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The Ribble Valley by-election, in Lancashire, England, was called in 1991 following the elevation of United Kingdom MP David Waddington to the House of Lords.

The seat was a safe Conservative constituency, based largely on the market town of Clitheroe, but at the time the controversial Margaret Thatcher government policy of "Poll Tax" was used by opposition parties as a policy against the Conservative candidate.

The then-young Liberal Democrats had only been formed three years earlier but had scored by-election "scalps" by winning formerly safe seats, although these were rarely held at subsequent general elections. Indeed, despite their victory at Ribble Valley, the LibDems lost the seat a little over a year later at the United Kingdom general election, 1992.



Ribble Valley by-election, 1991
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
Independent - 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

Notes on Candidates

  • Nigel Evans regained the Ribble Valley seat for the Conservatives in the 1992 election and has held it ever since.
  • Michael Carr remains the only successful Liberal Democrat MP in the current boundaries of Lancashire
  • The BBC Radio comedian Jimmy Clitheroe had a long-running series under the name The Clitheroe Kid during the 1950s and 1960s. Clitheroe is the main town in the constituency.

External links

See also



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