1987 Truro by-election

The 1987 Truro by-election, was caused by the death of David Penhaligon, the Liberal Member of Parliament (MP) for Truro on 22 December 1986 in a car crash near the city. The election was held on 12 March 1987. The constituency was renamed Truro and St Austell in 1997.

1987 Truro by-election

← 1983 12 March 1987 1987 →

Constituency of Truro
Turnout70.2% (Decrease 9.4%)
  First party Second party Third party
Candidate Matthew Taylor Nick St Aubyn John King
Party Liberal Conservative Labour
Popular vote 30,599 15,982 3,603
Percentage 60.4% 31.5% 7.1%
Swing Increase3.1% Decrease6.6% Increase2.6%

MP before election

David Penhaligon

Subsequent MP

Matthew Taylor

The Liberal Party, standing with the backing of the Social Democratic Party as part of the SDP-Liberal Alliance, formed a shortlist of five candidates: Matthew Taylor (Penhaligon's economic policy assistant), Paul Tyler (outgoing chair of the Liberal Party and former MP for Bodmin), Doris Ansari (chair of Cornwall County Council's planning and employment committee), Malcolm Brown (Penhaligon's part-time constituency agent), and Philip Beckerlegge (solicitor and Liberal candidate for Cirencester and Tewkesbury in 1983 and 1987).[1] Taylor was the favourite and was chosen to be the Liberal candidate.

The Conservative candidate was Nick St Aubyn who would go on to become member for Guildford. The Labour Party and Green Party put forward candidates. The only other candidate was Helen Anscomb, who represented Death off Road: Freight on Rail. Anscomb had previously taken part in four other by-elections of the 49th Parliament and on this occasion focused her campaign on the issue of road safety as Penhaligon had been killed in a car accident.

After the election, Anscomb lodged an election petition against the return of Taylor on the grounds that he had appeared on Channel Four News and BBC Newsnight without the other candidates, in breach of election law. The petition was stayed and eventually withdrawn due to her ill-health.

This election is notable for being the last by-election during that term of parliament, as a general election (which saw the Tories achieve a third successive win) was called three months later.

Results edit

Truro by-election, 1987[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Alliance (Liberal) Matthew Taylor 30,599 60.4 +3.1
Conservative Nick St Aubyn 15,982 31.5 −6.6
Labour John King 3,603 7.1 +2.5
Green Howard Hoptrough 403 0.8 New
Death off Road: Freight on Rail Helen Anscomb 75 0.1 New
Majority 14,617 28.9 +9.7
Turnout 50,662 70.2 −9.4
Alliance hold Swing +4.8

References edit

  1. ^ Dennis Johnson (7 February 1987). "Liberals' Truro list". The Guardian. p. 3. Retrieved 11 June 2022.
  2. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1983-87 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Archived from the original on 5 April 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2015.

External links edit