Wirral South by-election, 1997

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A by-election was held for the United Kingdom parliament constituency of Wirral South, in Merseyside, England, on 27 February 1997. The seat became vacant on the death of Conservative Party Member of Parliament Barry Porter, and was won by Labour's Ben Chapman.

The Conservative loss in this seat, which came close to the last possible date for a general election, meant that they no longer had a majority in the House of Commons.[1] Wirral South was the last in a run of significant Conservative losses, following a period of dissatisfaction with the Major years. This was the last Conservative loss to Labour in a by-election until the Corby by-election, 2012.

As with almost all constituencies fought at the 1997 May election, Wirral South was subject to boundary changes. Labour has held the seat since the by-election.

Wirral South by-election, 1997[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Ben Chapman 22,767 52.6 +18.0
Conservative Leslie Byrom 14,879 34.4 -16.5
Liberal Democrat Flo Clucas 4,357 10.1 -3.0
UKIP Richard North 410 0.9
Independent Harold Bence 184 0.4
Socialist Labour Michael Cullen 156 0.4
Disillusioned Conservative Phillip Gott 148 0.3
Independent Roger Taylor 132 0.3
Independent - anti tobacco donation Anthony Samuelson 124 0.3
Natural Law Geoffery Mead 52 0.1 -0.2
21st Century Foresters Colin Palmer 44 0.1
Independent - Thalidomide Action Group Frederick Astbury 40 0.1
Majority 7,888 18.2
Turnout 71.5
Labour gain from Conservative Swing -17.24


  1. ^ "How the Government's Majority Disappeared". Retrieved 2007-09-26. 
  2. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 1992-97 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 2015-10-01. 

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