Southend West by-election, 1959

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The Southend West by-election of 29 January 1959 was held after the death of Conservative Party MP and renowned diarist Henry Channon.

Electoral history[edit]

The seat was very safe, having been won at the United Kingdom general election, 1955 by almost 18,500 votes[1]

General Election 1955
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Henry Channon 27,326 64.2
Labour VG Marchesi 8,866 20.8
Liberal Heather Joan Harvey 6,375 15.0
Majority 18,460 43.4 -
Turnout 74.1
Conservative hold Swing


  • Paul Channon was selected by the Conservatives after the death of his father, Sir Henry Channon. A company director. Born October, 1935; educated at Lockers Park, Hemel Hempstead, Eton, and Christ Church, Oxford.
  • Labour's candidate was Anthony Pearson-Clarke, a deputy headmaster. Born November, 1923; educated at St. Luke's College School and Training College, Exeter, Battersea Polytechnic, and Ruskin College, Oxford. A former weekly newspaper editor and local government officer.
  • The Liberal Party selected 60-year-old Miss Heather Joan Harvey. She had contested the division in 1955 and Esher in 1950 and 1951. She was a writer and was engaged in historical research. She was educated privately at Prior's Field School, Godalming, and Newnham College, Cambridge, where she graduated in 1921 with first-class honours, economics tripos. She joined the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, in 1931. She became secretary of the Study Groups Department in 1935. She was a temporary Civil servant in the Foreign Office, 1939-45. She served with the United Nations 1945-46 as deputy administrative secretary.[2] She was Hon. treasurer, Women's Liberal Federation, a member of Liberal Party Organization Council and executive committee.[3] She was Joint honorary treasurer of the Liberal Party organization.[4]


Southend West by-election, 1959[5]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Paul Channon 14,493 55.6 -8.6
Liberal Heather Joan Harvey 6,314 24.2 +9.2
Labour Anthony Pearson-Clarke 5,280 20.2 -0.6
Majority 5,166 31.4 -4.5
Conservative hold Swing


General Election 1959
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Paul Channon 27,612 58.2
Liberal Heather Joan Harvey 10,577 22.3
Labour Anthony Pearson-Clarke 9,219 19.4
Majority 17,035 35.9
Turnout 77.7
Conservative hold Swing


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ The Times House of Commons, 1955
  3. ^ The Times House of Commons, 1951
  4. ^ The Times House of Commons, 1959
  5. ^ "1959 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 2012-10-10. Retrieved 2015-08-15.