2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election

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2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election
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Brecon and Radnorshire constituency

Brecon and Radnorshire constituency within Wales

MP before election

Chris Davies

Elected MP


A by-election will be held in the UK Parliament constituency of Brecon and Radnorshire on 1 August 2019 following the successful recall petition for the dismissal of Chris Davies, who had held the seat for the Conservatives since the 2015 general election.[1][2]


Richard Livsey, a Liberal standing for the SDP–Liberal Alliance, won the seat in the 1985 Brecon and Radnor by-election and retained it in 1987. He lost it narrowly as a Liberal Democrat MP to the Conservative Jonathan Evans in the 1992 general election. The Liberal Democrats regained the seat in the 1997 election and held it until 2015, when Chris Davies won it for the Conservatives.[3] Davies retained his seat at the 2017 general election with an increased majority of 8,038 over the Liberal Democrat candidate.

In February 2019, Davies was charged with false expenses claims, pursuant to the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.[4] He pleaded guilty in March[5][6] and, in April, was sentenced to a community order of 50 hours unpaid work and a £1,500 fine.[7] Under the Recall of MPs Act 2015, this conviction triggered a recall petition.[8] After receiving notice from the sentencing court, the Speaker of the House of Commons indicated on 24 April 2019 that he would be instructing the constituency's petition officer to begin the recall process.[7] The petition opened on 9 May and remained open for signatures until 20 June 2019.[8] It required 5,303 signatures (10% of eligible voters) to be successful.[9][10]

The Conservative Party were officially registered as campaigners for the petition's failure,[11] whilst the Liberal Democrats, Labour and Plaid Cymru campaigned for its success.[12][13][14]

This petition was successful, receiving 10,005 signatures (19%), significantly in excess of the 10% of constituents required.[15] Davies was removed from the seat, creating a vacancy to be filled at a by-election, in which he is permitted to stand.

The by-election will occur shortly after the winner of the 2019 Conservative leadership election becomes Prime Minister[16] and the winner of the 2019 Liberal Democrats leadership election takes office. Should an opposition party win the seat, the working majority of the government (including confidence and supply from the DUP) in the House of Commons would be reduced to three.[17][18]

The by-election comes against the continuing backdrop of Brexit. The constituency lies within the county of Powys, where, at the 2019 European Parliament election, the Brexit Party gained the most votes.[19]

It will be the first Westminster by-election to take place in the month of August since the second Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election of 1981.

Candidates and campaign[edit]

The by-election is administered by Powys County Council. The deadline for candidate nominations was 5 July and the list of candidates is shown below.[20]

2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Christopher Davies
Labour Tom Davies
Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds
Brexit Party Des Parkinson N/A
UKIP Liz Phillips
Monster Raving Loony Lady Lily The Pink N/A

Davies wished to stand for re-election as the Conservative Party candidate and was chosen by the local party.[22] The Liberal Democrat candidate is Jane Dodds, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. The Labour Party candidate is Brecon town councillor Tom Davies.[1] The Brexit Party candidate is retired police chief superintendent Des Parkinson,[23] who previously stood in Montgomeryshire as a UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate for election to the UK parliament in May 2015, to the Welsh Assembly in May 2016,[24] and as Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, also in May 2016.[25]

Dodds, the Liberal Democrat candidate, is also supported by Plaid Cymru, the Greens, Change UK and the Renew Party. Plaid Cymru first indicated that it might not stand a candidate in order to support another party supporting a second referendum on Brexit.[3] Change UK called for an independent joint remain candidate in a letter to the Liberal Democrats, Plaid and the Greens.[26] Plaid and Change UK subsequently confirmed that they were in talks with other Remain-supporting parties.[27] Plaid Cymru decided not to put up a candidate, and to instead support Dodds.[28] The Green Party also chose not to stand a candidate, in order to "maximise the chances of the candidate most likely to beat the Conservatives and the Brexit Party."[29] The Renew Party likewise chose not to stand a candidate for the same reason.[30]

