling expenses to vote, provided they promised their vote to Hurst. Travelling expenses were money and this was therefore bribery.3 O'M & H 52
1880AthloneEdward SheilSir John Ennis, Bt.PersonationDuly electedShiel had a majority of one and Ennis claimed two voters had voted instead of their identically-named deceased fathers. The Judge found that the sons were the people on the register. Other personation cases were not proved.3 O'M & H 57; HCP 1880 337 p. 3-10
1880BewdleyWilliam Francis Spencer and John BlundellCharles HarrisonBribery, etc.Void electionAn association formed to promote Harrison worked together with his election agent. Members of the association were involved in several acts of bribery including letting voters off debts if they promised their votes.3 O'M & H 145; HCP 1880 322
1880Boston (No. 1)Sydney Charles BuxtonThomas GarfitBribery, etc.Void electionAfter several witnesses had given unchallenged evidence of bribery, counsel for Garfit admitted that he could not defend the case.3 O'M & H 150; HCP 1880 330
1880Boston (No. 2)Charles Thomas Tunnard, William Barton, John Ashlin Thomas, Edward Clarke Porter, Charles Dobson, John William Rowland, William Charlton, John Thompson, William Smart, George Colley Bland, and Samuel SherwinWilliam James IngramBribery, etc.Void electionIngram's agent, believing his opponents would engage in bribery, employed 300-400 voters on polling day in various nominal roles. This was a disguised form of bribery.3 O'M & H 151; HCP 1880 330
1880ButeshireArchibald McKay, Richard Ferguson, John Duncan, Alexander Brown, and Alexander McLeanThomas RussellBribery, etc.; Candidate disqualified due to Government contractVoid electionRussell accepted that he was indeed disqualified under the House of Commons Disqualification Act of 1782 (22 Geo. III c. 45); the bribery allegations were abandoned and no trial was held.See HCP 1883 325 p. 6
1880CanterburyHenry Munro-Butler-JohnstoneHon. Alfred Erskine Gathorne-Hardy and Col. Robert Peter LaurieBribery, etc.Void electionAfter several witnesses had given evidence of direct bribery by people acting for Hardy and Laurie, counsel for the respondents told the court that he had to advise his clients they did not have an answer to the charges. The candidates were unaware.3 O'M & H 103; HCP 1880 263
1880CarrickfergusMarriott Robert DalwayThomas GreerBribery, etc.; personation; scrutiny of votesDuly electedThe scrutiny was abandoned. Greer's charitable gifts were genuinely charitable and not an indirect attempt at corrupting voters. Providing cars to help voters was illegal but was not done corruptly. No proof of personation was found.3 O'M & H 90; HCP 1880 337 p. 13-32
1880CheltenhamPakenham and othersBaron Charles Conrad Adolphus du Bois de FerrieresBribery, etc.; disqualified as an alienDuly electedCoal and bread tickets were distributed by a man called Solomon who was possibly an agent of de Ferrieres, but were bought by a subscription fund. De Ferrieres had been naturalised by a Private Act of Parliament which made him eligible to take a seat in Parliament.3 O'M & H 86; HCP 1880 337 p. 33-34
1880ChesterThomas Heywood, William Dodd, William Jones and William DaviesRt Hon John George Dodson and Hon. Beilby LawleyBribery, etc.Void electionWhen the candidates began their campaign, they found a political association was very well organised in the city, and they could not run their campaign without dealing with it. More than 30 witnesses established that the association engaged in bribery.3 O'M & H 148; HCP 1880 301
1880DownBlakely McCartneyViscount CastlereaghUndue influence; scrutiny of votesDuly electedCarriages had been hired to take voters to the poll, which was illegal, but the votes of the cabmen were not nullified in consequence. No order as to costs.3 O'M & H 115; HCP 1880 260
1880DungannonRobert Newton and Armytage Lennox NicholsonThomas Alexander DicksonBribery, etc.Void electionDickson's agent had offered an ex-employee of his £10 not to vote for his opponent. Two other cases of alleged bribery were not proved.3 O'M & H 101; HCP 1880 337 p. 37-44
1880EveshamEdward Charles Rudge and Joseph MastersDaniel Rowlinson RatcliffBribery, etc.Void electionRatcliffe had made many charitable gifts nationwide, including at Evesham. His agent, Ballinger, had made sure that anything given in Evesham was conditional on the recipient promising their vote.3 O'M & H 94; HCP 1880 228
1880GloucesterEdmund Digby Worsley, James Franklin, and George TwyfordThomas Robinson and Charles James MonkBribery, etc.Void election
(Robinson only)
Robinson gave notice before the trial that he would not defend the petition. The petitioners presented evidence of direct bribery by Robinson's agent but offered no evidence against Monk. The Judges made a special report that the withdrawal of the petition against Monk appeared to be a corrupt agreement to cover up his involvement in bribery.3 O'M & H 72; HCP 1880 229
1880GravesendSir Francis TruscottThomas BevanBribery, etc.Void electionBevan was an employer of 1,000 in the town, of which 180 were voters and many others were relations of voters. On election day the employees clocked in as usual, were given rosettes in Bevan's colours, and all voted in a group, then had a paid holiday. This constituted bribery.3 O'M & H 81; HCP 1880 337 p. 47-49
1880HarwichCol. George TomlineSir Henry Whatley TylerBribery, etc.Duly electedTyler had given firm instructions that his canvass was to be run by Francis Hales; he had no connection to an unofficial canvass and was not responsible for their corrupt acts. A recriminatory case established that Tomline's agents had bribed voters.3 O'M & H 61; HCP 1880 227
1880KnaresboroughBasil Thomas Wood and Thomas SlingsbySir Henry Meysey Meysey-Thompson, Bt.Bribery, etc.Void electionAfter evidence of extensive treating had been given, counsel for Meysey-Thompson conceded that he could not deny that an admitted agent was responsible.3 O'M & H 141; HCP 1880 337 p. 53-55
1880LichfieldSir John Swinburne, Bt.Colonel Richard DyottBribery, etc.Void electionAgents of Dyott's, stationed in one polling station on election day, continued to solicit votes and kept such a close eye on voters as to intimidate them.3 O'M & H 136; HCP 1880 278
1880LouthGeorge Harley KirkPhilip CallanBribery, etc.Duly electedTrivial amounts of food and drink were given as gifts during the election; they could not have influenced votes. Others accused of corrupt practices were clearly not agents of Callan.3 O'M & H 161; HCP 1880 300
1880MacclesfieldIsaac Day, Charles Shaw, James Gayes, and Edward FairhurstWilliam Coare Brocklehurst and David ChadwickBribery, etc.Void electionAn extensive system of bribery and treating by agent was proved.3 O'M & H 100; HCP 1880 262
1880PlymouthIsaac Latimer and Francis BarrattSir Edward Bates, Bt.Bribery, etc.Void electionBates had sent an agent, Stibbs, to Penzance to find Plymouth voters and bring them back; one fisherman had insisted on having his travelling expenses and paying for a substitute to do his fishing during his absence, which was paid. This constituted bribery.3 O'M & H 107; HCP 1880 337 p. 63-68
1880SalisburyRigden and othersJohn Passmore Edwards and William Henry GrenfellBribery, etc.Duly electedWitnesses accusing the two MPs of personal bribery were unconvincing and that part of the case was withdrawn. A well-known local resident who helped introduce Edwards and Grenfell to local people had engaged in bribery but was not their agent.3 O'M & H 130; HCP 1880 337 p. 75-77
1880TewkesburyCollins and othersWilliam Edwin PriceBribery, etc.Void electionEbenezer Lugg was established as having given money to, and forgiven the debts of, a shoemaker and elector called Samuel Jones; he also gave a new pair of boots to another voter. The court was satisfied that Lugg was an agent of Price.3 O'M & H 97; HCP 1880 337 p. 79-81
1880ThirskSamuel Bradley Wilcock, Robert Skilbeck, Thomas Humphrey, and David MeekColonel Hon. Lewis Payn DawnayBribery, etc.Duly electedThe petitioners brought evidence of corrupt dealings by a man called Wright but the judge found all the allegations had failed; it seemed that Wright had no connection to Dawnay.3 O'M & H 113; HCP 1880 337 p. 83
1880WallingfordEdward WellsWalter WrenBribery, etc.Void electionMany acts of bribery by a single person were uncovered. Wren's counsel accepted that he was clearly an agent and that Wren was responsible in law for his actions.3 O'M & H 106; HCP 1880 337 p. 85
1880WestburyAbraham LavertonCharles Nicholas Paul PhippsBribery, etc.Duly electedSeveral acts of bribery were proved to have been committed by George and William Cornish. George Cornish had sought employment by one candidate, and when refused, supported his opponent; William was his brother. However each had acted independently of Phipps.3 O'M & H 78; HCP 1880 337 p. 87-89
