Britain's minority Liberal Party dealt the ruling Conservatives a stunning blow in London on Thursday (7 December) when they won the important Sutton and Cheam parliamentary by-election.
GV INT Liberal Party supporters cheer at Sutton & Cheam
SCU Winning candidate, Tore, signals for quiet
SV Supporters and Lord Mayor announcing winner (SOUND) Tope congratulated and shakes hands with Lord Mayor
GV Supporters cheer (2 shots)
SCU Tope speaking (SOUND)
SCU Mayor of Uxbridge speaking (SOUND)
CU Shersby speaking (SOUND)
Mr. Tope was declared winner:
LORD MAYOR: "And I declare that Graham Norman Tope has been duly elected to serve as a member of Parliament for the Parliamentary constituency...." (cheers).
Then Mr. Tope replied:
TOPE: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I think Sutton and Cheam is going to go down in political history tonight." (cheers)
The Conservatives, however, retained the seat of Uxbridge in a second London by-election, defeating Labour by just over 1,000 votes. The victory went to Mr. Julian Shersby, with 14,178 votes, over Labour's Miss. M. Sykee's 13,100.
After the declaration of the poll, Mr. Shersby spoke.
UXBRIDGE MAYOR: "And Julian Michael Shersby has been duly elected as a member to serve Uxbridge constituency."
REPORTER: "The Conservative Party has held Uxbridge with a majority of about a thousand, reduced from three thousand six hundred. The Conservatives have held the seat."
SHERSBY: "It is a resounding vote of confidence for the Conservative Government from a marginal constituency. This is much more typical of public opinion in this country for any safe seat."
Initials BB/2309 PK/AW/BB/2325
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Background: Britain's minority Liberal Party dealt the ruling Conservatives a stunning blow in London on Thursday (7 December) when they won the important Sutton and Cheam parliamentary by-election.
The Liberals won by nearly 7,500 votes in what has been described as the most surprising by-election result since World War Two. The Conservatives previously had a 12,000-vote majority.
The new Liberal member of parliament is 29-year-old Mr. Graham Tope, who polled 18,328 votes, against Conservative Mr. Neil MacFarlane's 10,911.