1903 Rochester by-election

The Rochester by-election, 1903 was a parliamentary by-election held in England in September 1903 for the House of Commons constituency of Rochester in Kent.

1903 Rochester by-election

 1900 22 September 1903 1906 
Candidate Tuff Johnston
Party Conservative Liberal
Popular vote 2,504 1,983
Percentage 55.8 44.2

MP before election

Viscount Cranborne

Subsequent MP

Samuel Ridley

. . . 1903 Rochester by-election . . .

The vacancy was caused when the borough’s Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) James Gascoyne-Cecil, known by his courtesy title as Viscount Cranborne, succeeded to the peerage on 22 August 1903. He had been MP for Darwen from 1885 to 1892,[1] and then for Rochester since winning the seat at a by-election in 1893.[2]

Cranborne had been returned unopposed at the 1900 general election, so the borough had not seen a contested parliamentary election since 1895.

Sir Harry Johnston

The two major parties chose their candidates on 2 September. The Unionists (the Conservatives and their Liberal Unionist allies) chose Charles Tuff, the owner of a large firm of contractors.[3] He had been mayor of Rochester from 1900 to 1902.[4]

The Liberal Party selected as its candidate Sir Harry Johnston,[3] an African explorer and colonial administrator.

The writ for the by-election was received on 15 September by the mayor, who fixed 18 September as the closing day for nominations, and Wednesday 23 September as polling day.[5] No independent or minor party candidates were nominated, so the election was a two-way contest between Tuff and Johnston.

. . . 1903 Rochester by-election . . .

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. . . 1903 Rochester by-election . . .