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The Clitheroe by-election, 1979 was a by-election held for the British House of Commons constituency of Clitheroe in Lancashire on 1 March 1979. It was won by the Conservative Party candidate David Waddington.



The seat had become vacant when the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), David Walder had died at the age of 49 on 26 October 1978. He had held the seat since the 1970 general election, having previously been MP for High Peak in Derbyshire.


The Conservative candidate was 49-year-old David Waddington, a barrister who had been MP for Nelson and Colne from 1968 until his defeat at the October 1974 general election. The Labour Party candidate was Lindsay Sutton, and the Liberals fielded Frank Wilson.


The result was a clear victory for Waddington, with a massively increased majority of 36.6% of the votes. The Labour vote fell by a few percent, but the Liberal share of the vote collapsed to 6.6% from its 20.8% high in October 1974.

Waddington held the seat until its abolition for the 1983 general election, when he was returned for the new Ribble Valley constituency. He went on to become Home Secretary and Leader of the House of Lords.


Clitheroe by-election, 1979
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Waddington 22,185 65.0 +17.0
Labour Lindsay Sutton 9,685 28.4 −2.8
Liberal Frank Wilson 2,242 6.6 −14.2
Majority 12,500 36.6 +19.8
Turnout 34,112
Conservative hold Swing +9.9
General Election October 1974: Clitheroe
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative David Walder 19,643 48.0 +0.2
Labour B. McColgan 12,775 31.2 +3.2
Liberal C. W. Roberts 8,503 20.8 −3.4
Majority 6,868 16.8 −3.0
Turnout 78.6 −5.0
Conservative hold Swing −1.5

See also




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