List of deaths of candidates during general elections of the United Kingdom

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There have been eight instances of a death of a candidate during a British general election since 1918.[1] The 1918 election was the first date at which all constituencies in the United Kingdom voted on the same day. The rules governing the procedure for dealing with the death of a candidate occur in the Representation of the People Act 1983. A candidate's death results in the election being postponed whether it is a general election or a by-election. According to the Electoral Commission, the election continues as normal if the deceased candidate was standing as an independent. The Returning Officer must be shown proof of the death and a new election is held 28 days from this date. The poll is stopped immediately even if votes are being counted. There is no requirement for candidates to re-register, a new candidate may be nominated by the party of the deceased and the other candidates may at this point withdraw from the election. Under all circumstances the deposit of the deceased candidate will be returned.[2] The time at which the Returning Officer hears of the death is the relevant factor not the date of the death itself. The most recent candidate to die during a general election is John Boakes, the United Kingdom Independence Party candidate for Thirsk and Malton who died before the United Kingdom general election, 2010.[1]

Deaths during elections since 1900[edit]

Name Election Party Date of death Days before election Age Constituency References
Lucas, F. A.F. A. Lucas 1918 Conservative 9 December 1918 3 Lambeth, Kennington [3]
White, Charles FrederickCharles Frederick White 1923 Liberal 4 December 1923 2 60 Derbyshire, West [3]
Yates, H.H. Yates 1929 Labour 27 May 1929 3 Rugby [3]
Windsor, WalterWalter Windsor* 1945 Labour 30 June 1945 6 61 Kingston upon Hull Central [3]
Fleming, EdwardEdward Fleming* 1950 Conservative 17 February 1950 6 59 Manchester Moss Side [3]
Collindridge, FrankFrank Collindridge* 1951 Labour 16 October 1951 9 60 Barnsley [3]
Harrison, JoJo Harrison 2005 Liberal Democrat 29 April 2005 5 53 South Staffordshire [1]
Boakes, JohnJohn Boakes 2010 UKIP 22 April 2010 14 63 Thirsk and Malton [4] [5]
notes: *= likely winner, had they lived. Replacement won in their place.


  1. ^ a b c BBC News 2010
  2. ^ Electoral Commission:Guidance for candidates and agents, The 2010 UK Parliamentary general elections in Great Britain, p 39, Rule 60(3), PER.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Rallings & Thrasher 2007, p. 122
  4. ^ Tingle 2010
  5. ^ Stead 2010

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