List of United Kingdom MPs with the shortest service

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List of United Kingdom MPs with the shortest service is an annotated list of the Members of the United Kingdom Parliament since 1900 having total service of less than 365 days.


Nominal service is the number of days elapsed between the Declaration (or deemed election) and the date of death, defeat, disqualification, resignation, etc.

Effective service is the number of days elapsed between taking the Oath as a Member of Parliament (if the Member did so) and the date of death, resignation, disqualification or dissolution of Parliament. In other words, this number is the maximum number of days the Member could have sat in Parliament, whether or not they actually did so.


MemberPartyConstituencyElection dateNominal service (days)Took the OathMaiden speechEffective service (days)Notes
Thomas Higgins Irish Parliamentary North Galway, 190625 January 19060 [lower-alpha 1] NN0Died
Alfred Dobbs Labour Smethwick, 194526 July 1945 [lower-alpha 2] 1NN0Died
James Annand Liberal East Aberdeenshire, 190624 January 190616NN0Died
Bobby Sands Anti H-Block April 1981 Fermanagh and South Tyrone by-election 9 April 198125NN0Died
Harry Wrightson Conservative Leyton West, 191828 December 1918 [lower-alpha 3] 32NN0Died
Joseph Nicholas Bell Labour Newcastle East, 192215 November 192232NN0Died
Henry Francis Compton Conservative 1905 New Forest by-election 6 December 190546NN0Defeated at next general election
Hugh Alfred Anderson Irish Unionist North Londonderry, 191828 December 19184710 February 1919N [lower-alpha 4] 3Resigned
Michael Carr Labour May 1990 Bootle by-election 24 May 1990575 June 199014 June 199045Died
Alexander Theodore Gordon Conservative Aberdeen and Kincardine Central, 191828 December 1918685 February 1919N [lower-alpha 5] 29Died
Pierce McCan Sinn Féin East Tipperary, 191828 December 191868NN0Died [lower-alpha 6]
Donald Bennett Liberal 1945 Middlesbrough West by-election 14 May 19457315 May 1945N31Defeated at next general election
Oswald O'Brien Labour 1983 Darlington by-election 24 March 19837729 March 198314 April 198345Defeated at next general election
John Dumphreys Conservative 1909 Bermondsey by-election 28 October 1909831 November 1909N [lower-alpha 7] 70Defeated at next general election
Charles James Mathew Labour Whitechapel and St. George's, 192215 November 19228521 November 1922N [lower-alpha 8] 48Died
Seaborne Davies Liberal 1945 Caernarvon Boroughs by-election 26 April 1945911 May 194511 June 194545Defeated at next general election
Ruth Dalton Labour 1929 Bishop Auckland by-election 7 February 19299212 February 192913 March 192987Retired at next general election
Margo MacDonald [lower-alpha 9] SNP 1973 Glasgow Govan by-election 8 November 19739222 November 197311 December 197378Defeated at next general election
Joseph Ormond Andrews Liberal 1905 Barkston Ash by-election 13 October 190597NN0Defeated at next general election
Jane Dodds [lower-alpha 10] Liberal Democrats 2019 Brecon and Radnorshire by-election 1 August 2019 [1] 97 [2] 3 September 2019 [3] 4 September 2019 [4] 64 [2] Defeated at next general election [5]
Robert McIntyre [lower-alpha 11] SNP 1945 Motherwell by-election 12 April 194510417 April 19451 May 194559Defeated at next general election
George Knox Anderson Conservative 1918 Canterbury by-election 9 August 191811315 October 1918N [lower-alpha 12] 41Retired at next general election
Herbert Evans Labour 1931 Gateshead by-election 8 June 193112111 June 193114 September 1931118Died
Sir Henry Wilson Irish Unionist February 1922 North Down by-election 21 February 192212123 February 192221 March 1922119Assassinated
John William Sunderland Labour Preston, 194526 July 19451212 August 194511 October 1945114Died
Charles Beattie Ulster Unionist 1955 Mid Ulster by-election 11 August 195512325 October 1955N105Disqualified
George Henry Williamson Conservative Worcester, 190617 January 1906128Y [lower-alpha 13] N100 (approximately)Unseated
Harold St. Maur Liberal Exeter, Dec 19103 December 1910129Y [lower-alpha 14] 22 February 191155 (approximately)Unseated
John Edmondson Whittaker Labour Heywood and Radcliffe, 194526 July 19451362 August 194516 October 1945129Died (suicide)
Richard Mathias Liberal Cheltenham, Dec 19105 December 19101441 February 1911N68Unseated
George Brown Hillman Conservative Wakefield, 193127 October 19311444 November 1931N136Died
Evan Cotton Liberal 1918 Finsbury East by-election 16 July 191815117 July 19186 August 1918131Defeated at next general election
Robert Chichester Irish Unionist 1921 South Londonderry by-election 29 August 1921152YDied
Philip Clarke Sinn Féin Fermanagh and South Tyrone, 195526 May 1955152NN0Unseated
Thomas Mitchell Sinn Féin Mid-Ulster, 195526 May 1955152NN0Disqualified
Lisa Forbes Labour 2019 Peterborough by-election 6 June 2019 [6] 153 [2] 10 June 2019 [7] 9 September 2019 [8] 149 [2] Defeated at next general election [9]
Nicol Stephen Liberal Democrats 1991 Kincardine and Deeside by-election 7 November 199115412 November 199126 November 1991125Defeated at next general election
