Knutsford by-election, 1979

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The Knutsford by-election, 1979 was a by-election held for the British House of Commons constituency of Knutsford in Cheshire on 1 March 1979. It was won by the Conservative Party candidate Jock Bruce-Gardyne.

The by-election took place just over a month before parliament was dissolved (7 April) ahead of the 1979 general election on 3 May.


The seat had become vacant when the Conservative Member of Parliament (MP), John Davies had resigned due to illness on 6 November 1978. He had held the seat since the 1970 general election and had served as Secretary of State for Industry and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Government of Edward Heath, having previously been Director of the Confederation of British Industry.


The Conservative candidate was 48-year-old Jock Bruce-Gardyne, who had been MP for South Angus from 1964 until his defeat at the October 1974 general election. The Labour Party candidate was Alan Barton, and the Liberals fielded Robert Ingham. Michael Byrne stood as an Independent Conservative.


The result was a clear victory for Bruce-Gardyne in this Conservative safe seat, with a much increased majority of 16,880. Both the Labour and Liberal vote fell by a few per cent.

Bruce-Gardyne held the seat until its abolition for the 1983 general election, when he was effectively forced out of the Commons due to a reduction of the number of Cheshire seats. He was elevated to the House of Lords in the same year.


Knutsford by-election, 1979[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Jock Bruce-Gardyne 22,086 67.1 +16.1
Liberal Robert Ingham 5,206 15.8 −10.6
Labour Alan Barton 5,124 15.6 −7.0
Ind. Conservative Michael Byrne 486 1.5 N/A
Majority 16,880 51.3 +26.7
Turnout 32,902
Conservative hold Swing +13.4
General Election October 1974: Knutsford
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative John Davies 21,636 51.0
Liberal B. Lomax 11,210 26.4
Labour D.L. Swain 9.565 22.6
Majority 10,426 24.6
Turnout 42,411 76.8
Conservative hold Swing

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1979 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2015-09-17.