Jenkins was keen to return to the House of Commons and had fought the Warrington by-election the previous year, fighting an energetic campaign and running Labour a close second. When sitting Conservative MP Tam Galbraith died in January 1982, Jenkins was selected as the Alliance candidate after some tense negotiations with the Liberals. The campaign again revealed Jenkins to be an unexpectedly tough campaigner and he maintained a narrow lead over the Tories throughout the campaign. Jenkins was elected with a majority of just over 2,000 over the Conservatives with Labour close behind. Jenkins held the seat at the general election the following year but lost it at the 1987 election to Labour’s George Galloway.