Friday, June 24, 2022

Lib Dems gain Tiverton and Honiton with huge swing as Labour wins Wakefield

From the Guardian website this morning:

The Conservatives have lost two key byelections on the same night, with Labour taking Wakefield and the Liberal Democrats overturning a 24,000-plus majority to snatch Tiverton and Honiton, piling enormous political pressure on to Boris Johnson.

The Tiverton and Honiton result, where the Lib Dem candidate, Richard Foord, defeated the Tories’ Helen Hurford by 6,144 votes to take a constituency that has been Conservative in its various forms for well over a century, will particularly spook Tory MPs.

It is believed to be the biggest numerical majority ever overturned in a byelection, although there have been higher percentage swings in other seats.

And Britain Elects has the numbers:


Phil Beesley said...

Has anyone performed a statistical analysis or survey of non-voters at by-elections?

And when did a bye-election become a by-election?

Matt Pennell said...

Fun fact: Thanks to by-election successes since 2019, the Lib Dems now control a greater landmass than Labour. As a geographer, that's the main criterion of success I look for

Jonathan Calder said...

Phil: "By-election" and "bye-election" were both used in the 19th century, but "by-election" had become much more often by the end of it and that has remained the case ever since - try a Google Ngram of the two words and you'll see.

Now "by-election" may be in the process of becoming "byelection" - the Guardian is already using that form, but the one with the hyphen is still much more popular.

I don't know about research on non-voters.

Matt: I remember when the Liberal Party claimed this in 1985 after we won Brecon and Radnor.

Phil Beesley said...

Contraction from by-election to byelection is logical, assuming that UK English grammar guides are about right.

Bye-election is still commonly used in countries where English is a language of government (Ireland, Malta, India).