1955 Orpington by-election

The Orpington by-election, 1955 was a parliamentary by-election held on 20 January 1955 for the British House of Commons constituency of Orpington in Kent, England. It followed the death of the incumbent Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Sir Waldron Smithers. The seat was held by the Conservatives.

The by-election was notable in that Sumner as the incumbent chairman of the divisional Conservative Association defeated Margaret Thatcher to be adopted prospective candidate for the local constituency.[1] The Liberal Party announced that it would not contest the by-election.[2]


1955 Orpington by-election[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Donald Sumner 20,082 65.8 +3.1
Labour R. David Vaughan Williams 10,426 34.2 -3.1
Majority 9,656 31.6 +6.2
Turnout 30,508 55.4 -26.6
Registered electors 55,069
Conservative hold Swing +3.1


  1. ^ Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley
  2. ^ The Times, Orpington Polling Day 20 January 5 Jan 1955
  3. ^ British Parliament by-election: 1955