2009 Norwich North by-election

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Norwich North by-election

← 2005 23 July 2009 2010 →

Norwich North parliamentary seat
  First party Second party Third party
  Official portrait of Chloe Smith crop 2.jpg No image.svg April Pond City College Norwich (3671117299).jpg
Candidate Chloe Smith Chris Ostrowski April Pond
Party Conservative Labour Liberal Democrats
Popular vote 13,591 6,243 4,803
Percentage 39.5% 18.2% 14.0%
Swing Increase6.3% Decrease26.7% Decrease2.2%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  No image.svg Rupert Read-IMG 4059.jpg
Candidate Glenn Tingle Rupert Read
Party UKIP Green
Popular vote 4,068 3,350
Percentage 11.6% 9.7%
Swing Increase9.4% Increase7.0%

MP before election

Ian Gibson

Subsequent MP

Chloe Smith

The 2009 Norwich North by-election was a by-election for the United Kingdom Parliament's House of Commons constituency of Norwich North. The by-election took place due to the resignation of Ian Gibson after being banned from standing as a Labour candidate for the next general election. The writ of election was moved on 30 June 2009 and the by-election took place on 23 July 2009, two days after the start of the summer recess. Unusually for a UK by-election, the counting process was not started until the following day, for a variety of reasons including the high number of postal votes.[1]

The winner of the by-election was Chloe Smith of the Conservative Party, who at 27 became the youngest member of the House of Commons, known as the Baby of the House.[2]


As boundary changes did not come into effect until the 2010 general election, Norwich North was fought on those boundaries in place at the 2005 general election.

The constituency includes parts of two local government areas, Norwich and Broadland, with the majority of the electorate in Broadland. Nine wards of Broadland (Mile Cross, Crome, Thorpe St Andrew, Sprowston, Old Catton, Catton Grove, Hellesdon, Drayton and Taverham) fall within its boundaries, together with four wards of the City of Norwich (Catton Grove, Crome, Mile Cross, Sewell).

In boundary changes in place for the 2010 general election, Norwich North lost Taverham North, Taverham South, Drayton North and Drayton South to the new Broadland constituency.[3]


The Labour Party selected Chris Ostrowski, a University of East Anglia graduate, as their candidate on 28 June.[4]

The Conservative Party had already selected Chloe Smith as their candidate for the general election.

The Liberal Democrats selected April Pond, a local businesswoman and former Norwich City Councillor, who was a candidate for South West Norfolk in 2005.[5]

The Green Party's candidate at the last general election, Adrian Holmes, announced that he would not be standing,[6] and Norwich City Councillor Rupert Read, the Green Party's lead candidate for the East of England in the European elections, was selected on 24 June.[7] In the European elections the Green Party polled 24.9% across Norwich, more than any other party, while they took 9.6% of the vote in Broadland.[8]

Glenn Tingle stood for the UK Independence Party.[9]

Other minor parties included Robert West for the British National Party,[10] who stood as first candidate for the East Midlands Region in the 2009 European Elections, and the Official Monster Raving Loony Party's leader, Howling Laud Hope.[11][12]

Three new parties stood candidates for the first time. The Libertarian Party selected 18-year-old Thomas Burridge as their first parliamentary candidate.[13] NOTA, which stands for "None of the Above", a party set up by former boxer Terry Marsh, announced that Anne Fryatt would stand as their candidate.[14] Former ambassador Craig Murray stood as an anti-sleaze candidate for the Put an Honest Man into Parliament party, which was registered with the Electoral Commission on 3 July 2009.[12][15][16]

There were also two independent candidates: Bill Holden, who was a candidate in 2005,[12][17] and Peter Baggs.[12]

Ian Gibson announced that he would not be running as an independent candidate. On 26 June he hinted to Newsnight's Michael Crick that he might run as an independent,[18] but he endorsed the Labour candidate three days later.[19]

Broadland District Council published the Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll, which lists candidates' names, addresses, official descriptions, and names of nominators, on 8 July 2009.[20]


Both the United Kingdom Independence Party and the Green Party of England and Wales achieved their best results to date in a Parliamentary by-election; UKIP had previously taken a 10.2% share in the 2004 by-election in Hartlepool, and the Greens took 7.4% in the 2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election.

