Birmingham Northfield by-election, 1982

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The Birmingham, Northfield by-election of 28 October 1982 was held after the death of Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) Jocelyn Cadbury on 31 July 1982. The seat was gained by the Labour Party in a defeat for Margaret Thatcher's government, ironically just after opinion polls showed an upswing in Conservative support following the victorious Falklands War campaign weeks earlier.


  • John Spellar, the winning Labour candidate, would later serve as MP for Warley West.
  • Roger Gale would later serve as MP for North Thanet.
  • Stephen Ridley, a solicitor, ran on a campaign of introducing works councils to give workers more say in their jobs and improving local amenities.[1]
  • Ian Anderson emerged as the leading figure of the Flag Group wing of the National Front and later became leader of the party.
  • Peter Sheppard ran on an anti-National Front, anti-Margaret Thatcher platform. He was chairman of the All Birmingham Committee Against Racism and Fascism.[2]
  • Bill Boaks, a serial independent candidate during the 1970s who frequently managed only double figure vote totals, was standing in his final by-election (he was also a candidate in the Peckham by-election, which was held simultaneously).


Birmingham, Northfield by-election, 1982[3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour John Spellar 15,904 36.3 −8.8
Conservative Roger Gale 15,615 35.6 −9.8
Liberal Stephen Ridley 11,453 26.1 +18.0
National Front Ian Anderson 411 0.9 -0.2
Communist Peter Sheppard 349 0.8 N/A
People's Progressive Party Ronald Taylor 63 0.2 N/A
Democratic Monarchist, Public Safety, White Resident Bill Boaks 60 0.1 N/A
Majority 289 0.7
Turnout 43,855 55.0
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -0.51


  1. ^ Ridley's election leaflet Archived 14 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Sheppard's election leaflet Archived 14 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1979-83 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 2015-09-19.