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UK By-Elections 1945-2017

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'I am delighted to be associated with the work of the Polish Heritage Society and very honoured to serve as its President. The Society's work highlights the enormous contribution which generations of Poles have made to their adopted country. Preserving and celebrating that heritage will only further strengthen the ties between Poland and the United Kingdom.

I worked closely with the Society on the project to build a memorial to the Polish Forces at the National Memorial Arboretum and saw at first hand the energy and dedication of those involved.

I encourage you to explore this website and learn about the many other projects the Society has sponsored. Do please contact us if you would like to be involved in any way'.

General The Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE

A Debt of Dishonour is a unique documentary film dedicated Major General Sosabowski and all ranks who served in the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade Group and to their Comrades-in-Arms of the 1st British Airborne Division that fought in the ill-fated “Operation Market Garden” at Arnhem and Driel during September 1944.

Sto Lat-Albert Hall


UK By-Elections 1945 – 23 February 2017

4 Polish Candidates (including 2 Polish MPs) in 504 By-Elections since 1945


UK By-Elections No. of
Polish MPs
1945 - 1950 (38th Parliament) 52 NIL NIL
1950 - 1951 (39th Parliament) 16 NIL NIL
1951 - 1955 (40th Parliament) 48 NIL NIL
1955 - 1959 (41st Parliament) 52 NIL NIL
1959 - 1964 (42nd Parliament) 63 NIL NIL
1964 - 1966 (43rd Parliament) 13 NIL NIL
1966 - 1970 (44th Parliament) 38 NIL NIL
1970 - 1974 (45th Parliament) 30 NIL NIL
1974 - 1974 (46th Parliament) 1 NIL NIL
1974 - 1979 (47th Parliament) 30 1 NIL
1979 - 1983 (48th Parliament) 20 NIL NIL
1983 - 1987 (49th Parliament) 31 NIL NIL
1987 - 1992 (50th Parliament) 24 NIL NIL
1992 - 1997 (51st Parliament) 18 1 1
1997 - 2001 (52nd Parliament) 17 NIL NIL
2001 - 2005 (53rd Parliament) 6 NIL NIL
2005 - 2010 (54th Parliament) 14 1 NIL
2010 - 2015 (55th Parliament) 21 NIL NIL
2015 - 2017 (56th Parliament) 10 1 1
2017 - Present (57th Parliament) NIL NIL NIL
Number of By-Elections since 1945 = 504 4 Polish Candidates 2 Polish MPs


PHS_logo_subhead4 Polish Candidates in By-Elections 1945 – 23 February 2017

  Name By-Election
Constituency Party Result Votes Vote Share Majority
1 Denis MacShane
(Denis Matyjaszek)
05 May 1994 Rotherham Labour Elected 14,912 25.9% 6,954

Denis MacShane was born Matyjaszek and brought up in Ealing. He worked for BBC (1969 - 1977) who (racially) forced him to drop his Polish surname. After he left the BBC, he rose to be the President of the National Union of Journalists (1978-79)

By-Election due to the death of the Labour MP Jimmy Boyce (massive 17,561 Majority at the 1992 General Election), MacShane was chosen to replace him. At the time, MacShane was the Director of the European Policy Institute. He subsequently won 4 Elections (1997, 2001, 2005 and 2010) & served 18 years as a Labour MP.

He was the Minister for Europe (2002 - 2005). Ironically, he was forced to resign (05 November 2012) due to submitting false Parliamentary invoices totalling some £ 13,000 and has subsequently been charged with False Accounting (Theft Act 1968). A By-Election was subsequently held at MacShane's constituency, (Rotherham, 29 November) won by Sarah Champion, Labour.


2 Rosena Wisniewska-Allin-Khan 
16 July 2016 Tooting Labour Elected 17,894 55.9%  6,357

Rosena was born in Tooting in 1977 - her Mother is Polish, who used to be a singer in the Polish Filipinki Music Group 1959-1974, based in Poland - and her Father is a Muslim from Pakistan. She attended Trinity St. Mary School, obtained a degree in Medical Biochemistry from Brunel University, folIowed by a Medical Degree from Cambridge University. She is married to a Welsh husband, they are both Muslims, and have 2 daughters who are being raised as Muslims.

Apart from being a junior doctor at St. George's Hospital in Tooting, Rosena spent many years working as a Humanitarian Doctor in Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia. She was also a Councillor in Wandsworth Council (Bedford Ward in Balham), and served as a Deputy Leader of the Council's Labour Group.

Due to the resignation of the Tooting Labour MP, Sadiq Khan who became the Mayor of London, Rosena attended and won the By-Election, became the 100th Female Labour MP.  Following the By-Election, Rosena was appointed the Shadow Minister of Sport - in that capacity, she was the Labour party spokesperson for issues including the protection of young people from sexual exploitation in sport.


3 Christopher Ostrowski
23 July 2009 Norwich North Labour 2nd 6,243 18.2%  

By-Election due to the resignation of the Labour MP Ian Gibson who was banned for standing as a Labour candidate for the next General Election. Christopher Ostrowski was chosen to replace him by the Labour Party (Ian Gibson won his seat with a Labour Majority of 5,461 at the previous 2005 General Election).

Unfortunately, Ostrowski came 2nd to the winner, Chloe Smith (Conservative Party) who reversed the Labour Majority into a very large Conservatory Majority of 7,348. She became the youngest Member of the House of Commons ("Baby of the House").


4 Frances Oborski
04 November 1976 Walsall North Liberal 5th 1,212 3.24%  

By-Election due to the resignation of the MP John Stonehouse (English National Party/ENP) who faked his own death (he was eventually discovered living in Australia). Though John Stonehouse's majority was a massive 15,885 at the 1974 General Election (originally as a Labour MP before John Stonehouse changed to ENP), ENP decided not to contest this By-Election so the seat reveresed back to Labour.

Frances Oborski was heavily involved in Polish Solidarity campaign (early 1980s) and is currently the Polish Honorary Consul for the West Midlands whose late husband was a local Councillor and also a member of Polskie Pokolenie Powojenne.

She is currently the longest serving member of the Wye Forest Council (30 years) having been the Chairman of numerous Committees. She was also the Mayor of Kidderminster (1984-85) and is currently a member of the Liberal Party National Executive.

Apart from the 1976 By-Election, she also stood three more times as a Liberal candidate (Staffordshire South, 1987, 2nd), (Stoke-on-Trent Central, 1997, 6th) and (Wye Forest, 2005, 4th) as well as being a candidate for the European Parliamentary Election in 1989.

Dataset compiled by Christopher Marek Rencki FRAI
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