Shropshire Star

How North Shropshire caused a by-election shock - and what could happen this year

The North Shropshire by-election and the events in the run-up to the shock result remain some of the most explosive in British political history.


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They involved the resignation of an MP who had held the seat since 1997, and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson throwing his own Government into chaos amid allegations of a corrupt plan to overhaul how MPs were disciplined for breaching lobbying rules.

The fallout saw the Lib Dems stake a memorable December 2021 by-election win, with one of the largest vote swings ever as they claimed the North Shropshire constituency for the first time.

A unique combination of circumstances undoubtedly played a part in the result – and even started a chain of events that ultimately led to the end of Johnson's time as Prime Minister, but the question now is what happens on Thursday, July 4.

In the intervening period the political landscape has changed significantly, while Helen Morgan has spent two and a half years operating as the constituency's first ever Lib Dem MP.

The national picture predicts another miserable night for the Conservatives, and there is no doubt that the seat is a key battleground for the Liberal Democrats – a fact illustrated by the arrival of party leader Ed Davey so early in the campaign.