Leeds Parliamentary Election Results
1999 - 10 June by-election
H. Benn (Labour) 6,361
P. Wild (Liberal Democrat) 4,068
E. Wild (Conservative) 1,618
D. Blackburn (Green) 478
R. Northgreaves (United Kingdom Independence) 353
C. Hill (Left Alliance) 258
J. Fitzgerald (Parents) 51
[ With a turnout of 19.6% this was the lowest ever recorded to that date in a British Parliamentary election since 1945.]
The by-election was caused by the sudden death of Derek Fatchett who at the time was Foreign Office Minister. He died of a heart attack in a Wakefield public house after completing his ministerial paperwork at the end of an unusually busy week. During the campaign the veteran left-wing MP Tony Benn came to Leeds to support his more moderate son, Hilary, in the contest. The election was held on the same day as the European elections. There was an extremely low turnout nationally with one constituency in Liverpool registering just a 10% turnout.
In Leeds Central the 19.6% turnout was the lowest in England in a Parliamentary election since World War II. The winning number of votes was the lowest recorded by a candidate in Leeds since 1910 when the electorate was then much smaller. Coming second the Liberal Democrats claimed it was a ‘superb result for us’.