2014 Newark by-election

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Newark by-election

← 2010 5 June 2014 2015 →

Newark constituency
  First party Second party Third party
  Official portrait of Robert Jenrick crop 2.jpg Helmer, Roger-9461.jpg No image.svg
Candidate Robert Jenrick Roger Helmer Michael Payne
Party Conservative UKIP Labour
Popular vote 17,431 10,028 6,842
Percentage 45.0% 25.9% 17.7%
Swing Decrease8.9% Increase22.1% Decrease4.7%

Map showing the Newark Parliamentary constituency within the English county of Nottinghamshire.

MP before election

Patrick Mercer

Subsequent MP

Robert Jenrick

The Newark by-election was a by-election in the Newark constituency of the British House of Commons, which was held on 5 June 2014,[1][2] following the resignation of Patrick Mercer.[3] Conservative Robert Jenrick won the seat with a majority of 7,403.


Mercer resigned the Conservative Party whip on 31 May 2013 after an investigation by the BBC's Panorama programme regarding allegations of paid lobbying without registering the interest.[4] He was paid £4,000 for asking questions in Parliament, and the Panorama team considered that he asked five parliamentary questions, but declared only £2,000 of the £4,000.[5] As a consequence, he said at the time that he would not stand in the 2015 general election.[6]

On 29 April, after being told that the Committee on Standards would recommend that he be suspended from the House of Commons for six months, Mercer announced that he would resign his seat: he told journalists on College Green that he was standing down from "God's county of Nottinghamshire".[3][7] Mercer was appointed Steward and Bailiff of the Three Chiltern Hundreds on 30 April 2014, a mechanism by which MPs resign.[8]

The writ was moved on 1 May 2014 for the by-election to be held on 5 June.[1][9]


The nominations closed at 4pm on Tuesday 13 May with 11 candidates being nominated.[10]

The local Conservative Party had already selected Robert Jenrick to fight the seat.[11] Jenrick trained as a solicitor and is a director of Christie's auction house. He is married with two children.

Labour selected 27-year-old councillor Michael Payne, a former students' union president[12] and current deputy leader of Gedling Borough Council.[13]

The Liberal Democrats chose David Watts, leader of Broxtowe Borough Council.[13]

Nigel Farage was immediately interviewed on the evening of 29 April and said he was "tempted" to stand, but the next morning he ruled himself out.[14] UKIP instead announced that outspoken former Conservative and current UKIP MEP for the East Midlands Roger Helmer[15][16] would stand in the by-election.[17]

The Bus Pass Elvis Party leader and perennial election candidate, David Bishop, announced on 6 May that he would stand in the by-election after taking fourth place ahead of the Liberal Democrats in a recent local authority by-election in Clifton North ward, Nottingham.[18]


2014 Newark by-election[19][20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Robert Jenrick 17,431 45.0 –8.9
UKIP Roger Helmer 10,028 25.9 +22.1
Labour Michael Payne 6,842 17.7 –4.7
Independent Paul Baggaley 1,891 4.9 New
Green David Kirwan 1,057 2.7 New
Liberal Democrats David Watts 1,004 2.6 –17.4
Monster Raving Loony Nick The Flying Brick 168 0.4 New
Independent Andy Hayes 117 0.3 New
Bus-Pass Elvis David Bishop 87 0.2 New
Common Good Dick Rodgers 64 0.2 New
Patriotic Socialist Party Lee Woods 18 0.0 New
Majority 7,403 19.1 –12.4
Turnout 38,707 52.79 –19.61
Conservative hold Swing –15.5

The Conservatives retained the seat with a majority of over 7,000 which was described by the BBC as 'a relatively comfortable victory'.[21] While UKIP's performance decreased the Conservative majority the BBC's Alex Forsyth said this was 'not as much as Mr Farage had hoped - or predicted'.[21] Christopher Hope, writing in The Daily Telegraph, argued that 'the scale of the victory is a vindication for the Tory high command which mounted a huge effort to win the seat' and claimed that David Cameron 'had halted the momentum of Ukip'.[22] George Osborne hailed his party's victory and noted that it was the first time the Conservative's had held a seat at a by-election while in government for 25 years.[21] However, both Nigel Farage and Labour's Chris Bryant suggested that the Conservative performance was not particularly impressive.[21] It was suggested by Owen Jones in The Guardian that "Labour and Lib Dem voters clearly voted tactically to keep Ukip out".[23] The poor performance for the Liberal Democrats was described by the BBC as one of 'worst performances in a post-war English by-election' for the party or its predecessors,[21] and by The Telegraph as 'a disaster' for the party.[22]