Norwich North by-election, 23 July 2009[21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Chloe Smith 13,591 39.5 +6.3
Labour Chris Ostrowski 6,243 18.2 -26.7
Liberal Democrats April Pond 4,803 14.0 -2.2
UKIP Glenn Tingle 4,068 11.8 +9.4
Green Rupert Read 3,350 9.7 +7.0
Put an Honest Man into Parliament Craig Murray 953 2.8 N/A
BNP Robert West 941 2.7 N/A
Independent Bill Holden 166 0.5 -0.2
Monster Raving Loony Alan Hope 144 0.4 N/A
NOTA Anne Fryatt 59 0.2 N/A
Libertarian Thomas Burridge 36 0.1 N/A
Independent Peter Baggs 23 0.1 N/A
Majority 7,348 21.4 +9.8
Turnout 34,377 45.9[22] -15.2
Conservative gain from Labour Swing 16.5

2005 result[edit]

General election 2005: Norwich North
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ian Gibson 21,097 44.9 −2.5
Conservative James Tumbridge 15,638 33.2 −1.4
Liberal Democrats Robin Whitmore 7,616 16.2 +1.4
Green Adrian Holmes 1,252 2.7 +1.0
UKIP John Youles 1,122 2.4 +1.4
Independent Bill Holden 308 0.7 N/A
Majority 5,459 11.6
Turnout 47,033 61.1 +2.0
Labour hold Swing −0.6


  1. ^ Dan Grimmer (24 July 2009). "International interest in Norwich vote". Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  2. ^ Crick, Michael (30 June 2009). "A new baby of the House?". Michael Crick's blog. BBC. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  4. ^ Brealey, Sarah (28 June 2009). "Norwich North candidate chosen". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 28 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Lib-dems name by-election candidate". Norwich Evening News. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  6. ^ Greens hopeful of Norwich North victory - EDP24
  7. ^ "Candidate selected for Norwich North". www.greenparty.org. Green Party. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  8. ^ Simon Rogers, "Exactly how well did the BNP do where you live?", guardian.co.uk
  9. ^ "Glenn Tingle, our man in Norwich North". UKIP. 22 June 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  10. ^ "BNP's Reverend West Will Be Candidate in Norwich North By-Election". www.bnp.org.uk. British National Party. 24 June 2009. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
  11. ^ "Norwich North bye-elecshun 23rd July". Official Monster Raving Loony Party. 5 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  12. ^ a b c d "Norwich North". UK Polling Report. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  13. ^ "Candidate: Thomas Burridge". UK Libertarian Party. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  14. ^ "Former boxer's party in by-election". Evening News 24. 7 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  15. ^ "I Am Standing in Norwich North". Craig Murray. 5 June 2009. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  16. ^ "Register of Political Parties: Put an Honest Man into Parliament". Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 13 July 2009. Retrieved 8 July 2009.
  17. ^ "Norwich North: Independent Politics". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
  18. ^ Crick, Michael (26 June 2009). "Gibson may stand as independent in Norwich by-election". Michael Crick's blog. BBC. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  19. ^ Crick, Michael (29 June 2009). "No independent day for Norwich MP". Michael Crick's blog. BBC. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  20. ^ "Parliamentary By-Election: Norwich North Constituency: Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll" (PDF). Broadland District Council. Archived from the original (pdf) on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 9 July 2009.
  21. ^ Boothroyd, David. "Results of Byelections in the 2005-2010 Parliament". United Kingdom Election Results. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  22. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (24 July 2009). "Norwich North byelection results – live". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 20 May 2010.