Enfield Southgate by-election, 1984

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Enfield Southgate by-election

← 1983 13 December 1984 1987 →

Candidate Michael Portillo Timothy Slack Peter Hamid
Party Conservative Liberal Labour
Popular vote 16,684 11,973 4,000
Percentage 49.6% 35.6% 11.9%

MP before election

Anthony Berry

Subsequent MP

Michael Portillo

The Enfield Southgate by-election, 1984 was a parliamentary by-election held on 13 December 1984 for the British House of Commons constituency of Enfield Southgate.

Previous MP[edit]

The seat had become vacant on 12 October 1984 in sudden and tragic circumstances, when the constituency's Member of Parliament (MP) was killed by the Irish Republican Army in the Brighton hotel bombing.

Sir Anthony George Berry (12 February 1925 – 12 October 1984) was a Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate, and a Whip in Margaret Thatcher's government.

Sir Anthony Berry had been Southgate's MP since the 1964 general election. The constituency had been renamed Enfield Southgate in 1983.


Given the reason for the by-election, there was some discussion about the Labour Party and the Alliance not contesting the poll.[citation needed] However, in the end both opposition forces were represented in the list of candidates.

Nine candidates were nominated. The list below is set out in descending order of the number of votes received at the by-election.

  1. The Conservative candidate was Michael Denzil Xavier Portillo. Born in 1953, Portillo was a Special Adviser to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He had contested Birmingham Perry Barr in the United Kingdom general election, 1983.
    Portillo won the by-election and went on to become a prominent political figure. He was serving as Secretary of State for Defence, when defeated in this seat at the United Kingdom general election, 1997. Portillo subsequently represented Kensington and Chelsea (1999-2005) and was an unsuccessful candidate for the Conservative Party leadership (2001), before retiring from politics to pursue a media career.
  2. The Liberal Party candidate, representing the SDP-Liberal Alliance, was Timothy Willatt Slack. He was a former headmaster, born in 1928, who was Director of the Foreign Office International Conference Centre. Slack had contested the seat of Petersfield at both general elections in 1974.
  3. Representing the Labour Party was Winston Farouk Hamid (known as Peter Hamid). The Trinidad born Hamid was aged 52. He had lived in the UK for 31 years and was a member of Enfield Borough Council to which he had been elected in 1982.
  4. Andreas Polydorou was an Independent, who ran as a Turkish Troops Out of Cyprus candidate.
  5. Industrial chemist and Royal Navy veteran (1943-1946), James Wilfred Kershaw, stood on behalf of a far right group known as the Nationalist Party. Craig regarded Kershaw as a party candidate rather than an Independent.
  6. Raymond Edwin Shenton was an English National Party candidate, who advocated a far right policy. Craig regarded Shenton as an Independent.
  7. Iain Innes Burgess was an Independent candidate, whose ballot paper label was Abolish Greater London - Restore Middlesex Shire.
  8. George Weiss stood for Captain Rainbow's Universal Party. Craig considered him an Independent.
  9. Miss Helen Mary Anscomb was an Independent who used the label Death off Roads: Freight on Rail.


Enfield Southgate by-election, 1984[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Michael Portillo 16,684 49.6 −8.5
Liberal Timothy Slack 11,973 35.6 +12.2
Labour Peter Hamid 4,000 11.9 −6.0
Turkish Troops Out of Cyprus Andreas Polydrou 687 2 N/A
Nationalist Party James Kershaw 80 0.2 N/A
English National Raymond Shenton 78 0.2 N/A
Abolish Greater London, Restore Middlesex Iain Burgess 50 0.2 N/A
Captain Rainbow's Universal Party George Weiss 48 0.2 N/A
Death off Roads: Freight on Rail Helen Anscomb 45 0.1 N/A
Majority 4,711 14.0 -20.7
Turnout 33,645 50.6 -19.0
Registered electors 66,473
Conservative hold Swing −1.3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1983-87 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 2015-09-19. 


  • Britain Votes/Europe Votes By-Election Supplement 1983-, compiled and edited by F.W.S. Craig (Parliamentary Research Services 1985)