1880WorcesterGeorge Farmsworth, Frederick Wadeley, Walter Baylis, Henry Davis and James EdmondsThomas Rowley Hill and Æneas John McIntyreBribery, etc.; failure to open and close poll on timeDuly electedEvidence of bribery was unbelievable; witnesses failed to give evidence in court along the lines they had given to the petitioners. One polling station was rushed by a large group during the afternoon, which caused the presiding officer to close up briefly to restore order; this was justified.3 O'M & H 184; HCP 1881 10 p. 27-34
1880Worcestershire, WesternFildes and DarlingSir Edmund Lechmere, Bt. and Frederick Winn KnightTreatingDuly electedThe claims of treating were minor in the first place. Claims that a free round of beer were bought for people at a public meeting for Lechmere and Knight were disproved on the evidence.3 O'M & H 135; HCP 1880 337 p. 93-96
10 May 1880OxfordThomas H. Green, Owen Grimbly, William Parish, George Rolleston, Henry S. Underhill, and George YoungAlexander William HallBribery, etc.Void electionHall's campaign employed 744 'messengers' on election day, of whom 600 were voters. Their work was purely nominal and the employment was a cover for a bribe.3 O'M & H 155; HCP 1880 337 p. 59-61
19 May 1880SandwichSir Julian Goldsmid, Bt.Charles Henry Crompton-RobertsBribery, etc.Void electionCrompton-Roberts engaged a solicitor, Hughes, to run the election. Hughes hired a 'committee room' in each of 88 pubs in the constituency, for £5 each which was much more than the market rent; most of the rooms were never used. The Judges decided this was a hidden form of bribery.3 O'M & H 158; HCP 1880 337 p. 69-73
20 May 1880Wigtown BurghsAlexander Boyd and James O'KaneMark John StewartBribery, etc.Void electionAfter witnesses had given evidence of bribery, counsel for Stewart declared that he could not maintain his defence of the petition. The Judges accepted that Stewart had no personal involvement.3 O'M & H 114; HCP 1880 337 p. 91
1 July 1880WallingfordRobert William HanburyPandeli RalliBribery, etc.Duly electedGroups of agricultural workers were bribed to come to vote by a man named Green, but Green's connection to Ralli could not be substantiated.3 O'M & H 191; HCP 1881 10 p. 23-26
9 July 1880EveshamFrederick Dixon Dyke HartlandAugustus Frederick LehmannBribery, etc.; scrutiny of votesUndue electionExtensive treating by agents of Lehmann was established; the Judges noted that Lehmann himself was never called as a witness. A recriminatory case against Hartland failed to prove corrupt practices on the part of his campaign. On a scrutiny, Lehmann's two vote majority was converted into a one-vote majority for Hartland.3 O'M & H 192; HCP 1881 10 p. 5-22
21 July 1880Berwick-upon-TweedJohn McLarenDavid Milne HomeReturning officer wrongly refused and rejected votes; scrutiny of votesDuly electedSome irregularly marked votes which had been rejected were held good. The scrutiny resulted in Home's majority increasing from two to three.3 O'M & H 178; HCP 1881 10 p. 3-4
20 January 1881WiganJames Spencer and Edward PresttFrancis Sharp PowellBribery, etc.Void electionPowell's agent worked closely with Thomas Scott, who was secretary of a local political Association. Scott was responsible for several acts of direct bribery. Food and drink provided on election day was more effective treating because the local miners were on strike and many families were starving.4 O'M & H 1
21 November 1882SalisburyMoore and othersColeridge KennardBribery, etc.Duly electedWhile Kennard employed 214 people on election day (including 78 voters), each of them could account for the fact that they were employed for genuine duties, and so the jobs were not a cover for bribery.4 O'M & H 21

Election Petitions tried since 1883

The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act 1883 substantially altered and strengthened the law in respect of election offences.

1885AylesburyFrederick CharsleyBaron Ferdinand de RothschildBribery, etc.Duly elected158 men employed in tree planting on an estate belonging to a cousin of Rothschild were allowed half a day's paid leave to go to vote, but the foreman was not an agent and was only allowing them reasonable time. Rothschild gave an annual school treat to up to 10,000 people in the area which was held shortly before the election, but it was not a political occasion.4 O'M & H 59; HCP 1886 177 p. 3-8
1885Barrow-in-FurnessHenry William SchneiderDavid DuncanBribery, etc.Void electionIt was not illegal for Duncan to pay people to distribute leaflets, but his provision of refreshments to 441 campaign workers on polling day constituted a form of payment which was now illegal. A recriminatory case was withdrawn.4 O'M & H 76; HCP 1886 177 p. 9-21
1885IpswichPackard and othersHenry Wyndham West and Jesse CollingsBribery, etc.Void electionWest and Collings' agent hired a number of 'roughs' to keep order at their public meetings shortly before the polling day. Doing so was not illegal but the expenditure was illegal under s. 17 of the 1883 Act.4 O'M & H 70; HCP 1886 177 p. 39-53
1885KenningtonJohn Crossman, George Garlick, John Charles Jowett, and John SandesRobert Gent-DavisIllegal payments; illegal employmentDuly electedGent-Davis had paid for an electoral registration drive, and during the election had published a local newspaper to promote his views. While they were done to improve his chances, they did not count as election expenses.4 O'M & H 93; HCP 1886 177 p. 55-58
1885NorwichHenry Birkbeck and othersHarry BullardBribery, etc.; election expenses not paid through agentVoid electionCosts of meetings held to invite Bullard to contest the election were not election expenses. A leaflet urging voters to persuade their friends to support Bullard did not make all the recipients his agent. Charges of bribery were not made out but several public houses engaged in treating. Posters were distributed in the city by a man called Corrick who was not the agent, and they cost £19 18s; this was illegal expenditure.4 O'M & H 84; HCP 1886 177 p. 59-83
1885St Andrews BurghsSir Robert Anstruther, Bt.Stephen WilliamsonRecount with scrutinyUndue electionThe original result had been a tie. A voter named John Watson was found to have been personated; the personated vote went to Williamson while Watson's real vote went to Anstruther. Another voter had been registered twice and had cast both votes for Anstruther. Other objections to votes failed. As a result, Anstruther had a majority of one.4 O'M & H 32; HCP 1886 177 p. 85-87
1885StepneyFrederick Wootton IsaacsonJohn Charles DurantVotes cast by voters who were corrupt, voting twice, personated, disqualified; Erroneous counting; Scrutiny of votesDuly electedA voter employed by Durant before his selection was held to be disqualified from voting; one whose children were employed was also disqualified. Compensating a voter for the loss of his hat at a public meeting was not illegal expenditure. One personated vote was struck and a tendered vote accepted. The judges disagreed in the recriminatory case on whether Isaacson was entitled to employ people to hand out handbills outside polling stations. The Queen's Bench Division of the High Court was asked to rule on whether people born in Hanover before 1837 were British subjects. At the conclusion of the scrutiny and recount, Durant had a majority of 10 votes.4 O'M & H 34; HCP 1886 177 p. 89-99
1885ThornburyBenjamin St John AckersEdward Stafford HowardBribery, etc.; Rioting and intimidation; counting ballot papers which were voidDuly electedOrganised bands came into the constituency and attacked Ackers' committee rooms as well as homes, but most electors in the affected areas voted anyway. A slight overpayment for hiring a committee room was not bribery. On a point of law reserved to the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, it was decided that ballots with the official mark only on the back and not the front were valid.4 O'M & H 65; HCP 1886 177 p. 23-37
1886Belfast, WestJames Horner HaslettThomas SextonBribery, etc.; Disqualified from election; PersonationDuly electedSexton had been returned unopposed for South Sligo on 5 July but nominations in Belfast had closed on 2 July. Witnesses failed to give any evidence of bribery. 13 cases of personation were proved in respect of people who had voted for Sexton, but they did not affect the result.4 O'M & H 105; HCP 1887 90 p. 3-12
