Batley & Spen Runners & Riders

Now that the date for the Batley & Spen by-election is set for July 1, Guido’s taken a look at the runners and riders in the upcoming contest. There are five confirmed candidates, with local independent heavyweight Paul Halloran still yet to declare:

  • LabourKim Leadbeater – Sister of Jo Cox. Very limited political experience, having only joined the party a month ago, and only after Labour ignored their own rules to let her run. Initially seen within the party as the safest bet. There’s now a bit of a feeling on the ground that it’s a ‘cynical’ move on Labour’s part. 
  • ConservativesRyan Stephenson – Chairman of the West Yorkshire Conservatives, and Leeds councillor. First entered politics in 2016. Claims he’s “a fervent campaigner for the protection of the Green Belt and of the natural environment”. If elected, he’d be the first Tory candidate in the constituency for 25 years. 
  • LibDems: Jo Conchie – TV producer and director. Recent credits include “Bargain Brits on Benefits” and “Bargain-Loving Brits in Blackpool”. Clearly the LibDems think the people of Batley & Spen love electing TV stars…
  • Workers Party of Britain: George Galloway – A familiar face to co-conspirators. Claims he’s ‘standing against Sir Keir Starmer’, and that it’s ‘curtains‘ for Starmer if Labour lose the seat. Fears within Labour that he’ll capitalise on the Israel-Palestine conflict to siphon enough votes away from Leadbeater to tip the balance. There’s a high Muslim population in the constituency, so it’s not impossible.
  • Yorkshire Party: Corey Robinson – A local medical research engineer. Obviously not a significant player in the race, although the party did come third in the West Yorkshire Mayoral election. Managing to beat the Greens and the LibDems…
  • Reform / Reclaim (?): Paul Halloran – Still yet to declare. Stood in 2019 for the Heavy Woollen District Independents and took 12% of the vote. Could be the Tories’ kingmaker. Speculated to have had discussions with Tice and the Reform Party. Pictured yesterday with Laurence Fox, sparking rumours he’ll ultimately side with Reclaim…
  • UKIP think a working-class area deserves Jack Thomson “a young working-class man himself who understands the every-day struggles that real people face in their everyday lives.”

The bookies currently, surprisingly, make the Tories favourites to win

mdi-tag-outline By-Elections Runners and Riders
mdi-account-multiple-outline George Galloway Jo Conchie Kim Leadbeater Paul Halloran Ryan Stephenson
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