Tories suffer devastating double by-election defeat as Labour takes Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire
Author: Patrick Kelleher
The Conservative Party has suffered devastating losses in the Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire by-elections, with Labour candidates emerging victorious in the former Tory strongholds.
In Mid Bedfordshire, Labour’s Alistair Strathern nabbed the seat that was vacated by former culture minister Nadine Dorries. Over in Tamworth, trade union organiser Sarah Edwards won the Staffordshire seat for Labour with a swing of 29.9 per cent after Tory MP Chris Pincher’s sensational resignation.
The by-election results have made history in a number of ways. Mid Bedfordshire now has no Tory MP for the first time since 1931 – the seat has never before been held by Labour.
Both candidates also made history by overturning massive Tory majorities. Strathern secured a swing of 20.5 per cent and won by 1,192 votes, while Edwards upended a Tory majority of more than 19,600 to win her seat, which has been held by the Conservatives since 2010.
Labour leader Keir Starmer described the results as “phenomenal” and said they prove that the party is “back in the service of working people and redrawing the political map”.
“Winning in these Tory strongholds shows that people overwhelmingly want change and they’re ready to put their faith in our changed Labour Party to deliver it,” he said.
Tory chairman Greg Hands admitted that the results were “disappointing” on BBC Breakfast and argued that they suffered such heavy losses because Tory voters had failed to turn up at the ballot box.
He added: “Clearly for us I think it is right that a number of our voters are unhappy with the government. We clearly have a job to do to win them back.”
In his victory speech, Strathern said the people of Mid Bedfordshire had “made history” after “decades of being taken for granted, feeling left behind, being underrepresented”.
“Nowhere is off limits for this Labour Party and tonight’s result proves it.”
Over in Tamworth, Edwards said it was clearer than ever that voters were sick and tired of the Tories’ “failed government”, which she said has “crashed the economy and destroyed our public services.”
She added: “I know a lot of you have voted Labour for the first time, and I will not let you down.”
The results mean that the Tories have now lost four by-elections in the space of just three months.
Polling has consistently shown that Labour now commands a significant lead over the Conservatives. The latest data from Deltapoll puts Labour at 47 per cent, while the Tories are trailing behind at 27 per cent.
Efforts to win back popular support so far seem to be failing for the Tories. At their annual conference in Manchester, prime minister Rishi Sunak used his hotly-anticipated speech to denigrate trans people, claiming that people were being “bullied” into believing that “people can be any sex they want to be”.
Also at conference, health secretary Steve Barclay announced plans to ban trans women from women-only hospital wards. Legal experts have warned that the plans could be unlawful.
The next general election is scheduled to be held no later than 28 January 2025.
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Actual Story on Pink News
Author: Patrick Kelleher