Honor Balfour narrowly fails to win the Darwen by-election

Polling takes place in the Darwen by-election, occasioned by the death on active service of the sitting Conservative MP, Stuart Russell who had won the seat from former Liberal leader Herbert Samuel in 1935. Under the wartime electoral truce, the Liberal Party chose not to contest the seat but this policy was opposed inside the party by the pressure group Radical Action and leading member, Honor Balfour, stood as an Independent Liberal. Party leader Archbald Sinclair was obliged to ask Liberal voters to support the Tory candidate Stanley Prescott and after two recounts Prescott was declared the victor by seventy votes. It is strongly believed that if the election had not been fought on an outdated register that excluded many younger voters, Balfour would have won easily.