Kingswood and Wellingborough by-election results: Key numbers and statistics in full

Swing from Conservative to Labour at Wellingborough was the second largest of its kind since WWII

Ian Jones
Friday 16 February 2024 09:50 GMT
Moment Labour's Gen Kitchen wins Wellingborough by-election

Defeats in Thursday’s by-elections in Kingswood and Wellingborough mean the Conservatives have lost more by-elections in a single parliament than any government since the 1960s.

The Tories have clocked up 10 such defeats since the 2019 general election – two more than the eight suffered by the 1992-97 Conservative government led by John Major.

It is more than any previous government since the 1966-70 Labour administration of Harold Wilson, which endured 15 losses.

Gen Kitchen won the Wellingborough by-election with the second-largest swing from the Conservatives to Labour since the Second World War ((PA Wire))

Even accounting for the Conservatives’ one by-election gain this parliament – winning Hartlepool from Labour in 2021 – the double defeat on Thursday brings the party’s overall by-election scorecard to nine net losses, which is still worse than any government since 1966-70.

Follow all the latest on the double by-election in our live blog.

Here are the key statistics and historical benchmarks from the results of Thursday’s by-elections:


Labour won the Northamptonshire seat of Wellingborough on a swing in the share of the vote of 28.5 percentage points – the second largest swing from Conservative to Labour at a by-election since the Second World War.

It was just short of the largest post-war by-election swing from Tory to Labour, which was 29.1 percentage points at the Dudley West by-election in December 1994.

The swing Labour needed to win the seat was 17.9 points – the equivalent of a net change of 18 in every 100 people who voted Conservative in 2019 switching sides.

In the event, the party exceeded this target easily.

Labour Party candidate Gen Kitchen after being declared winner in the Wellingborough by-election (PA Wire)

The size of the majority Labour overturned at Wellingborough – 18,540 – is the fourth biggest Tory majority the party has overturned at a by-election since the war, behind those at Mid Bedfordshire in October 2023 (24,664), Selby & Ainsty in July 2023 (20,137) and Tamworth in October 2023 (19,634).

The Conservatives’ share of the vote at Wellingborough tumbled from 62% at the 2019 general election to just 25%, the largest drop recorded by the Tories at any by-election since 1945.

Labour’s share jumped from 26% to 46%, with winning candidate Gen Kitchen finishing with a majority of 6,436 over Conservative candidate Helen Harrison.

It is the first time Labour has represented the seat of Wellingborough since 2005.

Labour Party candidate Gen Kitchen shakes hands with Conservative Party candidate Helen Harrison after being declared the winner (Getty Images)

The Reform party finished third with 13% of the vote, its best performance at a by-election.

The full result at Wellingborough was:Gen Kitchen (Labour) 13,844Helen Harrison (Conservative) 7,408Ben Habib (Reform) 3,919Ana Savage Gunn (Liberal Democrat) 1,422Marion Turner-Hawes (no description) 1,115Will Morris (Green) 1,020Kev Watts (Independent) 533Alex Merola (Britain First) 477Nick The Flying Brick (Monster Raving Loony)Andre Pyne-Bailey (Independent) 172Ankit Love Jay Mala (no description) 18

Turnout was 38.0%


Labour overturned a Conservative majority of 11,220 to win the Gloucestershire seat of Kingswood, gaining a seat the party had previously held from 1992 to 2010.

It is the sixth largest Conservative majority overturned by Labour at a by-election since the Second World War.

The Conservatives’ share of the vote fell from 56% at the 2019 general election to 35%, while Labour jumped from 33% to 45%.

Giving his winning address, Mr Egan said the Conservative government “have sucked the hope out of our country" (Getty Images)

To win Kingswood, Labour needed a swing in the share of the vote of 11.4 percentage points.

In the event, the party achieved a swing of 16.4 percentage points – lower than some of the huge swings the party has enjoyed in recent by-elections, including in Wellingborough, but well above the target needed.

Labour candidate Damien Egan finished with a 2,501 majority over Conservative candidate Sam Bromiley.

The Reform party finished in third place on 10% of the vote, its second-best performance in a by-election in this parliament behind the 13% it managed in Wellingborough.

Labour Party candidate, Damien Egan, is hugged after being declared the winner in the Kingswood by-election (Getty Images)

The constituency of Kingswood is being abolished at the next general election, which by law must take place no later than January 2025, meaning Mr Egan will represent the seat for only a few months.

But he has already been selected as Labour’s candidate at the general election for the new constituency of Bristol North East, which incorporates part of Kingswood.

The full result at Kingswood was:Damien Egan (Labour) 11,176Sam Bromiley (Conservative) 8,675Rupert Lowe (Reform) 2,578Lorraine Francis (Green) 1,450Andrew Brown (Liberal Democrat) 861Nicholas Wood (Ukip) 129

Turnout was 37.1%.

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