1886BuckroseChristopher SykesWilliam Alexander McArthurVotes cast by voters who were corrupt, personated, disqualified; Erroneous counting; Scrutiny of votesUndue electionCertain votes were struck off and others were held good. It was illegal to use a schoolmasters' home, provided it was part of the premises of a state school, as a committee room; as this was illegal, the votes of those in charge were struck off. A tendered ballot put in the ballot box was bad even though the voter had been personated. Payments made by a local political association which were not returned as election expenses were illegal and the secretary of the association's vote was struck. At the end of scrutiny a majority of 1 for McArthur had become 11 for Sykes.[1]:4244 O'M & H 110; HCP 1887 90 p. 15-17
1886Londonderry CityJustin McCarthyCharles Edward LewisBribery, etc.; Voting by minors; Erroneous countingUndue electionFive non-resident freemen had voted; they were entitled to. One voter, Robert Neely, was proved to have been bribed by an agent of Lewis. As a result of the scrutiny, Lewis' majority of 3 was reversed and McCarthy had a majority of lawful votes.4 O'M & H 96; HCP 1887 90 p. 13
1892Clare, EasternJoseph Richard CoxWilliam Hoey Kearney RedmondBribery, etc.; Intimidation; Returning Officer irregularitiesDuly electedIt was not illegal for the Young Ireland Society to print 3,000 cards reading "Men of Clare, remember Parnell; vote for Redmond". The Returning Officer had held the poll too soon after nomination but it was an honest mistake and Cox had not objected at the time. Two presiding officers who had closed the poll for lunch did not invalidate the election. 195 votes which were not detached from the counterfoils were bad; they did not affect Redmond's majority.4 O'M & H 162; Day p. 161-167; HCP 1893 25 p. 15-24
1892Finsbury, CentralFrederick Thomas PentonDadabhai NaorojiVotes cast by voters who were disqualified, personated, employed by Naoroji, corrupt, voting twiceWithdrawnSome votes were from aliens who had not been naturalised, and were struck. Others were struck because the voter was registered in two divisions of Finsbury. Personated votes was struck. People contracted to post bills or clean rooms by Naoroji were entitled to vote. At the end of the scrutiny Naoroji's majority increased from 3 to 5,[1]:13 and the Judge allowed the petition to be withdrawn.4 O'M & H 171
1892GreenockSir Thomas SutherlandJohn BruceRecountUndue electionAs a result of the recount, a majority of 44 for Bruce was reversed to a majority of 55 for Sutherland.[1]:510Hansard 4ser vol 7 cols 187-8
1892HexhamWilliam Hudspeth and John Knox LyalNathaniel George ClaytonBribery, etc.Void electionClayton had given his agent, Isaac Baty, £326 for the local political association, including £35 for holding a picnic at Clayton's home. This constituted illegal treating.4 O'M & H 143; Day p. 90-98; HCP 1893 25 p. 3-13
1892Manchester, EastJoseph Edward Crawfurd MunroRt Hon Arthur James BalfourBribery, etc.; illegal hiringDuly electedClaims of illegal hiring were malformed in the wording of the petition and had to be abandoned. There never was any evidence that workmen at Chester's Brewery had been given a paid holiday; Munro abandoned this part of the case. Claims by a man called Green that he agreed to participate in bribery were incredible. The evidence did not support charges of treating.4 O'M & H 120; Day p. 153-155; HCP 1893 25 p. 101-104
1892Meath, NorthernPierce Charles de Lacy O'MahonyMichael DavittIntimidation; undue influenceVoid electionThe same factors were at work in North Meath as in South Meath, which was tried first. A pastoral letter written by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath was read from the altar in all churches in the diocese attacking Charles Stewart Parnell, and stating with no-one could remain a Catholic and support him. After the South Meath judgment the petition was not defended.4 O'M & H 185; Day p. 141-147; HCP 1893 25 p. 39-46
1892Meath, SouthernJames Joseph DaltonPatrick FulhamBribery, etc.; Intimidation; undue influenceVoid electionCharges of bribery and treating could not be proved. A pastoral letter written by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath was read from the altar in all churches in the diocese attacking Charles Parnell, and stating with no-one could remain a Catholic and support him. This constituted undue influence.4 O'M & H 130; Day p. 132-140; HCP 1893 25 p. 25-37
1892Montgomery BoroughsT. George, J. Pickup and J. AndrewSir Pryce Pryce-JonesBribery, etc.Duly electedA voter named Withers claimed to have been bribed by Pryce-Jones but he was not a reliable witness. Pryce-Jones' campaign was unlikely to have appointed Thomas Jones a member of their committee and instructed him to go about bribing voters, and he did not bribe. Evidence of treating did not establish a link to Pryce-Jones.4 O'M & H 167; Day p. 148-152; HCP 1893 25 p. 47-60
1892PontefractJohn ShawHarold James ReckittBribery, etc.Void electionAn agent of Reckitt's had corruptly paid travelling expenses of one voter, and had given him an additional payment after he had voted. A corrupt offer of payment had been made to another voter.4 O'M & H 200; Day p. 125-131; HCP 1893 25-I p. 3-12
1892RochesterAlfred Barry and Charles John Saxby VarrallHoratio David DaviesBribery, etc.Void electionPayments by Davies to a constituency association were supposed to cover registration expenses, but no accounts were produced to prove it. The association held a conversazione with food and drink provided at nominal price to the attendees; the costs were not returned as election expenses.4 O'M & H 156; Day p. 98-106; HCP 1893 25 p. 79-88
1892StepneyWilliam Rushmere and William Charles SteadmanFrederick Wootton IsaacsonBribery, etc.Duly electedSome voters who were employed for pay and disqualified from voting did vote, but they were unaware; the agent had not told them, but had not procured their votes either. Banners stretched across streets endorsing Isaacson, paid for by Isaacson's agent, were illegal expenditure, but the agent's actions were inadvertent and so he was given relief.4 O'M & H 178; Day p. 116-125; HCP 1893 25 p. 89-99
1892WalsallHenry Hately, Thomas Moss and James MasonFrank JamesBribery, etc.Void election2,000 hat cards ordered by the local Licensed Victuallers' Association were paid for by James's agent out of the election account. This was illegal expenditure.4 O'M & H 123; Day p. 106-115; HCP 1893 25 p. 61-68
1892WorcesterWilliam Glaszard and Edwin TurnerHon. George Higginson AllsoppBribery, etc.Duly electedThe petitioners identified 147 cases of bribery by money, and 93 by drink, but the evidence brought forward was minimal.4 O'M & H 153; Day p. 85-90; HCP 1893 25 p. 69-77
13 October 1892CirencesterHarry Lawson Webster LawsonColonel Thomas Chester-MasterRecount with scrutinyVoid electionThe original result had been a majority of 2 for Chester-Master. One voter had erroneously been recorded as voting; his tendered vote was added. Votes not marked with the official mark on the back were bad, but if the ink showed through from the front, they were good. Other votes were struck and others held good. At the end, the candidates were exactly equal.4 O'M & H 194; Day p. 155-160; HCP 1893 25 p. 105-107
11 August 1893HalifaxAlfred ArnoldWilliam Rawson ShawRecountDuly electedThe recount resulted in Shaw obtaining the same 368 vote majority as in the original count.[1]:116–74 O'M & H 203
1895Elginshire and NairnshireJames Hood and Alexander GillandersHon. John Edward GordonBribery, etc.Duly electedGordon's election expenses began only when he was selected, not when he began seeking selection. A paid polling agent lawfully appointed, who also canvassed on a voluntary basis, was not illegally employed. After these points the petitioners offered no more evidence.5 O'M & H 1
1895HaggerstonWilliam Randal CremerJohn LowlesBribery, etc.; excessive election expenses; RecountDuly electedSome election expenses had not been returned, but would not have taken Lowles over the legal limit. To mark his birthday Lowles distributed 500 cards entitling recipients to 6d. of food, but his name did not appear on them and the cards were distributed by a political opponent; the Judges disagreed on whether this was corrupt treating. They had to agree to make a finding of corruption. The recount increased Lowles' majority from 31 to 40. A recriminatory case was withdrawn.5 O'M & H 68; HCP 1896 63 p. 23-35
1895LancasterThomas Bradshaw and Alfred Wilkes KayeColonel William Henry FosterBribery, etc.; inducing prohibited people to vote; election literature without imprintDuly electedSmoking concerts had been held by Foster's agent, at which free drinks were distributed; these concerts went on routinely outside election times, so were not corrupt. It was not illegal for a voter to have his tram fare to the poll paid for by a friend. The judges did not believe evidence of direct bribery.5 O'M & H 39; HCP 1896 63 p. 3-14
