The by-election resulted from the death of sitting Liberal MP, Richard Peacock. The Liberal candidate William Mather (1838-1920) had been Liberal MP for Salford South 1885-1886. This election was dominated by the Home Rule question. The Conservative candidate was strongly backed by the Liberal Unionists. The Irish and Catholic communities set up their own political organisations and campaigned for the Liberals in their strongholds in the constituency; even the priests were reported as campaigning for Mather who held the seat with an increased majority. Mather stood down as MP for Gorton at the 1895 general election but returned to the House of Commons between 1900 and 1904 as MP for Rossendale.