Tories thrashed in Chester by-election, suffering their worst result since 1832

The 13.8% swing from Tory to Labour, is the sixth biggest between the parties since 1945, and more than the 12.7% in Wakefield in June.

Voting Ballot Box

Rishi Sunak has suffered a blow in his first by-election test as prime minister, with the Conservatives recording their worst performance in the City of Chester since 1832.

Although a Labour victory had been expected, the swing of 13.8% from Tory to Labour, shows that the national polls over recent weeks and months which have given the Labour Party a commanding lead are broadly right.

A 12% swing from the Tories to Labour would be enough to take the party into power.

Samantha Dixon, the Labour candidate was elected with a majority of 10,974 votes with a vote share of 61%, with the Tory candidate Liz Wardlaw getting 6,335 votes or 22.4%. The margin of victory was bigger than in 2019, when the Labour majority was 6,164 votes.

The 13.8% swing from Tory to Labour, is the sixth biggest between the parties since 1945, and more than the 12.7% in Wakefield in June.

“Labour are in a stronger position than they have been at any point in the last 12 years,” elections expert Sir John told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

In her victory speech, Dixon called for a general election and said Rishi Sunak was on ‘borrowed time’.

She said: “People in Chester and across our country are really worried.

“Worried about losing their homes because they can’t afford the mortgage repayments or the rent, worried about whether they can put the heating on, worried about whether they can put food on the table for their families.

“This is the cost of 12 years of Conservative government. The government, which has wreaked havoc with our economy, destroyed our public services and betrayed the people who put their trust in them at the last general election.”

Reacting to the victory, Labour leader Keir Starmer tweeted: “Huge congratulations to

@CllrSDixon who will be an excellent MP for City of Chester.

“The message to Rishi Sunak’s Conservative government is clear: People are fed up of 12 years of Tory rule and want the change Labour offers.

“It’s time for a Labour government.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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