Glasgow Central by-election, 1980

Glasgow Central By-Election, 1980

Glasgow Central by-election, 1980

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The Glasgow Central by-election, 1980 was a by-election held on 26 June 1980 for the British House of Commons constituency of Glasgow Central, following the death of its sitting MP, Thomas McMillan.

On a turnout of 48%, the Labour Party held the seat.


This was the last parliamentary by-election in England, Scotland or Wales not contested by an official candidate of either the Liberal Party, the SDP, or their successor party the Liberal Democrats; until the Haltemprice and Howden by-election, 2008. The Social Democrat candidate had no connection to the SDP (which wasn't created until 1981) and achieved the lowest vote for any candidate in a Parliamentary election under universal suffrage, a record later surpassed by the five votes obtained by independent campaigner Bill Boaks in the Glasgow Hillhead by-election of March 1982 .

Because there was no official candidate, Liberal Party member Graham Watson offered himself as a candidate sponsored by the Scottish Young Liberals. He later became a Member of the European Parliament and leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe group in the European Parliament.

As a seat considered safe for Labour, there was little surprise when its candidate Robert McTaggart was declared victor, with 60.8% of the votes cast. Both of his closest rivals were later elected to sit in British parliaments: Gil Paterson, representing the Scottish National Party, was elected as a delegate for Central Scotland in the first sitting...
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