Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Monday, February 27, 2017

Mixed results

By-elections in two constituencies yielded mixed results. Tories won a formerly safe Labour seat, but the Labour candidate defeated the new leader of UKIP in the other.

Labour Loses Seat to Tories but Defeats UKIP Leader in British Voting
Ms Harrison, new Tory MP
For decades, voters in Copeland, in the northwest of England, have elected parliamentary candidates from Britain’s opposition Labour Party so regularly that their support was almost taken for granted.

That came to an abrupt end early on Friday, when a candidate from the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Theresa May took the seat in a by-election…

[T]here was a more encouraging result in a second contest, in Stoke-on-Trent Central, where it emerged victorious over the right-wing populist U.K. Independence Party, known as UKIP. In the process, it comfortably defeated the party’s new leader, Paul Nuttall, who had gambled by running there personally.

The loss was a big reversal for Mr. Nuttall, who is trying to establish a new identity for UKIP [which] has sought to appeal to voters in working-class communities who normally vote Labour…

In Copeland, Ms. Harrison won with 13,748 votes to 11,601 for Gillian Troughton of Labour.

In Stoke-on-Trent Central, Gareth Snell was elected for Labour with 7,853 votes, compared with 5,233 votes for Mr. Nuttall of UKIP…

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