The first by-election of this autumn is taking place on Thursday, October 5 for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, with two others happening later this month.
Rutherglen and Hamilton West’s by-election will be only the second time that the SNP has had to defend a seat at a Westminster by-election. The first was in May 2021, when the party held the seat of Airdrie & Shotts.
The constituency was created at the 2005 general election and, for a few years, was considered a safe Labour seat, with the party winning 56% of the vote in 2005 and 61% in 2010.
But in 2014, for the Scottish independence referendum, there was a surge in support for the SNP, which went on to gain dozens of seats from Labour at the 2015 general election – Rutherglen & Hamilton West among them.
To win the seat on Thursday, Labour needs a swing in the share of the vote of 4.9 percentage points. A win for Labour on Thursday would represent the first time in history that the party has taken a seat from the SNP at a Westminster by-election.
So where are the upcoming by-elections taking place and why have the seats become available?
Where and when are the by-elections?
The next by-elections that will take place are:
Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Thursday, 5 October)
Mid Bedfordshire (Thursday, 19 October)
Tamworth (Thursday, 19 October)
Why are the by-elections taking place?
A by-election takes place when one of the following happens. An MP:
resigns or dies
is declared bankrupt
takes a seat in the House of Lords
is convicted of a serious criminal offence
The by-elections follow the confirmed resignation of three Conservative MPs, the expected resignation of another, and the suspension of a fifth MP.
Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson)
Uxbridge and South Ruislip hosted a by-election following Mr Johnson’s resignation on June 9 after a report from the Privileges Committee found that he misled Parliament over parties at Downing Street during the pandemic.
Steve Tuckwell was elected as the new MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
Selby and Ainsty (Nigel Adams)
On June 10, Nigel Adams announced that he would resign with immediate effect.
It has been speculated that Mr Adams quit after he wasn’t featured in Mr Johnson’s resignation honours list, despite expecting to be.
There has been speculation that Mr Adams and MP Nadine Dorries were removed from the list to avoid by-election contests, though the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has denied having any involvement in the final list.
Keir Mather was elected as the new MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, a gain for Labour.
Somerton and Frome (David Warburton)
David Warburton was found guilty of three sexual misconduct allegations by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
Mr Warburton announced that he was resigning in June, after being suspended from the Conservative party in April 2022. In March 2022, a staffer made four sexual misconduct and two bullying and harassment allegations against him.
Sarah Dyke was elected as the new MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip, a gain for the Liberal Democrats.
Rutherglen and Hamilton West (Margaret Ferrier)
Margaret Ferrier lost her seat following a recall petition, after breaking Covid rules by travelling after testing positive. The petition, which passed the required number of signatures to recall the MP from her seat, was automatically triggered after she was suspended from the Commons for 30 days.
Mid Bedfordshire (Nadine Dorries)
Nadine Dorries formally resigned in August.
A Mid Bedfordshire by-election will take place on Thursday, 19 October.
Tamworth (Chris Pincher)
Chris Pincher resigned this month after losing his appeal against a suspension for drunkenly groping two men.
A Tamworth by-election will take place on Thursday, 19 October.
Who is running in the by-elections?
The candidates for Rutherglen & Hamilton West, Mid Bedfordshire and Tamworth have been announced.
Rutherglen & Hamilton West
The confirmed list of candidates standing in the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election are:
Gloria Adebo, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Bill Bonnar, Scottish Socialist Party
Andrew Daly, Independent
Cameron Eadie, Scottish Greens
Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India
Niall Fraser, Scottish Family Party
Ewan Hoyle, Volt UK
Thomas Kerr, Scottish Conservatives
Katy Loudon, SNP
Chris Sermanni, Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Michael Shanks, Scottish Labour
David Stark, Reform UK
Colette Walker, Independence for Scotland Party
The confirmed list of candidates standing in the Mid Bedfordshire by-election are:
Festus Akinbusoye, The Conservative Party
Sid Cordle, Christian Peoples Alliance
Prince Ankit, Love Emperor of India
Dave Holland, Reform UK
Emma Louise Holland-Lindsay, Liberal Democrats
Ann Kelly, The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
Gareth Mackey, Independent
Chris Rooney, Mainstream
Cade Sibley, Green Party
Alistair Luke Strathern, Labour Party
Alberto George Thomas, Heritage Party
Alan Victor, True & Fair Party
Antonio Daniel Vintello, English Democrats “Putting England First”
The confirmed list of candidates standing in the Tamworth by-election are:
Robert Bilcliff, UKIP
Andrew Cooper, The Conservative Party
Ian Cooper, Reform UK
Sarah Edwards, Labour
Howling Laud Hope, Monster Raving Loony
Sue Howarth, Green
Ashlea Simon, Britain First
Sunny Virk, Liberal Democrats