1895LichfieldSir Charles Wolseley, Bt., Theophilus John Levett, John Alkin and John ShawHenry Charles FulfordBribery, etc.; Illegal employment; Incomplete return of election expensesVoid electionFulford's donation to an association of miners was not bribery. Treating could not be proved. A sub-agent had voted, and as a result had not been paid; his inferred salary was not an election expense. Paid agents had canvassed, which was unlawful. A regular subsidy paid to a supportive newspaper ought to have been returned as an election expense. Some election meetings were not returned as they ought to have been.5 O'M & H 27; HCP 1896 63 p. 15-22
1895St GeorgeJohn Williams BennHarry Hananel MarksBribery, etc.; False statement of fact; Recount with scrutinyDuly electedMarks was president of a philanthropic society to help the poor of the constituency which distributed tickets for free coal, but distribution was not political and it was not corrupt. Marks' subscription of 5gs. to help costermongers fight a ban on placing stalls was legitimate. Free drinks at a smoking concert were paid by the Irish Unionist Alliance and not by Marks. A campaign statement that Benn had "a skeleton in his cupboard" was not made by an agent of Marks. A recriminatory case failed when it accused Benn of false statements of fact failed because the leaflet in question was published before the Act came into force; the case did establish that Benn's payment for linen banners was illegal. The recount increased Marks' majority from 4 to 11.5 O'M & H 89
1895Southampton (No. 2)Walter Crees Austen and John RowlandTankerville Chamberlayne and Sir John Barrington Simeon, Bt.Bribery, etc.Void election
(Chamberlayne only)
A member of Chamberlayne and Simeon's committee paid the rail fare for a voter to come from Winchester; this was illegal but a very small amount, and he was given relief. Claims of attempted bribery at public meetings by Chamberlayne were not proved. Chamberlayne had led a procession through the town followed by brewery carts; the procession stopped at many local pubs where followers were given drink. This constituted corrupt treating; Simeon was unconnected with it.5 O'M & H 17; HCP 1896 63 p. 37-44
1895SunderlandSamuel StoreyWilliam Theodore DoxfordFalse statements of factDuly electedA speech by Doxford saying Storey had accused him of sacking his older workers, and a newspaper claim that Storey had endorsed a socialist programme, were withdrawn at the trial. The Sunderland Herald and Daily Post had republished an editorial as a leaflet, attacking Storey for paying low wages, but the editor of the newspaper was not an agent of Doxford.5 O'M & H 53; HCP 1896 63 p. 45-50
13 January 1898YorkSir Christopher FurnessLord Charles William de la Poer BeresfordRecount and scrutinyWithdrawnThe recount resulted in Beresford's majority of 11 being eliminated and both candidates receiving the same number of votes, with several ballot papers reserved for a court decision. Furness was advised that he would probably get 4, while Beresford would get 11; his counsel therefore applied to withdraw the petition.5 O'M & H 118
1900ChristchurchHon. Thomas Allnutt BrasseyMajor Kenneth Robert BalfourVotes cast by ineligible voters; Recount with scrutinyWithdrawnAfter the recount increased Balfour's majority from 3 to 11, Brassey was advised that he did not have sufficient evidence to prove enough cases of ineligible voters to overturn the result. He was granted permission to withdraw the petition.5 O'M & H 147
1900CockermouthJohn Armstrong, James Hardaker Brooksbank, Benjamin Brown, James Beck, William Cooper, and Barwise HendersonJohn Scurrah RandlesIllegal practices by agentDuly electedA room in a pub had been used as a committee room, but it had previously been used in elections and had no connection to the bar. The election address did not have the printers' name, but the photograph of Randles on one side of it had the stamp of the company responsible, so the Judges gave relief. A tea meeting held by Randles' party association was organised independently of his campaign and did not form part of it. A speech critical of Randles' opponent Sir Wilfrid Lawson which was also published as a pamphlet was critical of Lawson's political conduct rather than his personal character, and so could not infringe the law.5 O'M & H 155; HCP 1901 97
1900Islington, WestFrancis Hastings MedhurstThomas Lough and Charles Gasquet, Returning OfficerPolling stations remained open after 8 PMDuly electedWhen it turned 8 PM (the time the poll should have closed), voters waiting within polling stations were allowed to vote. The Judges decided that voters who had been given a ballot paper before the close of poll ought to be allowed to fill it in and vote, but those waiting for ballot papers should not be supplied with them. Only 14 ballot papers were given out after 8 PM, which meant that Lough's majority of 19 was safe.5 O'M & H 120; HCP 1902 43
1900MaidstoneFiennes Stanley Wykeham CornwallisJohn BarkerBribery, etc.Void electionAfter several witnesses had given evidence of direct bribery by Barker's agents, Barker's counsel announced that he could not contradict them; Barker himself was unaware of what had happened. There were about 25 proven cases where voters were given either 5s., 7s. 6d., or 10s., to support Barker.5 O'M & H 149; HCP 1901 92
1900Monmouth BoroughsThomas Embrey and Christopher SweetingDr Frederick Rutherfoord HarrisPayments not made through agent; False return of election expenses; Illegal expenditure; False statement of factVoid electionThomas Icke gave unchallenged evidence he had been engaged as a clerk, but had been paid in the name of his son; counsel for Harris accepted that this voided the election. The editor of the Western Daily Mail had successfully pressed Harris to advertise in the paper; the bill had been paid by Harris's private secretary (not an agent) but when it was realised that it was election spending the money was refunded and then paid by the agent. Harris's statements accusing his opponent Albert Spicer of living off the profits of cheap foreign labour and giving ammunition to the enemies of England were false statements of fact about Spicer's personal character.5 O'M & H 166; HCP 1902 44
1900Pembroke BoroughsThomas TerrellGeneral John Wimburn LaurieRecount and scrutinyWithdrawnThe recount increased Laurie's majority from 12 to 17. A separate court judgment shortly before the election had ordered the removal of freeholders of Haverfordwest from the electoral register of this constituency, but the election had taken place using the old register; because it was still current, the 28 freeholders who cast votes were entitled to do so. At that point the petitioners applied to withdraw the petition and Laurie also applied to withdraw a counter-petition alleging corruption; the court allowed both applications.5 O'M & H 135; HCP 1902 42
1906ApplebyHon. Henry William Edmund Petty-Fitzmaurice, Earl of KerryLeifchild Stratten JonesRecount and scrutinyWithdrawnThe recount increased Jones's majority from 3 to 8; nine ballot papers were reserved for the opinion of the court. Kerry was advised that he would not secure enough to obtain a majority and successfully applied to withdraw the petition.5 O'M & H 237
1906BodminLt-Col William Henry Vallack Tom and William Stuart Bruton DuffHon. Thomas Charles Reginald Agar-RobartesBribery, etc.; False return of election expensesVoid electionEvidence on bribery substantiated only one case which involved a shilling; the petitioners withdrew the charge, and also offered no evidence of illegal payments. Agar-Robartes had held a series of meetings from 1903 onwards to make himself known; the Judges disagreed about whether their costs were election expenses. Agar-Robartes had regularly gone to pubs around the constituency and bought everyone a round of drinks, sometimes with his election agent; this was corrupt treating. A garden party given by Agar-Robartes' parents had 4,000 attendees; Agar-Robartes' election agent used it to campaign for his election, so it too was corrupt treating.5 O'M & H 225
