Chester-le-Street by-election, 1956

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The Chester-le-Street by-election, 1956 was a parliamentary by-election held for the British House of Commons constituency of Chester-le-Street on 27 September 1956.


The by-election had been caused by the death aged 47 years on 25 June 1956 of the sitting Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Patrick Bartley. Bartley had held the seat since 1950.


In what was to be a straight fight between the two main parties, Labour chose Norman Pentland, a colliery checkweighman from Fatfield, County Durham as their candidate and the Conservatives selected the journalist William Rees-Mogg.[1]


The main political topic of the day was the Suez Crisis [2] but the cost of living and the performance of the government on the economy were also mentioned by Labour as issues in the campaign.[3]

The result[edit]

In what was a safe Labour seat during a period of Conservative government Pentland was easily elected with a majority of 21,287 votes.

The votes[edit]

Chester-le-Street by-election, 1956 [4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Norman Pentland 27,912 80.8 +4.5
Conservative William Rees-Mogg 6,625 19.2 -4.5
Majority 27,287 61.6 +9.0
Turnout 34,537 65.0 -
Labour hold Swing


  1. ^ The Times, 13 September 1956, p6
  2. ^ The Times, 21 September 1956, p4
  3. ^ The Times, 26 September 1956, p6
  4. ^ "1956 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2015-08-14. 

See also[edit]