Helen Morgan wins the North Shropshire by-election for the Liberal Democrats

The by-election was caused by the resignation of Conservative MP Owen Patterson after he was found by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to have breached lobbying rules. The subsequent efforts by the government to undermine the report by the Commissioner and to get Patterson off the hook backfired and became a major issue in the campaign. This was reinforced by the Partygate scandal which hit the headlines in the week before polling day. Anger over the state of local ambulance services and the future of farming post-Brexit also served to damage the government. The result was a triumph for the Liberal Democrats with Helen Morgan winning with a majority of 5,925 on a swing of 34.2% – the seventh largest swing in UK by-election history. Morgan was the first non-conservative elected for the constituency since the Liberals won another by-election in 1904.

Richard Foord wins the Tiverton and Honiton by-election

The by-election was caused by the resignation of disgraced Tory MP Neil Parish following his admission that he watched pornography on his phone in the House of Commons. On paper the Tories, defending a majority of 24,239, should have been favourites to win the seat but the growing unpopularity of the government and Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the contest a much more open one. Although starting in 3rd place the Liberal Democrats campaigned strongly on local issues, including the poor state of Tiverton High School. The Liberal Democrats selected Richard Foord, a retired army major, with strong local connections. As the campaign progressed it became clear that Tory votes were either going to stay at home or switch to the Lib Dems. The Tories were also in trouble with farmers following the conclusion of post-Brexit trade deals with Australia and New Zealand. The result was a triumph for the Liberal Democrats, with the Tory 24,000 majority being replaced by a Liberal Democrat one of 6,144 on a swing of almost 30%. It was the largest ever majority overturned at a by-election and the sixth largest swing against a governing party since 1945.