Elizabeth Shields wins the Ryedale by-election for the Liberal-SDP Alliance

The by-election was caused by the death of the sitting Conservative MP John Spence. Shields, a local teacher, had been the candidate in the general election of 1983, coming second but over 16,000 votes behind. During the election the Alliance was able to exploit Conservative unpopularity and Shields was elected with a majority of 4,940 on a swing of 19%. Shields’ time as an MP was a short one as the Conservatives recaptured the seat in the general election the following year.