Tories Explain Away Batley & Spen Loss

This morning, despite losing 7.5% of the vote share, Labour’s Leadbeater narrowly clung to the Batley & Spen seat with a majority of just 323. The vote share swung towards the Tories by 2.9%, which wasn’t enough to turn the tide…

Batley & Spen has been a Labour seat since 1997, and it’s significant that Tory candidate Ryan Stephenson even got a look in. However, Conservative MPs had been quietly confident, claiming for the last week that Ryan was a shoo in. Government ministers and members of the commentariat have been quick to speculate why Ryan Stephenson failed to snatch the seat. Guido has collated the excuses. Amanda Milling, government minister on this morning’s media round, was quick defend the loss. Arguing with LBC’s Nick Ferrari, Milling claimed “it was disappointing but actually we didn’t lose, we just didn’t win”. No, the Tories lost the election.

Speaking to Times Radio, the Milling admitted that Matt Hancock’s affair “came up on the doorstep”. Contrary to Boris’s claim at PMQs that this was a “bubble issue”, according to YouGov 97% of the public had registered the story and it seems to have had some cut through…
Others suggest the Tories became complacent following the shock win in Hartlepool and the phone poll last week that suggested the Conservatives had a 6 point lead over Labour in Batley & Spen. There has certainly been overconfidence in some Tory circles. Some speculate Galloway’s dirty campaign pushed sympathetic Conservative voters into the arms of Leadbeater. Videos of Leadbeater being harassed by a mob of angry men sparked outrage and sympathy. Guido reckons the result would have been different if the Green Party had fielded a candidate…
mdi-tag-outline By-Elections YouGov
mdi-account-multiple-outline Amanda Milling Kim Leadbeater Nick Ferrari
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