Ribble Valley by-election, 1991

The Ribble Valley by-election, in Lancashire, England, took place on 7 March 1991 following the elevation of United Kingdom MP David Waddington to the House of Lords. Michael Carr of the Liberal Democrats won election at his third attempt.

The seat, based largely on the market town of Clitheroe, had previously been safely Conservative but at the time the controversial Margaret Thatcher's "Poll Tax" policy was used by opposition parties against the Conservative candidate. The tax was abolished soon afterwards by Thatcher's successor John Major, who had succeeded Thatcher on her resignation in November 1990.

The then-young Liberal Democrats maintained the record of their parent parties at often scoring by-election "scalps" by winning apparently-safe seats, although rarely holding them at subsequent general elections. Indeed, despite their victory at Ribble Valley, the Lib Dems lost the seat a little over a year later at the 1992 general election to the Conservative Nigel Evans who has held the seat ever since.


Ribble Valley by-election, 1991[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Michael Carr 22,377 48.5 +27.1
Conservative Nigel Evans 17,776 38.5 -22.3
Labour Josephine Farrington 4,356 9.5 -8.3
Independent Conservative David Brass 611 1.3
Green Halldora Ingham 466 1.0
Monster Raving Loony Screaming Lord Sutch 278 0.6
Liberal Simon Taylor 133 0.3
Corrective Party Lindi St Claire 72 0.2
Raving Loony Green Giant Clitheroe Kid Stuart Hughes 60 0.1
Majority 4,601 10.0
Turnout 46,129 71.1
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing 24.7


  1. Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1987-92 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 2015-10-01.

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