1906Great YarmouthMartin WhiteArthur FellBribery, etc.Duly electedA man named Baker drove voters to the polls in a cart which had been lent to Fell for polling day. He gave each voter between two and five shillings. When one of Fell's campaign workers was told about it, he challenged Baker, who denied doing so; Baker was allowed to continue using the cart. The Judges disagreed on whether Baker was an agent of Fell for the purposes of election law; they needed to agree to avoid the election. An almanac distributed by Fell on Christmas Day was not returnable as an election expense. Meetings and smoking concerts organised by Fell's local association from 1904, at which free drink was distributed, were not election expenses and did not constitute corrupt treating. A party for the retiring MP for the seat openly advertised in local newspapers where some whisky was given was not corrupt treating.5 O'M & H 176; HCP 1906 169
1906MaidstoneSir Francis Evans, Bt.Charles Stewart Henry Vane-Tempest-Stewart, Viscount CastlereaghBribery, etc.; false statement of election expenses; exceeding maximum election expensesDuly electedA witness statement from a campaign worker claiming to have been paid £2 by Castlereagh's agent had been taken under pressure and the witness recanted. An elderly voter who had been brought by car to vote but missed the lift back was given his railway fare back home, but after the polls had closed; this did not constitute bribery. A "mad freak of [a] man" named Tyrer who had seized some of Castlereagh's leaflets and gone out waving them, calling for support for Castlereagh, and throwing money down from a balcony was not authorised by the campaign. Castlereagh was not adopted as a candidate until 27 December 1905 and his spending before then was not election expenses.5 O'M & H 200
1906Sheffield, AttercliffeArnold Muir WilsonJ. Batty LangleyFalse statement of factDuly electedWilson, a solicitor and Sheffield City Councillor, had pressed the Attorney-General to prosecute fellow councillor Charles Hobson who had accepted a £100 bribe for persuading the council to buy a piece of land; Wilson had been the prosecuting counsel and Hobson had been imprisoned. Langley had issued a leaflet on polling day stating "Who hounded Charles Hobson to prison? NOT BATTY LANGLEY". The statement that Wilson had hounded Hobson was not a false statement of fact in the mind of Langley. Other statements in the leaflet were not about Wilson's personal character.5 O'M & H 218
1906WorcesterHenry Devenish Harben and Richard CadburyGeorge Henry WilliamsonBribery, etc.Void electionAfter three days of evidence which established extensive bribery of voters, counsel for Williamson accepted that he could not contest the petition. Williamson was personally unaware of the bribery.5 O'M & H 212; HCP 1906 198
January 1910Denbigh BoroughsAllen Clement EdwardsHon. William George Arthur Ormsby-GoreRecount and scrutinyWithdrawnThe recount increased Ormsby-Gore's majority from 8 to 10 votes. As a result, Edwards applied for, and was given, leave to withdraw the petition.6 O'M & H 57
January 1910Dorset, EasternLt-Col Walker Miller Lambert and Gerald Dennis BondCaptain Hon. Frederick Edward GuestBribery, etc.; false declaration of election expensesVoid electionThe Guest family under Viscount Wimborne was a major local landowner. A workman on the family estates was sacked in what the Judges suspected was a demonstration to other workers of the need for political loyalty. 400 allotment holders, who were being evicted by the estate which wanted building land, were allowed to stay after a campaign by a political supporter of Guest, but this action did not appear to be corrupt. Estate agents were outside polling booths watching voters; this was lawful. The Judge did not believe claims of direct bribery. A large number of cars were used to drive voters to the polls, including by Lady Wimborne; their cost was election expenses. Pamphlets defending the Guest family should have been counted for election expenses, which took the total over the maximum.6 O'M & H 22; HCP 1910 158
January 1910The HartlepoolsJoseph Forster Wilson and John Roger ButterwickSir Christopher FurnessBribery, etc.Void electionFurness's son Marmaduke hired a special train to convey horses, carriages and grooms to the borough where they were used to transport voters to the polls; this expenditure was not illegal. Clerks working for Furness's firm were allowed to help on election day, a Saturday, but the work was voluntary and therefore their salary was not election expenses. £5 of postage stamps was not returned as election expenses, which took the amount over the maximum, but the Judges gave relief. Furness's agent had however, unknown to the candidate, hired a band of miners who went about the streets intimidating voters. The election was void for undue influence.6 O'M & H 1
January 1910Kerry, EasternJohn Murphy and Daniel CollinsEugene O'SullivanViolation of secrecy of the ballot; Personation; Undue influence; Employment of prohibited personsVoid electionClaims that O'Sullivan voted twice were disproved by the presiding officer at the polling station; nor had he illegally helped an illiterate voter to mark his ballot paper. There may have been personated votes cast, but O'Sullivan's campaign was not involved. Speeches by O'Sullivan had not threatened violence against his opponents. A crowd led by an agent of O'Sullivan's had threatened a group of Murphy's supporters, preventing them from voting; other voters were intimidated against going to the polls. O'Sullivan may have kicked opposing voters and fired pistol shots. The election was void for undue influence.6 O'M & H 58
January 1910North LonsdaleJoseph BlissGeorge Bahr HaddockRecount; Ballot papers erroneously counted or rejectedDuly electedThe recount increased Haddock's majority from 69 to 169. Bliss then asked for the petition to be taken as a special case, which was allowed, but no new issues were raised.6 O'M & H 97
December 1910CheltenhamEdward Powell Smythies and John Richard Baker ClaridgeRichard MathiasFalse declaration of election expenses; illegal employment; illegal hiringVoid electionAt the end of the petitioners' case, counsel for Mathias accepted that at an early stage it had been proved that his campaign had exceeded the maximum of election expenses, and had submitted a false declaration to hide it. The campaign overspent on vehicles to carry voters to the polls. Mathias was personally unaware.6 O'M & H 194
December 1910ChippenhamBryn Hozier FreemanGeorge TerrellRecountWithdrawnThe recount reduced Terrell's majority from 26 to 24, with 21 further ballot papers which had been rejected. As they could not overturn Terrell's majority, Freeman applied for and was given permission to withdraw the petition. Heard as a special case by request of the parties.6 O'M & H 99
December 1910Cork, EasternTimothy Glavin and Thomas CoadyCaptain Anthony John Charles DonelanIntimidation; Bribery, etc.; personation; illegal payments; false declaration of election expensesVoid electionIsolated acts of burning effigies of opponents and exhibiting coffins did not prove general intimidation. An "eccentric and irresponsible person" had offered a bribe unconnected with Donelan. Personation was not proved. Donelan ought not to have supplied food to people attending his meetings but it was not corrupt. Donelan's campaign had paid for vehicles to convey voters to the polls and also hired special trains. The account book of the campaign spending was said to have been routinely destroyed; the Judges found that it was deliberately destroyed to prevent illegal payments being proved; the submitted return must have been false.6 O'M & H 318; HCP 1911 204
December 1910ExeterHenry Edward DukeRichard Harold St. MaurScrutiny of votesUndue electionThe original result and a recount both gave St. Maur a majority of 4 votes, with several papers left for the court to decide. A vote with "Up, Duke!" in addition to a cross in Duke's box was held bad because the voter might be identified. A voter who had moved into a house previously occupied by someone with the same surname, and voted in the name of the previous occupier, was entitled to do so because he was eligible to register. A voter who had voted twice in two different wards had one vote struck. A voter whose son was employed on election day was entitled to vote. Five people employed on St. Maur's campaign had voted and their votes were struck; a recriminatory case succeeded in striking off two votes from people employed by Duke's campaign and one whose son was employed. At the end of all objections, Duke had a majority of one vote.6 O'M & H 228
December 1910GloucesterHenry Finnis Blosse LynchHenry TerrellRecountWithdrawnThe recount left Terrell's majority of four votes unchanged, and counsel for Lynch was granted permission to withdraw the petition.6 O'M & H 101