Shortly after the result of the recall petition was announced, bookmakers made the Liberal Democrats odds-on favourites to win.[3]

Previous result[edit]

General election 2017: Brecon and Radnorshire[31]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Christopher Davies 20,081 48.6 +7.5
Liberal Democrat James Gibson-Watt 12,043 29.1 +0.8
Labour Dan Lodge 7,335 17.7 +3.0
Plaid Cymru Kate Heneghan 1,299 3.1 -1.3
UKIP Peter Gilbert 576 1.4 -6.9
Majority 8,038 19.5 +6.7
Turnout 41,334 76.9 +3.1
Registered electors 56,010
Conservative hold Swing +3.4

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "MP Chris Davies unseated after petition triggers by-election". BBC News. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Brecon & Radnorshire parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Convicted Tory MP Chris Davies booted from Brecon and Radnorshire seat after recall petition passes". PoliticsHome.com. 21 June 2019.
  4. ^ Conservative MP Christopher Davies charged over 'false expenses claims' Evening Standard
  5. ^ "False expenses claim MP could lose seat". BBC News. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  6. ^ Tory MP Christopher Davies admits expenses fraud The Guardian
  7. ^ a b "Recall petition for convicted MP confirmed". BBC News. 24 April 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Convicted Tory MP's recall petition opens". BBC News. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  9. ^ "These are the details of the Chris Davies recall petition". Brecon & Radnor Express. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  10. ^ "MP's recall petition opens on 9 May". BBC News. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  11. ^ https://en.powys.gov.uk/media/9537/Accreditation-Notice---Conservative-Party---30.4.19/pdf/Accreditation_Notice_-_Conservative_Party_-_30.4.19.pdf?m=1556787750430
  12. ^ https://en.powys.gov.uk/media/9554/Accreditation-Notice---Liberal-Democrats/pdf/Accreditation_Notice_-_Liberal_Democrats.pdf?m=1557319870293
  13. ^ https://en.powys.gov.uk/media/9572/Accreditation-Notice---Plaid-Cymru/pdf/PC_Accreditation_Notice_for_a_registered_Party.pdf?m=1557818371087
  14. ^ "Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales leaflet". ElectionLeaflets.org.
  15. ^ "Welsh Tory MP unseated after petition". BBC News. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  16. ^ "The Brecon by-election could be the first real test for Boris Johnson". Coffee House. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Convicted Tory MP Chris Davies loses seat after recall petition". The Guardian. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  18. ^ "Conservatives face Welsh by-election after MP recalled". Financial Times. 21 June 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  19. ^ "Petition unseats Tory MP Chris Davies". 21 June 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  20. ^ "Powys County Council - Find out about upcoming elections". en.powys.gov.uk.
  21. ^ "Brecon and Radnorshire by-election: Six candidates confirmed". talkradio.co.uk.
  22. ^ "Former Tory MP will fight to regain seat". 23 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  23. ^ "Brecon and Radnorshire by-election Brexit Party candidate named". BBC News. 30 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Montgomeryshire - Welsh Assembly constituency - Election 2016". BBC News. 6 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Police and crime commissioner elections: Dyfed-Powys". BBC News. 8 May 2016.
  26. ^ Change UK - The Independent Group (21 June 2019). "NEW: @ForChange_Now has today called for an independent joint #Remain candidate in the Brecon & Radnorshire by-election in a letter to @LibDems @TheGreenParty & @Plaid_Cymru". Twitter.
  27. ^ "Plaid in Brecon by-election pact talks". BBC News. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  28. ^ Mason, Chris (4 July 2019). "Remain parties team up for Brecon and Radnorshire by-election". BBC News. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
  29. ^ Hancock, Barry (28 June 2019). "Brecon and Radnorshire By-election: Green Party not contesting seat". The County Times. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  30. ^ "Great news for Remain unity: Renew is standing aside in the Brecon by-election". www.newstatesman.com.
  31. ^ "Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF). Powys County Council. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2017.