Tag Archives: By-elections

Five elections in seven years: Peterborough, Whalley and the Fitzwilliam interest

With suggestions of election fatigue setting in across Britain, this week’s blog – featuring our MP of the Month, George Hammond Whalley – looks at a constituency which saw five elections held in seven years between 1852 and 1859: the … Continue reading

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‘Fighting, swearing, drinking, and squabbling’: Charles Dickens, Eatanswill and the 1835 Northamptonshire North by-election

Today’s blog marks the anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth by exploring the inspiration behind one of the most notable political events in his first novel. Dickens’s riotous description of the Eatanswill borough election in the Pickwick Papers, first published in July … Continue reading

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The mathematics of Victorian representation: part 1

In this new series of posts, we look at the Victorian multi-member constituencies that predated the UK’s current electoral system and highlight the mathematical challenges they pose for historians. The first-past-the-post system of electing MPs has long been viewed as … Continue reading

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A Victorian paradox explained: popular candidates with no votes

To campaign for a seat in the House of Commons, only to find that no one has voted for you, is something that must haunt the imagination of any aspiring MP. In the 1850s this fate befell two controversial politicians … Continue reading

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Book review: By-elections in British politics, 1832-1914

A review of By-elections in British politics, 1832-1914 (edited by T. Otte and P. Readman), to which Philip Salmon and Kathryn Rix have both contributed chapters, has just been published by Reviews in History. Our earlier blog giving details of … Continue reading

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By-elections in British politics, 1832-1914

Published this month, By-elections in British politics, 1832-1914 (edited by T.G. Otte and Paul Readman) includes contributions from our editor, Philip Salmon, and our assistant editor, Kathryn Rix. Philip’s chapter on ‘Plumping Contests’ is about the different electoral process that operated in by-elections and … Continue reading

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Cabinet reshuffles and ministerial by-elections in the 19th century

Following last week’s Cabinet reshuffle, several ministers will be getting to grips with the challenges of their new departments. However, unlike the nineteenth century, they are at least spared the extra burden of seeking renewed endorsement from their constituents. Under … Continue reading

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