1973 West Bromwich by-election

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The West Bromwich by-election of 24 May 1973 was held after the appointment of Labour Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Foley to the European Commission. Held continuously by Labour since 1935 it was retained in this by-election.


The election campaign was noted for the refusal of Enoch Powell, MP for neighbouring Wolverhampton South West, to endorse Conservative candidate David Bell as he felt that Bell was too far removed from his own policies on immigration and United Kingdom membership of the European Community.[1] Although Powell did not endorse any candidate the National Front claimed that Powell's refusal to support Bell represented tacit endorsement. As a consequence Martin Webster captured 16% of the vote, an all-time high for the NF to save its deposit.

In common with a number of by-elections at the time the Liberal Party did not compete for this seat.


West Bromwich by-election, 1973[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Betty Boothroyd 15,907 53.21 -2.02
Conservative David Bell 7,582 25.36 -19.41
National Front Martin Webster 4,789 16.02 N/A
Independent Joshua Churchman 1,616 5.41 N/A
Majority 8,325 27.85
Turnout 29,894
Labour hold Swing


  1. ^ Simon Heffer Like the Roman: The Life of Enoch Powell, London, 1998. ISBN 0-297-84286-2, pp. 667-668
  2. ^ "1973 By Election Results". Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2015.

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