Kilkenny City by-election, 1880

The Kilkenny City by-election of 1880 took place on 26 February 1880. It arose due to the resignation of the incumbent Liberal MP, Benjamin Whitworth, in order to contest Drogheda. A Mr. Doherty, from Dublin, went forward as a Home Rule candidate, but withdrew, since he had accepted some government contracts.[1] The only candidate nominated was John Francis Smithwick, who was declared elected unopposed.[2] Smithwick, although described in The Times as a Liberal, was known as strong supporter of Home Rule.[3] Doherty ran against Smithwick in the general election, less than two months later, as a Home Rule candidate. Smithwick won by 318 votes to 204.[4]


  1. 'Election Intelligence', The Times, 23 February 1880
  2. 'Election Intelligence', The Times, 27 February 1880
  3. 'Letters to the Editor', The Times, 4 March 1880
  4. Debrett's Illustrated House of Commons and the Judicial Bench, 1882 (Dean and Son, 1882) page 272.

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