Smethwick by-election, 1945

The Smethwick by-election, 1945 was a by-election held on 1 October 1945 for the British House of Commons constituency of Smethwick in Staffordshire (now in the West Midlands county).

The by-election was caused by the death of the town's newly elected Labour Party Member of Parliament (MP), 63-year-old Alfred Dobbs, who was killed in a car accident on 27 July 1945, only one day after his election at the 1945 general election[1] Apart from some MPs who were elected posthumously, Dobbs remains the United Kingdom's shortest-serving MP.

There were only two candidates in the by-election, Labour and Conservative; the Liberal Party had not fielded a candidate in Smethwick since the 1929 general election.

The result was a victory for the Labour candidate Patrick Gordon Walker, who held the seat comfortably with a slightly increased majority on a slightly reduced turnout. Gordon Walker was an MP for nearly 30 years, serving twice as a Cabinet minister.


By-election 1945: Smethwick


Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Patrick Gordon Walker 19,364 68.8 +2.9
Conservative G.H. Edgar 8,762 31.2 2.9
Majority 10,602 37.6 +5.8
Turnout 43,020 65.4 7.0
Labour hold Swing 2.9


  1. "M.P. Killed in Car Crash". Hartlepool Northern Daily Mail. 28 July 1945. Retrieved 27 May 2016 via British Newspaper Archive. (subscription required (help)).
  2. Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3rd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X.
  3. "1945 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 2012-02-06. Retrieved 2015-08-11.

See also

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