Gunter, who had resigned over the issue of the Common Market, had had a majority of nearly 10,000 and the seat was expected to remain a Labour one. Lamborn was described as 'a fervent anti-marketeer'. His main platform was opposition to the Government's Housing Finance Bill, which was expected to raise rents for council tenants. The constituency was reported as having more rented accommodation than any other in the country. The third candidate was an independent, Brian McDermott, who stood as the Actors Anti-Heath's Union-Bashing Tactics candidate.
Polling took place on the same day as the local elections outside London, in which Labour made very large gains. Labour won the seat comfortably with a swing of 11 per cent. The Conservatives took some comfort from the fact that in the by-election for the safe Kingston seat the same day, they retained it against only a small swing to Labour.