Romsey by-election, 2000

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Romsey constituency in Hampshire

Conservative Member of Parliament Michael Colvin and his wife died in a fire at their home on 24 February 2000. This created a by-election in his constituency of Romsey in Hampshire, England.

The Conservative Party decided to delay the polling day until 4 May, so that it would come simultaneously with local elections. They selected Tim Palmer, a farmer and Dorset County Councillor, to defend the seat. The Liberal Democrats considered this byelection their best chance of gaining a seat since 1997 and selected a local pharmacist Sandra Gidley (who had been Mayor of Romsey) as their candidate.

Labour carried out minimal campaigning in a constituency in which they had come third. This led many observers to assume that the party was expecting, or hoping, that its vote would largely go to the Liberal Democrats in order to help defeat the Conservatives. In the event, the Labour vote collapsed while the Liberal Democrats surged, and they made this the only mainland by-election to result in a change of party control in the entire Parliament. This was the first time the Conservatives had lost a seat in a by-election while in Opposition since the 1965 Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles by-election, and would be the last time the Liberal Democrats gained a constituency from the Conservatives until the 2016 Richmond Park by-election.


By-election 2000: Romsey[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Democrat Sandra Gidley 19,571 50.6 +21.2
Conservative Tim Palmer 16,260 42.0 −4.0
Labour Andy Howard 1,451 3.7 −14.9
UKIP Garry Rankin-Moore 901 2.3 −1.2
Legalise Cannabis Derrick Large 417 1.1 +1.1
Independent Thomas Lamont 109 0.3 +0.3
Majority 3,311 8.6
Turnout 55.4
Liberal Democrat gain from Conservative Swing 8.6

General Election result, 1997[edit]

General Election 1997: Romsey
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Michael Colvin 23,834 46.0
Liberal Democrat Mark Cooper 15,249 29.4
Labour Joanne Ford 9,623 18.6
UKIP Alan Sked 1,824 3.5
Referendum Michael Wigley 1,291 2.5
Majority 8,585 16.57
Turnout 76.36


  1. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1997-2002 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 

External links[edit]