David Hardie Labour 1931 Rutherglen by-election 21 May 19311592 June 193125 June 1931127Defeated at next general election
Eugene O'Sullivan Ind. Nationalist East Kerry, Jan 191022 January 1910170Y [lower-alpha 15] N140 (approximately)Unseated
David MacDonald Conservative Bothwell, 191828 December 19181765 February 191927 March 1919137Died
Herbert Sparkes Conservative Tiverton, 192215 November 192218821 November 192214 February 1923182Died
Helen McElhone Labour 1982 Glasgow Queen's Park by-election 2 December 19821898 December 198217 January 1983156Retired at next general election
Hilton Philipson National Liberal Berwick-on-Tweed, 192215 November 192219721 November 1922N168Unseated
Armine Wodehouse Liberal Saffron Walden, 190015 October 19002004 December 190027 March 1901148Died
Oswald Cawley Liberal January 1918 Prestwich by-election 31 January 191820220 June 1918N [lower-alpha 16] 63Killed in action World War I
Francis Norie-Miller Liberal National 1935 Perth by-election 16 April 19352122 May 1935N176Retired at next general election
David Austick Liberal 1973 Ripon by-election 26 July 197321716 October 19736 November 1973115Defeated at next general election
Moreton Frewen Ind. Nationalist Cork North-East, Dec 19108 December 1910220Y [lower-alpha 17] 24 April 1911160 (approximately)Resigned
Barry McElduff Sinn Féin West Tyrone, 20178 June 2017222NN0Resigned [lower-alpha 18]
Harry West [lower-alpha 19] Ulster Unionist Fermanagh and South Tyrone, February 197428 February 197422413 March 197414 March 1974191Defeated at next general election
Arthur Wellesley Willey Conservative Leeds Central, 192215 November 192222921 November 1922N223Died
Christopher Ward Conservative 1969 Swindon by-election 30 October 19692314 November 196915 December 1969206Defeated at next general election
William Henry Somervell Liberal 1918 Keighley by-election 26 April 191823229 April 191827 June 1918210Defeated at next general election
James Godfrey MacManaway Ulster Unionist Belfast West, 195023 February 195023813 June 195019 October 1950128Disqualified
Thomas Browne Wallace Irish Unionist 1921 West Down by-election 23 June 1921239YResigned
Frederick William Gibbins Liberal 1910 Mid Glamorgan by-election 31 March 19102534 April 1910N238Retired at next general election
Charles Frederick Palmer Independent February 1920 The Wrekin by-election 7 February 192026123 February 192027 February 1920245Died
Hugh Hayes Ulster Unionist 1922 West Down by-election 17 February 19222712 March 1922238Retired at next general election
Harry Harpham Labour Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, 20157 May 201527320 May 201517 June 2015260Died
Joseph Jackson Cleary Labour 1935 Liverpool Wavertree by-election 6 February 193528111 February 193514 February 1935256Defeated at next general election
Sir William Beveridge Liberal 1944 Berwick-upon-Tweed by-election 17 October 194428219 October 19443 November 1944239Defeated at next general election
W. P. Sidney , VC Conservative 1944 Chelsea by-election 11 October 194428817 October 194429 November 1944241Succeeded to the Peerage
Alfred Holland Labour Clay Cross, 193514 November 193529027 November 193530 April 1936277Died
Sir John Reith National February 1940 Southampton by-election 1 February 19402936 February 1940N258Elevated to the Peerage
Parmjit Singh Gill Liberal Democrats 2004 Leicester South by-election 15 July 200429420 July 200423 November 2004261Defeated at next general election
Sir William Hacket Pain Ulster Unionist 1922 South Londonderry by-election 18 January 19223018 February 192210 May 1922260Retired at next general election
W. E. Gibbons Conservative 1944 Bilston by-election 20 September 194430926 September 19446 December 1944262Defeated at next general election
David Colville Anderson Conservative 1963 Dumfriesshire by-election 12 December 196330917 December 19638 February 1964283Retired at next general election
22 MPs who only sat in the February–November 1910 Parliamentvariousvariousvarious between 14 January and 9 February 1910variousvariousvarious286
Judith Chaplin Conservative Newbury, 19929 April 199231629 April 199210 June 1992296Died
64 MPs who only sat in the January–October 1924 Parliamentvariousvarious6 December 1923328variousvarious275
Thomas Teevan Ulster Unionist 1950 Belfast West by-election 29 November 19503305 December 195011 April 1951304Defeated at next general election
William Nathaniel Jones Liberal 1928 Carmarthen by-election 28 June 19283363 July 1928N?311Defeated at next general election
Arthur Henniker-Hughan Conservative Galloway, 192429 October 19243403 December 192419 March 1925305Died
Martin Morris Irish Unionist Galway Borough, 19001 October 19003424 December 190022 April 1901278Succeeded to the Peerage
Peter Law Independent Blaenau Gwent, 20055 May 200535516 May 200516 June 2005344Died
Wallace Lawler Liberal 1969 Birmingham Ladywood by-election 26 June 19693573 July 196923 July 1969330Defeated at next general election
George Machin Labour 1973 Dundee East by-election 1 March 19733646 March 19738 March 1973339Defeated at next general election
51 MPs who only sat in the November 1922 – November 1923 Parliamentvariousvarious15 November 1922386variousvarious361

