David Belotti gains Eastbourne from the Conservatives

David Bellotti wins Eastbourne for the Liberal Democrats in a by-election caused by the murder of sitting Conservative MP Ian Gow by the IRA. Bellotti gained the seat with a majority of 4,550, on 50.8% of the vote. Liberal Democrat Leader Paddy Ashdown celebrated, describing the win as his best day as Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Just a week before, at the Conservative Party conference, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had used Monty Python’s ‘dead parrot’ sketch to mock the Liberal Democrats’ newly designed bird of liberty logo. After the by-election, Conservative Party Chairman Kenneth Baker commented that, ‘the parrot twitched’. Six weeks later Conservative MPs removed Mrs. Thatcher as their leader.