The by-election was caused by the elevation of the sitting MP and cabinet minister Henry Fowler to the House of Lords. Thorne fought on a platform of support for Free Trade, old age pensions, women’s suffrage, Irish Home Rule and reform of the House of Lords. Although Fowler had been elected in 1906 with over 65% of the vote, the government had lost a string of by-elections in the previous year and the Unionist Challenger Leo Amery who had fought the previous election put in a spirited campaign. Following his narrow victory, Thorne held the seat until he retired in 1929. He served as joint Liberal Chief Whip from 1919-1923.