Gatting By-Election

The Gatting by-election of 1816 is fondly remembered by British political historians:

"The constituency only had three voters: Sir Mark Wood, his son (who had gone missing), and the butler, Jennings. All was peaceful until Sir Mark nominated his son as the Tory candidate. The butler refused to second him after a row with his boss and in a fit of pique revealed his own intention to stand, whereupon Sir Mark refused to second him. We were approaching the perfect by-election with no votes, voters or candidates when everyone seconded everyone else and the result was:

Mark Wood, junior (Tory) (absent): 1
Jennings (Whig): 0

"It was the only election ever held at this promising constituency. Gatting was disenfranchised in 1832. The loss to British politics is incalculable..."

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