Colne Valley by-election, 1963
Colne Valley had been won by Labour at every election since 1935 when they gained the seat from the Liberals. The result at the last General election was as follows;
|Labour||Rt Hon. William George Glenvil Hall||19,284||44.3|
|Conservative||Christopher J. Barr||13,030||29.9|
|Liberal||Richard Scurrah Wainwright||11,254||25.8||N/A|
Labour selected 43-year-old Patrick Duffy. He contested Tiverton in 1950, 1951 and 1955. He was a Lecturer at Leeds University from 1950-63. He was educated at the London School of Economics and Columbia University, New York City.
The Conservatives selected 28-year-old outsider, Andrew C. Alexander, a journalist and leader writer. He was educated at Lancing College. A former member of Dorchester Borough Council. A past chairman of North Kensington Young Conservatives and Dorchester Young Conservatives.
The Liberals re-selected 44-year-old Leeds man, Richard Wainwright. He contested Pudsey in 1950 and 1955 and Colne Valley in 1959. A chartered accountant. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Clare College, Cambridge. He was a Member of the Liberal Party Committee and Council; and was chairman of the Liberal Party Organization Department from 1955-57.
An independent candidate, A. Fox, also stood.
174 people serving in the Armed Forces applied for nomination papers, as it was usual practice at the time that any serving personnel doing so would be given an honourable discharge. However, unlike by-elections late the previous year, none of the candidates paid a deposit and so they secured their release without appearing on the ballot paper.
Main Issues and Campaign
It was a long campaign, with polling day not taking place until 5 months after the death of the previous MP. The main themes of Wainwright's Liberal campaign were; State pensions tied to cost of living index, create a new Ministry of Employment and no more Nationalisation.
The Labour vote share held while the Liberals gained support at the expense of the Conservatives. Significantly, Wainwright had managed to push the Conservative into third place.
|Labour||Albert Edward Patrick Duffy||18,033||44.5||+0.2|
|Liberal||Richard Scurrah Wainwright||15,994||39.5||+13.7|
|Conservative||Andrew C. Alexander||6,238||15.4||-14.5|
All three main party candidates did battle again at the following General Election. Wainwright further closed the gap on the Labour party. The result at the 1964 General election;
|Labour||Albert Edward Patrick Duffy||18,537||42.0||-2.5|
|Liberal||Richard Scurrah Wainwright||18,350||41.6||+2.1|
|Conservative||Andrew C. Alexander||7,207||16.3||+0.9|
Wainwright eventually defeated Duffy at the 1966 General Election.
- Who's Who: www.ukwhoswho.com
- By-Elections in British Politics by Cook and Ramsden
- Wainwright's election material: http://by-elections.co.uk/colne63/Liberal.html