Politics 25 April 2013 The Returning Officer: This House Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML James Graham’s play This House (currently at the National Theatre) shows the whittling away of the 1974-79 Labour government’s majority. Brian O’Malley, MP for Rotherham (1963-76), who dies in the Commons during the play, had, before his election, been a teacher and run a dance band. In the June 1976 by-election, the second-last place went to Peter Bishop of the World Grid Sunshine Room Party. Bishop had stood in the 1975 Woolwich West by-election and went on to stand at Thurrock in July 1976. The Liverpool Edge Hill by-election came the day after the Labour government lost a vote of confidence in 1979. Joan Jonker, who was later to become a successful romantic novelist, stood as a victims of crime candidate and was described in the Liverpool Echo by Anne Robinson as “remarkably nice . . . considering her views on punishment were only slightly less severe than the Ayatollah Khomeini’s”. › Why horse meat leaves a bad taste in the mouth Subscribe from just £1 per issue This article first appeared in the 12 April 2013 issue of the New Statesman, Centenary Special Issue More Related articles Not since the Thatcher years have so many Tory MPs been so motivated by self-interest The economic slowdown is another reason Theresa May called an early election Should the UK get militarily involved in Syria?