Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
24 June 2022

How the Tories suffered the biggest by-election defeat in British history

The previous record had stood for almost 90 years before the Tiverton and Honiton vote.

By Afiq Fitri

The Conservatives have suffered the biggest by-election defeat in British history after the Liberal Democrats overturned a 24,239 majority to win Tiverton and Honiton, a seat held by the Tories since its creation in 1997. The previous record was held by Labour, which overturned a 23,927 Tory majority at the 1935 by-election in Liverpool Wavertree. 

The Tiverton and Honiton by-election was triggered by the resignation of Neil Parish, the seat’s Conservative MP, after he admitted watching pornography in the House of Commons. It marks the third safe Conservative seat the Liberal Democrats have won in this parliament, following North Shropshire (where the Tories had a majority of 22,949) and Chesham and Amersham (a majority of 16,223).

 

 

Oliver Dowden, the Conservative Party co-chairman, resigned shortly after the results were declared, telling the Prime Minister in a letter that “somebody needs to take responsibility” and that “we cannot continue with business as usual”. But Boris Johnson, speaking from Rwanda, where he is attending the Commonwealth heads of government meeting, said that while he took responsibility for the results, he would “keep going” and “listen” to voters.

“The people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for Britain,” said Richard Foord, its new Liberal Democrat MP. “They have sent a loud and clear message that it’s time for Boris Johnson to go.”

The Tories also suffered another by-election defeat in Wakefield last night, with Labour regaining the Red Wall seat with a majority of 4,921.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

[See also: The informal Labour-Lib Dem alliance could doom the Tories

Content from our partners
What you need to know about private markets
Work isn't working: how to boost the nation's health and happiness
The dementia crisis: a call for action

Topics in this article : , ,