Polling organisation/client Sample size Con Lab LD UKIP Others Lead
5 Jun 2014 2014 by-election 38,707 45.0% 17.7% 3% 25.9% 8% 19% over UKIP
2–3 Jun Survation 678 42% 22% 4% 27% 5% 15% over UKIP
27 May–1 Jun Lord Ashcroft 1,000 42% 20% 6% 27% 5% 15% over UKIP
27–28 May Survation/The Sun 606 36% 27% 5% 28% 5% 8% over UKIP
6 May 2010 2010 Results (Newark only) 51,228 53.9% 22.3% 20.0% 3.8% - 31.5% over Lab

Previous result[edit]

General election 2010: Newark[24]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Conservative Patrick Mercer 27,590 53.9 +3.4
Labour Ian Campbell 11,438 22.3 −6.0
Liberal Democrats Pauline Jenkins 10,246 20.0 +1.6
UKIP Tom Irvine 1,954 3.8 +1.0
Majority 16,152 31.6 +9.4
Turnout 51,228 71.4 +8.0
Conservative hold Swing +4.7

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Britton, Alex (1 May 2014). "Newark by-election to take place on June 5". Nottingham Post. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  2. ^ Newark and Sherwood District Council: Newark Parliamentary by-election 2014 Archived 2014-05-12 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 7 May 2014
  3. ^ a b "Former Tory MP Mercer resigns after Commons suspension". BBC News. BBC. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Mercer aftermath: Will PM introduce new lobbying laws?". BBC News. BBC. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  5. ^ Nicholas Watt "MP Patrick Mercer resigns Commons seat in wake of lobbying allegations", theguardian.com, 29 April 2014
  6. ^ "Tory MP Patrick Mercer Quits The Party". Sky News. BSkyB. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  7. ^ Nicholas Watt, "Farage considering standing in Newark", The Guardian website, 30 April 2014
  8. ^ UK Parliament website, "Patrick Mercer appointed to the Three Hundreds of Chiltern", 30 April 2014
  9. ^ "Patrick Mercer 'deliberately evaded' MPs' rules, watchdog finds", BBC News, 1 May 2014
  10. ^ "STATEMENT AS TO PERSONS NOMINATED AND NOTICE OF POLL" (PDF). Newark & Sherwood. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  11. ^ Robert Jenrick, Candidate for Newark Archived 2014-04-29 at the Wayback Machine, Conservative Party website.
  12. ^ "UKIP's Nigel Farage says he will not stand in Newark poll". BBC News. BBC. 30 April 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Newark by-election: PM visits British Sugar". Newark Advertiser. 9 May 2014. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Nigel Farage: Newark seat 'seriously tempting'", BBC News, 30 April 2014
    - Norman Smith, "A pint with Nigel Farage as he mulled big decision", BBC News, 30 April 2014
  15. ^ Tom Payne, "Ukip MEP Roger Helmer: People should be able to dislike homosexuality like they do different types of tea", The Independent, 29 April 2014
    - Adam Withnall, "Roger Helmer MEP at centre of homophobia row unveiled as Ukip candidate for Newark by-election", The Independent, 6 May 2014
  16. ^ Roger Helmer, underage girls and consent Liberal England
  17. ^ Rowena Mason and agencies, "Ukip selects candidate who argued date rape victims should take responsibility", The Guardian, 7 May 2014, p5
  18. ^ Alex Britton, "Patrick Mercer 'deliberately evaded' MPs' rules, watchdog finds" Archived 2014-05-06 at the Wayback Machine, Nottingham Post, 6 May 2014
  19. ^ "Newark by-election candidate names confirmed". BBC News. 13 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Newark By-Election results". Newark and Sherwood District Council. 5 June 2014. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  21. ^ a b c d e "Conservatives see off UKIP challenge to win Newark by-election". 6 June 2014. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  22. ^ a b Hope, Christopher (6 June 2014). "Conservatives halt the march of Ukip as they win Newark by-election". The Telegraph. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  23. ^ Jones, Owen (6 June 2014). "Now Ukip is feeling the effect of protest vote politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  24. ^ "Newark". YourNextMP. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2010.