Alton’s famous by-election win was the first and only Liberal by-election success of the 1974-79 parliament. Alton had been practising the celebrated Liverpool brand of community politics for many years in the constituency before he achieved his massive victory. The swing from Labour was over 30% and he turned a Labour majority of 6,852 into a Liberal one of 8,133. Alton held the seat at the 1979 general election and represented Edge Hill and its successor seat of Mossley Hill until 1997. He now sits in the House of Lords as a Crossbench peer.