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This by-election is the 33rd by-election since the 2010 general election and is the 25th occasion when a by-election has been caused by an MP resigning their seat (75%). This compares with the eight years before then (2002 – 2010) when out of 21 by-elections 11 were caused by resigning MP’s (52%) and the reason for this? Fewer and fewer MP’s are dying in office. Indeed during the 1966 – 1970 Parliament of the 38 by-elections, 29 (76%) were caused by the member dying (therefore making any chances of the government’s majority disappearing through by-elections before the next election very unlikely indeed).