The Conservative Party retained the seat, with future party leader William Hague the winner. However, this has been attributed in part to the decision by the remnants of the Social Democratic Party (the part that objected to the merger with the Liberal Party the previous year) to contest the election as well as the newly formed Social and Liberal Democrats (who subsequently renamed themselves the Liberal Democrats). The SDP candidate, local farmer Mike Potter, finished second (with 16,909 votes, 2,634 behind Hague), while the Social and Liberal Democrats' Barbara Pearce came third with 11,589.
1 Anthony Millns was an independent candidate who used his occupation "University Information Officer" on the ballot paper. His campaign was focused on keeping the brewery company Theakstons within British ownership.