Macclesfield by-election, 1971

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The Macclesfield by-election, 1971 was a parliamentary by-election held on 30 September 1971 for the constituency of Macclesfield in Cheshire. It was caused by the elevation to the peerage of the sitting MP, the Conservative Arthur Vere Harvey.

Although this was a fairly safe seat which had been Conservative for over half a century, the party managers were concerned since the Labour party had recently won Bromsgrove with a 10.1 per cent swing and only 9.5 per cent would be required to take Macclesfield.[1]

The Conservative candidate was Nicholas Winterton, who had previously run unsuccessfully at Newcastle-under-Lyme. Winterton had made clear his opposition to membership of the European Economic Community and it was felt that the result might be taken as a referendum on the proposed terms of entry.[2] It was reported that Douglas Hurd, the Prime Minister's political private secretary, withdrew when it became obvious that the local party preferred an anti-EEC candidate.[3] The Labour candidate, Diana Jeuda, whose husband had previously run for the party in this constituency, was also against joining. There were two other minor anti-EEC candidates, Reginald Simmerson (Anti-Common Market) and Robert Goodall (English Resurgence Movement). Michael Hammond of the Liberal Party was the only openly pro-Europe candidate. In the course of the campaign, Winterton changed his position on the issue.[4]

The result was a narrow win for the Conservatives, with a majority down from over 10,000 at the general election to just 1,079.[5]

Macclesfield by-election, 1971[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Nicholas Winterton 24,933 44.7 -7.4
Labour Diana Jeuda 23,854 42.7 +9.4
Liberal R. M. Hammond 5,991 10.7 -3.9
Anti-Common Market Party Reginald Simmerson 976 1.7 N/A
English National Resurgence Robert Goodall 92 0.2 N/A
Majority 1,079 2.0 -16.76
Turnout 55,846
Conservative hold Swing


  1. ^ "The Times Diary Macclesfield-July or Autumn?", The Times, 5 June 1971.
  2. ^ "Market dangers persist, Tory candidate says", The Times 10 June 1971.
  3. ^ George Clark, "Market man may stand at Macclesfield", The Times, 12 June 1971.
  4. ^ David Wood, "Tories hold on with a majority of 1,079", The Times, 2 Oct 1971.
  5. ^ David Wood, "Tories hold on with a majority of 1,079", The Times, 2 Oct 1971.
  6. ^ "1970 -71 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2015-09-08.