December 1910Kingston upon Hull CentralMarriott Morley, Charles Wray, and Benjamin MusgraveSir Henry Seymour KingBribery, etc.Void electionKing had celebrated his 25th anniversary as MP for the constituency shortly before the election. To mark it, he had distributed coal to anyone receiving out-relief, and also sent sweets to all children in local schools. Although distribution was stopped immediately that the election was called, the distribution constituted corrupt treating.6 O'M & H 372
December 1910King's LynnHarry Flanders, William Carter Watling, and Richard SenterHolcombe InglebyBribery, etc.; illegal hiringDuly electedIngleby was Mayor of King's Lynn in 1909-10 and gave a large amount of hospitality in his year in office, which he funded. However he took the Mayoralty before becoming a candidate, and the entertaining was not done with a corrupt intention to influence voters. The Judges found that a voter who was given a lift to the polls was taken not in a hired car but a personal car, which was not illegal.6 O'M & H 179
December 1910Louth, NorthernDaniel Fearon, James Hanlon, Thomas Hanratty, and Patrick LarkinRichard HazletonIntimidation; violation of secrecy of ballot; bribery, etc.; personation; illegal payments; false statement of factVoid electionCrowds did jeer voters known to oppose Hazleton, and some were assaulted, but not prevented from voting, so general intimidation was not proved. Only 12 ballot papers were exposed, and those accidentally. An unemployed voter was offered a job with the Dundalk Urban District Council by a councillor allied to Hazleton; this was bribery. Several voters were treated by police officers. Mobs under the control of agents of Hazleton threatened voters; this was undue influence. Campaign workers were illegally employed by the United Irish League rather than the agent. Two motor cars were apparently hired but there was no proof of the contract. A leaflet which stated that the family of Hazleton's opponent Timothy Michael Healy were all seeking government jobs was a false statement of fact.6 O'M & H 103; HCP 1911 75
December 1910Mile EndBertram Stuart StrausHon. Harry Lawson Webster LawsonRecountWithdrawnThe recount increased Lawson's majority from 2 to 6; counsel for Straus then applied for, and was given, permission to withdraw the petition.6 O'M & H 100
December 1910Nottingham, EastGeorge Goodall and Joseph ReidCaptain James Archibald MorrisonBribery, etc.Duly electedA large number of witnesses gave statements claiming to have been given 5s. for their votes, but they were paid for making the statements, and almost all when called as witnesses in the court gave evidence that their statements were not true. A small number of election payments were not returned as election expenses but it was a trivial amount. Morrison was the head of a charity which distributed gifts, and he probably intended to influence the constituency generally, but they were not individual bribes.6 O'M & H 292; HCP 1911 170
December 1910St. Pancras, WestJohn George Haller and William Lloyd-TaylorFelix Maximilian Schoenbrunn CasselRecountWithdrawnThe recount increased Cassel's majority from 8 to 9. Counsel for the petitioners were then given permission to withdraw the petition.6 O'M & H 102
December 1910West BromwichAlfred Ernest William HazelWilliam Legge, Viscount LewishamScrutiny of votesDuly electedThe initial result was a majority for Lewisham of 5; a recount increased it to 42. Several dubious ballot papers were held good. A voter said to have admitted he was employed by Lewisham's agent did not prove that he was, so his vote was good. The employment of a voter's 22-year-old son in the election did not invalidate his vote. A voter who was employed and who had cast a spoilt ballot did not mean that a good vote should be disallowed. People working for an advertising company contracted to post Lewisham's posters, and those paid as sandwich-board men, were not employed on the campaign and their votes were good. A voter paid for carrying a torch in a torchlight procession, and the organiser of the procession, had their votes struck. Other people who had worked on the campaign had their votes struck. At the end of the scrutiny Lewisham had a majority of 2.[1]:2056 O'M & H 256
December 1910West Ham, NorthEdmond Johnson Boake and George Alfred BrabazonCharles Frederick Gurney MastermanFalse return of election expenses; exceeding maximum election expenses; illegal employmentVoid electionMasterman's election agent admitted in evidence that he had suffered a breakdown during the election. The court refused to give Masterman relief for the excess spending, accepting it did not have the power.6 O'M & H 392
1922Berwick-upon-TweedRobert Carr Bosanquet and Bertram Fitzherbert WiddringtonHilton PhilipsonFalse return of election expenses; exceeding limit on election expenses; illegal hiring; payment other than through election agentVoid electionPhilipson's agent had ordered £164 15s. 1d. of printing work from George Martin, which resulted in him exceeding the maximum. In order to bring the return below, Martin agreed to reduce the amount on the invoice to £68 3s. 7d. The return also omitted £6 6s. 6d. on hire of motor cars, the salary of a woman organiser, and the hire of a room for election work. £4 for the hire of cars on election day was illegal hiring. Some expenses were paid through sub-agents, which was lawful; however there were payments made after the deadline. Philipson was unaware of the illegal practices.7 O'M & H 1
1922Derbyshire, North-EasternJoseph Stanley HolmesFrank Lee and Harry Reginald Cleaver, Returning OfficerRecount; erroneous counting of votes; mislaying votesDuly electedThe recount reduced Lee's majority from 5 to 3, with 63 votes for Lee and 56 for Holmes challenged and 76 rejected. The petition was heard as a special case. Three votes (2 for Lee, 1 for Holmes) had been found in the counting hall after the result had been declared; they were held good. 45 of the challenged votes for Holmes were good; 9 were void for want of official mark and 2 for uncertainty. 57 of the challenged votes for Lee were good; 6 were void for want of official mark. One of the rejected votes was held good for Holmes. This gave Lee a majority of 15. There were two ballot papers unaccounted for, but they could not affect Lee's majority. Of the 69 votes rejected for want of official mark, 38 were for Lee and 31 for Holmes, so they did not affect his majority.The Times Law Reports, Vol. 39, p. 423
1923OxfordHugh Hall and James Herbert MorrellFrank GrayFalse declaration of election expenses; exceeding limit on election expenses; payment other than through election agent; illegal hiringVoid electionGray's agent returned expenses in excess of the legal maximum, but sought relief on grounds of inadvertence; this application was ordered to stand over until the petition had been heard. The Judges found that the return was deliberately understated: an advertising bill of £91 2s. 0d. was returned as £72 17s. 7d.; printing costing £53 19s. 9d. was returned as £48 11s. 9d.; post cards costing £72 17s. 0d. were said to cost £40. The cost of distributing the post cards, £41 13s. 4d., was not returned when it ought to have been. A bill for printing from the Oxford Chronicle, originally £181 9s. 0d., was dishonestly reduced to £118 6s. 0d; a special edition of the paper costing £20 was also election expenses. The agent had deducted £4 from a bill for stationery in respect of items returned unused on which a refund was given; he was not entitled to do so. Various other items, including £2 for rent of committee rooms, and £15 7s. for two women and a youth working on the election, were added. Some payments were not made through the election agent. Paid distributors of election addresses were not illegal. Gray was exonerated of involvement.7 O'M & H 49
1929Plymouth, DrakeNicholas John Pethick Revington and Andrew Treeby EasterbrookJames John Hamlyn MosesBribery; illegal expenditure; illegal hiring; false return of election expenses; payment other than through election agentDuly electedAlbert Ballard was a well known philanthropist who had opened the Ballard Institute boys' club in Plymouth. He promised a firework display and celebration if Moses won, while threatening to close the club if Moses lost. However, no voter gave evidence that they were influenced in their vote by his actions, and he was not acting as Moses' agent when he spoke to the boys, so it was not bribery. Moses had tried to stop Ballard distributing a circular in his support, so he was not responsible for it and it was rightly excluded from the return of election expenses. A taxi was hired to help take voters to the polls by a sub-agent, which was illegal, but the agent was unaware and the Judges granted relief to those involved as they had broken the law through inadvertence. The return was not strictly compliant with proper form but relief was given.7 O'M & H 101
