The Liberal Democrats’ candidate in the Newport West by-election last night was nowhere to be seen at the count. Ryan Jones, a local businessman couldn’t make it to the count due to a mysterious “longstanding commitment” at ten past one in the morning. Welsh Liberal Democrat President William Powell wouldn’t let on. What was he up to..?
Both major party’s share of the vote fell in Newport West last night, with the Tories falling by 8%, and Labour by 13%. This was a larger fall than expected for Labour after 9 years in opposition. It represents a 2.4% swing from Labour to the Tories…
UKIP outperformed expectations suggesting that the party’s hard turn to the hard right hasn’t cut through to the electorate, or that its voter base simply hasn’t been put off and prioritised sending a signal about Brexit over any other concerns. This should worry both main parties…
The full results were:
- Labour: 39.6% (-12.7)
- Conservatives: 31.3% (-8.0)
- UKIP: 8.6% (+6.1)
- Plaid Cymru: 5.0% (+2.6)
- Lib Dem: 4.6% (+2.4)
- Green: 3.9% (+2.8)
- Renew: 3.7% (+3.7)
- Abolish the Welsh Assembly: 0.9% (+0.9)
- SDP: 0.9% (+0.9)
- Democrats and Veterans: 0.8% (+0.8)
- For Britain: 0.7% (+0.7)
The only person chuffed with tonight’s voted will be Gerard Batten…
Following the death of Viscount Slim, the House of Lords is holding a By-Election to select a new hereditary Crossbench peer to replace Slim. As only hereditary Crossbenchers are allowed to vote, the electorate consists of an impressive 31 people. That’s two electors per candidate…
Among the fourteen candidates are 25 year old Lord Glenconner who claims to “represent a younger professional generation”, Lord Dormer who among his experience says he “was politically active in the 1980s in Newcastle and in Oxfordshire in the 1990s” and Lord Aldington, whose short manifesto states that his “Concerns are young people, the regions, financing the NHS, digital regulation and improving my own landscape garden.”
The result will be announced in the House of Lords chamber tomorrow. Guido can’t wait…
Read what each of the candidates have to say here…
Latest on Jared O’Mara: the LibDems are using “rumblings” of a “highly likely” by-election in Sheffield Hallam to raise £20,000 for their candidate there:
“In January, the party launched a by-election fund, spurred by rumblings about a Sheffield Hallam by-election. That by-election is still highly likely – and we need your help. We’re just £20,000 short of our goal. I’ve been to Sheffield to help our fantastic candidate, Laura Gordon. Let me tell you, she will make a fantastic MP – and be a worthy successor to Nick Clegg. Let me also tell you, if this by-election happens, we’re in with a real chance. The reception on the doors was absolutely brilliant and the team there, with support from HQ is ready to go.”
Members of O’Mara’s local Labour Party had been calling for him to stand down in time to hold a by-election on the same day as the May elections. To be fair to Jared he has actually managed to turn up for a handful of votes in the last few weeks. Still hasn’t managed his maiden speech though…
Time for a by-election?
Afzal Khan, who tweeted comparing Israel to Nazis and is a fan of Ayatollah Khomeini, has won Labour’s selection in Gorton. He beat the Momentum candidate Yasmine Dar in the final round last night. Keith Vaz arranged an all-Asian shortlist of which Khan was always going to be the overwhelming favourite – he’s been sniffing around Gerald Kaufman’s seat for years…
As events were unfolding yesterday, Khan was busy deleting all of his previous tweets, which included various attacks on Israel. He’s cannier than Gareth Snell, you’ve gotta give him that…
George Galloway has announced he’s standing in the Gorton by-election… randomly in a blog on Arron Banks’ Westmonster website. His pitch is to get Tony Blair put on trial, defend Palestine and compare himself to football management legends Matt Busby and Pep Guardiola:
“I want to continue [Gerald Kaufman’s] work on international issues – which are particularly important in Gorton – especially the issues of Palestine and Kashmir but also the broader questions, the dangerous confrontation between the west and the Muslim world which threatens all of us…
I opposed Tony Blair with all my heart and soul and paid for it with my expulsion from the party in 2003 – after 36 years membership. This week is the 14th anniversary of the Iraq War against which I was one of the leaders of the greatest mass movements ever seen in this country. I make this plain here – if I am re-elected to Parliament I will seek to put Mr. Blair on trial for war crimes, crimes against humanity and lying to the British Parliament and people…
Whether it’s my speeches in Parliament or on the streets, my films, my TV shows, my radio shows, my work on social media where I have over a million followers, when I’m fighting for Gorton everyone will know about it. Everyone will have to listen. I have been six times elected to Parliament and I don’t think even my worst enemy would deny my impact there…
It’s true I’m not local but then neither was Sir Matt Busby. Neither was Sir Alex Ferguson nor Pep Guardiola nor Jose Mourinho. Like them I want to work for you, for Gorton, for Manchester.
