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Since 2005, 9 of the 14 by-elections have been won by the incumbent party. There has been a net gain to the Conservatives of two seats, after wins in Norwich North, and Crewe and Nantwich; a net gain of one seat to the Liberal Democrats, following a win in Dunfermline and West Fife; and a net gain of one seat to the SNP after victory in Glasgow East. All of these seats were previously held by Labour. Thus, after accounting for their win in Glasgow North East (previously held by former Speaker Michael Martin), Labour saw a net loss of three seats over this period.

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  • Overseas voters

    British citizens living overseas are currently entitled to be registered to vote in UK Parliamentary elections for up to 15 years in the constituency they were registered in before leaving the UK. The Government has committed to end the 15-year limit and introduce 'votes for life'. This Briefing Paper provides details of the provisions relating to overseas voters in the Representation of the People Act 1985 and the proposals for change. It also summarises earlier attempts to change the 15 year rule.

    Overseas voters