These were record breaking results
The results are now in from the Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire by-elections, with the Labour Party having won both of them.
In Tamworth, Keir Starmer’s party overturned a massive 19,000+ Tory majority, winning back the seat Labour last held in 2005. The by-election in Tamworth was triggered by the resignation of Chris Pincher following his suspension from parliament over allegations of sexual misconduct.
Labour’s Sarah Edwards picked up 45.7 per cent of the vote to become the constituency’s new MP. The Tories came second with 40.6 per cent of the vote.
Labour’s victory in Tamworth saw the second biggest Tory to Labour swing in a by-election since 1945.
Following her election, Edwards said: “I think one of the things we can take is a lot of comfort from the fact that people have seen that Labour are offering a positive vision, that they want a fresh start and they are not seeing that the Conservatives have anything to offer.”
In Mid Bedfordshire, the results were no less spectacular. Alistair Strathern won the seat for Labour after picking up 34.1 per cent of the vote. The Tories came second with 31.1 per cent, and the Liberal Democrats third with 23.1 per cent.
Mid Bedfordshire has never previously had a Labour MP, and the by-election saw the largest ever numerical majority overturned at a by-election. The Tories previously held the seat with a majority of more than 24,000.
Prior to the by-election, there were fears among some on the left that the Tories might hang on to the seat as a result of the anti-Tory vote being split between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Ultimately, this didn’t come to pass.
The Mid Bedfordshire election was triggered by the resignation of Nadine Dorries.
Speaking after his election, Strathern said: “Tonight, residents across Mid Bedfordshire have made history. After decades of being taken for granted, feeling left behind, being underrepresented, they made a decision it was time for a change. Nowhere is off limits for this Labour party and tonight’s result proves it.”
Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward
Image credit: TUC livestream