I am like Sir Matt a Scot of Irish background. There are plenty of us around Manchester. My 40 year relationship with Pakistan and Bangladesh my 40 years with the Arabs mean I can speak the language. I can talk the talk but I also walk the walk.
If I were to win here it would be the Mother of All by-election victories for “The hard working people of Gorton” who would never be forgotten again.”
Apparently not a spoof. The LibDems won’t believe their luck…
The shortlist for the Labour candidate in Manchester Gorton is:
Afzal Khan, Luthfur Rahman, Amina Lone, Yasmin Dar, Nasrin Ali
Afzal Khan is the overwhelming favourite, he has been after the seat for years. Guido readers will remember he tweeted comparing Israelis to Nazis. The Corbynistas once again failed to stitch up the seat for their preferred candidate Sam Wheeler, despite interventions from Corbyn and Karie Murphy. Pity the people of Gorton…
Kersal is grabbing the Labour doom headlines this morning, though these two council by-election results in Redcar are worth noting too. The LibDems increased their vote share in Newcomen with a 6% swing from Labour:
Newcomen (Redcar & Cleveland) result:
LDEM: 46.0% (+6.3)
LAB: 28.0% (-5.8)
UKIP: 16.5% (-1.9)
IND: 5.6% (+5.6)
IND: 3.9% (-4.2)
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) March 3, 2017
Meanwhile the Tories held Hutton as Labour slipped to third, vote share down 16%:
Hutton (Redcar & Cleveland) result:
CON: 57.4% (+3.6)
LDEM: 21.8% (+4.4)
LAB: 12.2% (-16.6)
UKIP: 8.6% (+8.6)
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) March 3, 2017
Tory and LibDem vote going up, Labour going down across the North…
Jeremy Corbyn is very keen for us to report on council by-election results, so… Labour have lost Kersal in Salford to the Tories. It was a Labour seat for decades and has gone blue despite Rebecca Long-Bailey’s best efforts to get out the vote yesterday. Results via Britain Elects:
34%-41% of Kersal residents are Jewish, those on the ground are already saying anti-Semitism was a factor. Shocker for Labour…
Manchester Gorton is an ultra-safe Labour seat where Gerald Kaufman leaves behind a 24,000 majority and no one else has won for 80 years. The LibDems are keen to downplay their chances of an upset, though there are a few factors which could make it interesting. First, there are rumblings that the by-election will be held on the same day as the Manchester mayoral elections. The LibDem mayoral candidate Jane Brophy is running on an “unapologetically pro-EU” ticket and has publicly said she will do anything she can to block Brexit. Manchester Gorton voted 62% to Remain, could the LibDems benefit from a joint anti-Brexit mayoral and by-election campaign?
Second, while the LibDems came fifth in Manchester Gorton in 2015, they came second here in 2010 and 2005. There is a large Muslim and student population, which benefited the LibDems until the coalition. In 2004 the LibDems won 19 of the 21 council seats in the constituency, so it is quite a Lib-Demmy area. Those on the ground say that while Kaufman was a strong local MP, they detect growing dissatisfaction with Corbyn among voters. A Labour loss here is unthinkable – it would make Copeland look like a good result…
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) February 24, 2017
Top Corbynista Cat Smith tells ITV why Labour’s performance in Copeland was still an “incredible achievement”. Of all the things said by Labour politicians today, surely the most ridiculous…
11:12pm last night:
“Copeland has been held by Labour. The Tories haven’t taken Copeland.”