See also


  1. Higgins died hours before his declaration on 26 January 1906 and was declared elected posthumously.
  2. Polling took place on 5 July 1945, but results were not declared until 26 July.
  3. Polling took place on 14 December 1918, but results were not declared until 28 December.
  4. Anderson took his seat, but never spoke, asked a question, or voted.
  5. Gordon never spoke, asked a question, or voted. In March 1919 he was appointed to the Scottish Standing Committee, but died two days later.
  6. McCan was in prison at the time of his death but as an abstentionist would not have taken his seat, had he been free to do so.
  7. Dumphreys never spoke or asked a written question, but he voted in 19 divisions.
  8. Mathew never made a formal maiden speech, although he made several interventions, notably on 28 November 1922, when he challenged the Prime Minister, Bonar Law, over Unemployment. He also voted in 18 divisions.
  9. MacDonald was a member of the Scottish Parliament from 1999 until her death in 2014.
  10. Dodds was elected to the Welsh Parliament in 2021.
  11. McIntyre holds the record for the most attempts by a former MP to return to the Commons.
  12. Anderson never spoke or asked a question, but he voted in 12 divisions.
  13. The precise date of Williamson's taking of the Oath is not recorded; it probably occurred on 14/15 February 1906. Williamson spoke once in Parliament, to ask that "The Question be now put", but was overruled by the Speaker. He voted in several divisions.
  14. The precise date of St. Maur's taking of the Oath is not recorded; it occurred in late February 1911.
  15. The precise date of O'Sullivan's taking of the Oath is not recorded; it occurred in late February 1910.
  16. Cawley took his seat, but never spoke, asked a question, or voted.
  17. The precise date of Frewen's taking of the Oath is not recorded; it probably occurred in late February 1911.
  18. McElduff was an abstentionist
  19. West was the only member of the March–October 1974 Parliament who did not serve in any other Parliament.

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