Walsall North by-election, 1976
The Walsall North by-election on 4 November 1976 was held after the resignation of sitting Member of Parliament (MP) John Stonehouse. Elected as a Labour candidate, Stonehouse was a member of the English National Party when he resigned, after an interlude in which he faked his own death. The English National Party did not contest the by-election, the first occasion on which the incumbent's party did not do so since the Bristol South East by-election, 1963, and the last until the North Down by-election, 1995.
Amidst the confusion, the Conservative Party gained the seat in the by-election.
The by-election was also noted for the performance of independent candidate Sidney Wright, the debut of the Ecology Party and the split of the far right vote due to the appearance of both the National Front and their splinter group the National Party on the ballots. The Liberal Party could take only fifth place, their worst ever placing in a by-election in England. The party had previously come fifth in Wales in the Merthyr Tydfil by-election, 1972, and next placed so low at the Glasgow Central by-election, 1989.
The by-election also saw a record number of candidates, beating the long-standing record of seven who contested the Stockport by-election, 1920, where two seats were available, a total first reached in a single-member by-election in the Dorset South by-election, 1962. This record was again beaten at the City of London and Westminster South by-election, 1977.
|National Front||Joseph Parker||2,724||7.28||N/A|
|Socialist Workers||James McCallum||574||1.53||N/A|
|National Party||Marian Powell||258||0.69||N/A|
|Air, Road, Public Safety, White Resident||Bill Boaks||30||0.08||N/A|
|Conservative gain from English National||Swing|