Today is the anniversary of the Tiverton by-election of 1923, when the Liberals won the seat from the Conservatives, whose MP Herbert Sparkes had died of pneumonia after sitting for only 6 months.
The Liberal by-election victor was Francis Acland, whose father and grandfather had also been Liberal MPs. Francis Acland served four separate periods in parliament for four different constituencies. He was Liberal MP for Richmond in Yorkshire from 1906 to January 1910, for Camborne in Cornwall from December 1910 to 1922, for Tiverton in Devon from the by-election on 21 June 1923 to 1924 and finally for North Cornwall from 1932 until his death in 1939.
Francis Acland’s son, Richard was also a Liberal MP, being elected for Barnstaple in 1935. However, Richard left the Liberal Party during the Second World War to found Common Wealth, a left-wing party which did not abide by the electoral truce and which won three seats in wartime by-elections. Common Wealth held on to only one of its seats in the 1945 election and Richard Acland was defeated. Richard then joined the Labour Party and was elected for Gravesend in a by-election in 1947. However, he defected from the Labour Party in 1955 and stood unsuccessfully as an independent in the general election later that year.
So, Francis Acland the Tiverton by-election winner 90 years ago today served four periods in parliament for four constituencies - all as a Liberal, while his son Richard was the fourth generation to sit in parliament, though he had four different political allegiances.