David Dimbleby’s sources on the ground let him down…
Hilarious email sent by Momentum to their supporters this morning under the subject line: “We proved them wrong”.
“The sceptics wrote us off in Stoke but we proved them wrong. We beat them with our energy, passion and determination.
The Tories may have taken Copeland, but I’ve seen everything we need to win across the country right here in Stoke these last few weeks.
If we build on the momentum from this win, we can beat UKIP and the Tories across the country.”
What are they smoking?
“Where’s the car?” Nuttall searching for his getaway car after disappointing Stoke by-election result pic.twitter.com/9s7VxnVb6K
— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) February 24, 2017
Exasperated ‘Kipper Lisa Duffy cried: “Where the hell’s the car? Where the f**k’s the car?” as Nuttall made a hasty getaway last night. Taxi…
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) February 24, 2017
Trudy Harrison, Tory: 13,748 (44%)
Gillian Troughton, Labour: 11,601 (37%)
Rebecca Hanson, LibDems: 2,252 (7.2%)
Fiona Mills, UKIP: 2,025 (6.5%)
Tory majority of 2,147. First government by-election gain since 1982. Best result for a government in a by-election since 1966. Truly dire result for Labour.
— BBC This Week (@bbcthisweek) February 24, 2017
Gareth Snell, Labour: 7,853 (37%)
Paul Nuttall, UKIP: 5,233 (25%)
Jack Brereton, Tory: 5,154 (24%)
Zulfiqar Ali, LibDem: 2,083 (10%)
Labour hold Stoke with a 2,620 majority. Nuttall beat 25 year old Tory no hoper Jack Brereton by 79 votes…
It is wet and windy up in Stoke and Copeland and by 4 a.m. on Friday morning one of several possible scenarios will be playing out. Guido takes you through your by-election scenarios…
Labour win, UKIP second, Tories third
If Gareth Snell holds Stoke for Labour then the man who once called Jeremy Corbyn an “IRA supporting friend of Hamas” will, ironically, have helped save Jez. He will have won a seat that has always been safely Labour. Defeat will see Paul Nuttall face criticism from UKIP’s Faragists – remember Farage last week piled on the pressure by saying Nuttall had to win. Jez will be safe…
Labour win, Tories second, UKIP third
If the Tories come ahead of UKIP then the Faragists will actively move against a humiliated Nuttall. Hillsborough, rightly or wrongly, will have damaged him beyond repair. UKIP could have their sixth change of leader in under two years.
Should Labour lose to UKIP, the PLP will be mutinous. Corbyn’s office will blame Tony Blair’s Brexit speech, accusing him of a deliberate act of sabotage. Corbyn will face huge pressure from the left to hand over to Rebecca Long-Bailey or Clive Lewis. Moderates will demand his resignation and discuss another leadership challenge. UKIP will have its second MP, Nuttall becoming a loud Brexiter in the Commons and a credible new voice for working class voters. UKIP will be on the verge of a mainstream tipping point…
Should the Tories come from nowhere to win, Corbyn could be toast. The realisation of a Tory one party state and a Scotland-style wipeout of Labour across England will dawn on the Corbynistas. Even Jezza’s closest allies will tell him his time is up. 25 year-old Jack Brereton will be the youngest Tory MP.
Tory victory in Copeland means Corbyn will face renewed calls to quit from Labour moderates. Owen Jones types will air further doubts about the Corbyn project. Eyes will be on Long-Bailey and Lewis. There will be talk of a summer leadership challenge. Corbyn’s views on the nuclear industry will have been key. Theresa May’s approach to Brexit will be emboldened. A Tory win is already priced in, this will not be a shock to SW1…
Labour victory against the odds means Corbyn is safe, or safer if Labour has lost Stoke. Fighting dirty on the NHS will have worked. Talk of a Tory takeover of Northern seats will be deemed premature. An ardent Remainer will have won in a big Leave constituency. May’s awkward visit, in which she failed to answer questions on local NHS services, will be a major embarrassment for Number 10.
You are kidding.
Stay with Guido for coverage during the day and through the night…