Chesterfield by-election, 1984
The Chesterfield by-election, 1984 was held on 1 March 1984 for a seat in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom to represent Chesterfield in Derbyshire. This followed the resignation of the sitting Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Eric Varley.
The eventual winner, former Labour cabinet minister Tony Benn (who had been ousted from parliament at the general election nine months earlier) defeated sixteen other candidates, at the time the largest fielded in a British by-election — surpassing the previous high of twelve, at the Croydon North West by-election, 1981. This record would not be broken until the Newbury by-election, 1993.
At the time, there was no requirement for political parties fielding candidates to be registered, resulting in some fringe candidates using slogans or frivolous titles as their party name. Actor Bill Maynard took fourth place, standing as an "independent Labour" supporter who opposed Benn's candidacy. Other candidates included John Davey, who ran in opposition to increases in the charges for National Health Service dentistry, Helen Anscomb, a by-election veteran who called for freight to be transported by rail to improve road safety, Donald Butler, a furniture shop owner who adopted the slogan "a Chesterfield for Chesterfield", T. A Layton stood in the name of the Spare the Earth Ecology Party, which he had formed, and David Cahill campaigned for The Sun to be treated as a comic.
Chesterfield was Benn's fourth by-election win. He had first entered Parliament at the Bristol South East by-election, 1950 and held that seat until he was disqualified from the Commons in 1960, when he inherited his father's peerage, as Viscount Stansgate. At the resulting Bristol South East by-election 1961, he won with an increased majority of votes, but because he was ineligible to take his seat, the Conservative candidate Malcolm St Clair was declared elected. When the law was changed to allow peerages to be renounced, St Clair resigned the seat and Benn won the Bristol South East by-election 1963.
|Chesterfield by-election, 1984|
|Monster Raving Loony||David Sutch||178||0.3||N/A|
|Four-wheel drive Hatchback Road Safety||David Bentley||116||0.2||N/A|
|Independent Ecology Party||Thomas Layton||46||0.1||N/A|
|Independent - Freight on rails not roads||Helen Anscomb||34||0.1||N/A|
|Yoga and Meditation||Jitendra Bardwaj||33||0.1||N/A|
|Independent - Buy your Chesterfield in Thame Party||Donald Butler||24||0.1||N/A|
|The Welshman||Paul Nicholls-Jones||22||0.0||N/A|
|Elvisly Yours Elvis Presley Party||Sid Shaw||20||0.0||N/A|
|I am not a number||Christopher Hill||17||0.0||N/A|
|Acne Party||Giancarlo Piccaro||15||0.0||N/A|
|Re-classify The Sun newspaper a comic||David Cahill||12||0.0||N/A|
- ALDRIDGE-BROWNHILLS to LEEDS, WEST, 1983 to 1997 election results at election.demon.co.uk