Coventry North West by-election, 1976

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The Coventry North West by-election, in Coventry on 4 March 1976, was held after the death of Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Edelman. A safe Labour seat, it was won by Geoffrey Robinson, who retained the seat in 1979.

Party performance[edit]

The by-election represented the first outing for the National Party; it had recently split from the National Front and both parties ran candidates in the election. Although both polled poorly, it set a trend for a split far right vote which was replicated in the Vauxhall by-election, 1989 and elsewhere.

The Liberal Party vote fell in this by-election, a development that former leader Jo Grimond blamed in part on scandals surrounding incumbent Jeremy Thorpe's homosexuality. Grimond suggested that the result and the allegatons meant that Thorpe "must think of stepping down".[1] Thorpe stood down as Liberal leader two months later.


Coventry North West, 1976[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Geoffrey Robinson 17,118 47.72 -4.14
Conservative Jonathan Guinness 13,424 37.42 +6.08
Liberal Alan Leighton 4,062 11.32 -4.34
National Front Andrew Fountaine 986 2.75 N/A
National Party John Kingsley Read 208 0.60 N/A
More Prosperous Britain Thomas Keen 40 0.11 N/A
Logic Party William Dunmore 33 0.09 N/A
Majority 3,694 10.3
Turnout 35,871
Labour hold Swing


  1. ^ Michael McManus, Jo Grimond: Towards the Sound of Gunfire, Edinburgh, 2001, p. 325
  2. ^ "1976 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2015-09-17.