Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
20 November 2013updated 21 Nov 2013 1:01pm

The Returning Officer: Chertsey

By Stephen Brasher

George Bingham, the fifth earl of Lucan, served in the rifle brigade before moving into politics, winning the 1904 Chertsey by-election for the Conservatives. He became the only Conservative ever to lose the seat when he was swept aside by Frank Marnham in the Liberal landslide of 1906.

Marnham only served one term, asking parliamentary questions about the exemption of sheepdogs from the dog licence and the number of road signs in each county council denoting danger to pioneering motorists. Surrey had 420.

Both lasted longer than John Fyler, who resigned 15 months after he won the 1903 by-election and is not recorded as speaking in the Commons at all. Philip Richardson, elected in the 1922 by-election, won a silver medal at the 1908 Olympics in the men’smilitary shooting team.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.

Content from our partners
How to create a responsible form of “buy now, pay later”
“Unions are helping improve conditions for drivers like me”
Transport is the core of levelling up