1955Fermanagh and South TyroneLt-Col Robert George GrosvenorPhilip Christopher ClarkeCandidate disqualified due to conviction for treason felonyUndue electionClarke had been convicted of three counts of treason felony as a participant in an armed raid on Omagh barracks, and on 15 December 1954 had been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. As such he was disqualified from election under the Forfeiture Act 1870. Grosvenor's agent had inserted adverts in the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News, the Impartial Reporter and Farmers' Journal and the Tyrone Constitution drawing attention to Clarke's position and likely disqualification; the Fermanagh Herald and the Dungannon Observer had also reported that Clarke's supporters were aware people serving prison sentences of over a year were disqualified. Similar statements had been broadcast on the BBC and RTÉ. Grosvenor had also distributed 30,121 leaflets headed "Notice of disqualification of candidate" to people known not to be his supporters, and displayed posters outside most polling stations. The Judges were satisfied that those voting for Clarke knew he was disqualified and therefore threw away their votes.The Table vol 24 p. 59-76
11 August 1955Mid UlsterCharles BeattieThomas James MitchellCandidate disqualified due to conviction for treason felonyUndue electionMitchell had been convicted of three counts of treason felony as a participant in an armed raid on Omagh barracks, and on 15 December 1954 had been sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. As such he was disqualified from election under the Forfeiture Act 1870. He had previously been elected and disqualified by resolution of the House of Commons on 18 July 1955. The news of his disqualification had been widely reported in newspapers circulating in the constituency, in newspapers read by supporters of both Beattie and Mitchell, and had also been broadcast on the BBC and RTÉ. During the by-election campaign the Ulster Herald, which circulated among Mitchell's supporters, had again reported that Mitchell was in prison. Beattie's election address had asserted Mitchell's disqualification. The Judges were satisfied that those voting for Mitchell knew he was disqualified and therefore threw away their votes.The Table vol 24 p. 59-76
1959Kensington, NorthSir Oswald Ernald Mosley, Bt.George Henry Roland Rogers and Arthur Newton Edward McHaffie, returning officerVoters not crossed off as voting; ballots improperly transported to the count; improper count arrangements; admission of improper persons to the countDuly electedMosley had conducted a survey of those not marked as voting, and 111 said they had in fact voted. Only 10 were willing to be called as witnesses, and five then said they had not actually voted. Of the other five, their votes were good and there was no evidence they had taken advantage of their name not being crossed off, in order to vote more than once. There was no rule requiring police to accompany ballot boxes from polling stations to the count. Ivor Richard, a candidate in Kensington, South, together with a counting agent for that constituency, had wrongly been allowed into the count but they had not interfered with it, so it did not affect the result.1960 (1) AELR 762
4 May 1961Bristol, South-EastMalcolm Archibald James St. Clair and John Malcolm HarrisHon. Anthony Neil Wedgwood BennCandidate disqualified as a PeerUndue electionBenn had succeeded to the peerage as Viscount Stansgate on the death of his father on 17 November 1960; notwithstanding the fact that he had not applied for a writ of summons to the House of Lords, he was disqualified from the House of Commons. St. Clair had widely advertised in the press and displayed notices drawing attention to Benn's position and disqualification. The Judges were satisfied that those voting for Benn knew he was disqualified and therefore threw away their votes.1961 (3) AELR 354; [1961] 3 WLR 577
1964Kinross and West PerthshireChristopher Murray GrieveThe Rt Hon. Sir Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home KTExpenses incurred without authority of election agent; False return of election expensesDuly electedThe BBC and ITA had made television broadcasts in which Douglas-Home had appeared as a party leader, on which they incurred costs. Because the broadcasts were aimed at the whole of the country, they were not aimed at promoting the election of Douglas-Home in the constituency, so the cost of the broadcasts were not election expenses.Scots Law Times, 1965, p. 186
28 July 1983Penrith and the BorderLt-Comm. Eric Wilfred Morgan DSCDavid John MacleanIllegal election expenses; false declaration of election expenses; false statement of fact; undue influenceDuly electedNo evidence could be found to support the claims of illegal spending on committee rooms; the return of election expenses was accurate. The omission of Morgan from a list of candidates published in The Daily Telegraph was unfortunate but only an irritation, and did not amount to a false statement of fact on the part of Maclean. Claims that Viscount Whitelaw exercised undue influence in supporting Maclean were "an enormous impertinence" which should never have been made.Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, 24 December 1983 p. 1
1992Belfast, WestMaura McCroryDr. Joseph Gerard Hendron and Thomas KellyFailure to return election expenses or pay election expenses within the time limit; exceeding maximum election expensesDuly electedHendron's election agent, Thomas Kelly, was a novice who was the only volunteer for the job after previous agents had been attacked by thugs. The return of election expenses had not included £703.25 of printing and advertisements, £40 for minibus hire, and £88.12 for public address system hire. A discount given on advertising in the Irish News, and spending on election surveys, were not election expenses. Bills settled through the treasurer of the constituency council were still made through the election agent; however not all bills were settled within the time limit. Both Hendron and Kelly applied for relief on the grounds that the breaches were inadvertent; in the circumstances of the pressure on Kelly and his ignorance of the law, the court granted relief on all items.[1993] NI QBD 177
1997WinchesterGerald Peter MaloneMark Oaten and Lindsay Garrett Fox, returning officerFailure to stamp ballot papers with the official mark; improper rejection of votes; personation; failure to count tendered ballotsVoid electionFour voters cast tendered ballots after claiming to have been personated, but the personators could not be found and the allegation was not pursued. 56 ballot papers had not been stamped with the official mark; had they been held good, Oaten's majority of 2 would have been reversed and Malone would have had a majority of 2. A special case determined that the possibility that the failure to stamp the ballot papers resulted from errors by the returning officer's staff meant that the result could not be certain.The Times, 2 October 1997, p. 2
2001Fermanagh and South TyroneJames Leslie CooperMichelle GildernewFailure to close poll on time; ballot papers issued and votes cast after close of the pollDuly electedThat a polling station in Garrison, County Fermanagh did not close on time2001 NI QB 36
2010Fermanagh and South TyroneRodney ConnorMichelle Gildernew, Douglas Bain (Chief Electoral Officer), and Martin Fox (Deputy Returning Officer)Errors in issuing ballot papers; ballot papers wrongly counted and rejectedDuly electedClaims that ballot boxes contained more ballot papers than verified as having been issued, involving a total of 36 votes.2010 NIQB 113
2010Oldham East and SaddleworthRobert Elwyn James WatkinsPhilip James WoolasFalse statement of factVoid electionLeaflets issued by Woolas made false claims about Watkins2010 EWHC 2702 (QB); 2010 EWHC 3169 (Admin)
2015Orkney and ShetlandTimothy Denis Morrison, Euphemia Matheson, Fiona Morag Grahame, and Carolyn Ann WellingAlexander Morrison CarmichaelFalse statement of factDuly electedClaims regarding leak of a memorandum from the Scotland Office2015 ECIH 71 Timothy Morrison and others v Alistair Carmichael MP and Alistair Buchan

Petitions withdrawn before trial

In some cases a petition was presented and security for costs was given, but the petitioner applied to withdraw the petition before trial.

  • 1868: Athlone. John Stamforth v. John James Ennis.
  • 1868: Boston. Thomas Mason Jones v. John Wingfield Malcolm and Thomas Collins.
  • 1868: Bradford (No. 3). Samuel Storey and Thomas Garnett v. Rt. Hon. William Edward Forster.
