Darlington by-election, 1983
The seat had become vacant when the constituency's Labour Member of Parliament (MP), Edward Fletcher had died on 13 February 1983, a few days before his 72nd birthday. He had held the seat since the 1964 general election.
The result of the contest was a victory for the Labour candidate, Oswald O'Brien, who won with a majority of 2,412 over the Conservative Party candidate Michael Fallon. O'Brien only held the seat for three months, however, as it fell to Fallon at the general election in June 1983. The race is regarded among many former SDP members, including Bill Rodgers, as having been the race that destroyed the SDP's momentum. Tony Cook, a local television celebrity was the candidate and appeared to know very little about public issues and made a poor impression. At one point the SDP had been leading in the polls, but in part due to Cook's poor performance as a candidate, highlighted by the coverage from journalist Vincent Hanna, they finished third.
|Social Democratic||Anthony Cook||12,735||24.5||+14.3|
|Monster Raving Loony||David Sutch||374||0.7||N/A|
|Tactical Voting Annihilates Bennite Tatchellites||Thomas Keen||27||0.1||N/A|
|Yoga and Meditation||Jitendra Bardwaj||15||0.0||N/A|
|National Front||H. Outhwaite||444||0.90||N/A|
- Darlington (UK Parliament constituency)
- Darlington by-election, 1923
- Darlington by-election, 1926
- List of United Kingdom by-elections
- Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1979-83 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 2015-09-19.