  • 1868: Cambridge. Daniel Lloyd and John Brown v. Robert Richard Torrens and William Fowler.
  • 1868: Carlow Borough. Richard Boardman v. William Fagan.
  • 1868: Christchurch. Harcourt Pauncefoot Popham v. Edmund Haviland Burke.
  • 1868: Derbyshire, Northern (No. 1). William Longsdon and others v. Augustus Peter Arkwright.
  • 1868: Derbyshire, Northern (No. 2). John Broxup Coates and another v. Lord George Henry Cavendish.
  • 1868: Dublin City (No. 2). Hon. David Robert Plunket v. Jonathan Pim.
  • 1868: Dumfriesshire. George Gustavus Walker v. Sir Sydney Hedley Waterlow.
  • 1868: Durham, Southern. John Cary Hendy and William Watson Brown v. Joseph W. Pease and Frederick Blackett Beaumont.
  • 1868: Enniskillen. George Kittson and Thomas Johnston v. John Henry, Viscount Crichton.
  • 1868: Gloucester. Francis Niblett and others v. William Philip Price and Charles James Monk.
  • 1868: Hampshire, Southern (No. 1). John Watkins Drew v. Lord Henry Scott.
  • 1868: Hampshire, Southern (No. 2). Charles Castleman and Arthur Frederick Naghton v. Rt. Hon. William Francis Cowper.
  • 1868: The Hartlepools. William Gray and others v. Ralph Ward Jackson.
  • 1868: Horsham (No. 1). Charles Spencer Scrace Dickins and another v. Robert Henry Hurst.
  • 1868: Kingston upon Hull. Joseph Walker Pease and others v. Charles Morgan Norwood and James Clay.
  • 1868: Pembroke. William Hughes v. Thomas Meyrick.
  • 1868: Preston. Joseph Toulmin and Richard Pemberton v. Edward Hermon and Sir Thomas George Fermor Hesketh, Bt.
  • 1868: Shrewsbury. Thomas Young and James Coch v. James Figgins.
  • 1868: Sligo County (No. 1). John Hannon and James Casey v. Sir Robert Gore Booth, Bt.
  • 1868: Sligo County (No. 2). Henry Griffith v. Denis Maurice O'Connor.
  • 1868: Stockport (No. 1). James Walton and William Jones v. John Benjamin Smith.
  • 1868: Stockport (No. 2). Ephraim Hallam and John Eskrigge v. William Tipping.
  • 1868: Taunton (No. 1). John Dyke and William Oaten v. Alexander Charles Barclay.
  • 1868: Taunton (No. 3). John Dyke and William Oaten v. Alexander Charles Barclay.
  • 1868: Thirsk. Frederic Bell and others v. Sir William Payne Gallwey, Bt.
  • 1868: Warwickhire, Southern. William Colley and others v. John Hardy.
  • 1868: Wick Burghs. Edmund Beatty Lockyer v. George Loch.
  • 1868: York (No. 1). T. H. Gladstone v. James Lowther.
  • 1868: York (No. 2). John Burrill v. Joshua Proctor Brown-Westhead.
  • 24 April 1869: Brecon. David Evans, David Williams, Rees Price and Edward Williams v. Edward Hyde Villiers, Lord Hyde.
  • 6 February 1872: Kerry. Thomas Duckett Maybury and Maurice Harman v. Rowland Ponsonby Blennerhassett.
  • 16 April 1873: Tyrone. John William Ellison Macartney v. Capt. Hon. Henry William Lowry Corry.
  • 1874: Ayr Burghs. Edward Henry John Craufurd v. Sir William James Montgomery Cuninghame, Bt.
  • 1874: Durham, Southern. Henry Edward Surtees, William Culley Stobart and George Anthony Leaton Blenkinsopp v. Joseph Whitwell Pease and Frederick Edward Blackett Beaumont.
  • 1874: Isle of Wight. Hon. A.E.M. Ashley v. A.B. Cochrane.
  • 1874: Kerry. Maurice James O'Connell, James Egan, John Harrison, and Maurice Walsh v. Henry Arthur Herbert and Rowland Ponsonby Blennerhassett.
  • 1874: Kidderminster. H.R. Willis and another v. Albert Grant.
  • 1874: Leitrim. Francis O'Beirne v. William Richard Ormsby Gore (The trial judge refused permission for the petition to be listed for trial).
  • 1874: Pembroke. G. White v. Edward James Reed.
  • 1874: Stockport. John Oldfield and James Kirk v. Charles Henry Hopwood and Frederick Pennington.
  • 26 May 1874: Poole. Sir I.B. Guest, Bt. v. Hon. A.M. Ashley.
  • 22 June 1874: Durham, Northern. Edward Pickering and William Williams v. Charles Mark Palmer.
  • 1880: Bandon. John Corcoran v. Percy B. Bernard.
  • 1880: Bury St Edmunds. W.H. Rushbrooke and another v. J.A. Hardcastle.
  • 1880: Cheshire, Western. J. Ledsham and another v. W.F.Tollemache and another.
  • 1880: Colchester. Thomas May, John Lay, Alfred Robert Staines, James Watson, William Moseley Tabrum and Frederick Abraham Cole v. William Willis.
  • 1880: Dunbartonshire. John William Burns v. Archibald Orr-Ewing.
  • 1880: Hereford. J.B. Preece and others v. J. Pulley and another.
  • 1880: Horsham. T.W. Cowan and others v. Sir H. Fletcher.
  • 1880: Leominster. S.W. Johnson and another v. J. Rankin.
  • 1880: Londonderry City. John Boyle and William Conaghan v. Charles Edward Lewis.
  • 1880: Londonderry County. James Forrest and Thomas Walker v. Rt. Hon. Hugh Law and Sir Thomas McClure, Bt.
  • 1880: Nottingham. P. Isaac and another v. C. Seely and another. Although the Judges passed on a letter reporting rumours that the Respondents had paid £10,000 to secure the withdrawal of the petition, they stated that they had no reason to believe it to be true.
  • 1880: Stroud. W. Smith v. W.J. Stenton and another.
  • 1880: Wicklow. William Wentworth FitzWilliam Dick v. James Carlisle McCoan and Howard Brooke.
  • 1880: Wilton. S.B. Wilson v. Hon. S. Herbert.
  • 1892: Halifax. Alfred Arnold v. William Rawson Shaw.
  • 1892: Lichfield. Sir John Swinburne, Bt. v. Major Darwin.
  • 1895: Durham. Arthur Ralph Douglas Elliot v. Matthew Fowler.
  • 1895: Edinburgh, South. Robert Burn and Joseph Train Gray v. Robert Cox.
  • 1895: Southampton (No. 1). Sir Francis Henry Evans v. Tankerville Chamberlayne and Sir John Stephen Barrington Simeon, Bt.
  • 1900: Wick Burghs. James Edward Harper and others v. Arthur Bignold. (The petitioner was substituted by Thomas Charles Hunter Hedderwick.)
  • 14 July 1988: Kensington. Phylip Andrew David Hobson v. John Dudley Fishburn. Ordered to be struck out on the motion of the respondent: the petitioner was aged 19 so he could not lodge a petition claiming to have been elected, as the Parliamentary Elections Act 1695 set the minimum age at 21. Hobson attempted to withdraw the petition and substitute a new one in which he would petition as an elector, but he was out of time to do so.[2]
  • 2015: Mid Bedfordshire. Timothy Scott Ireland v Nadine Vanessa Dorries. Ordered to be struck out on the motion of the respondent: the petition was not served on the respondent according to law as it was delivered to her constituency office rather than her home address.[3]
  • 6 June 2019: Peterborough. Michael Greene v. Lisa Forbes.

See also


  1. Craig, F.W.S. (1974). British Parliamentary Election Results 1885-1918. Macmillan.
  2. Shiranikha Herbert, "Courts constrained by election time-limits", The Guardian, 1 November 1988, p. 39.
  3. Tabby Kinder, "Clifford Chance client Nadine Dorries MP bats off "harrassment" [sic] election petition, The Lawyer, 30 July 2015.

Further reading