Labour win Corby byelection with decisive swing

There were big swings away the coalition partners
There were big swings away the coalition partners

By Charles Maggs

Labour made its first byelection gain from the Conservatives since 1997 today with a massive swing of almost 13% in Corby.

Andy Sawford took the seat with a majority of almost 8,000 and praised the party leader in his victory speech.

"The road to Downing Streett runs through Corby," he said.

"There is much work to do for the Labour party before the next election. This result shows Ed Miliband is changing the Labour party and we are again earning the trust of people who didn't vote for us in 2010."

But most striking was the fact the Liberal Democrats received just 1,770 votes, falling 14 short of retaining their deposit. The party was pushed back into fourth place by Ukip, which almost trebled the votes of the coalition's junior partner.

The Conservative vote more than halved to under 10,000 but comfortably came second. The prime minister described the result as a "classic mid-term result".

"It was obviously made more difficult by the fact that a Conservative MP left the seat in question," he said.

"Obviously in mid-term results you sit and listen to what people are saying across the country and we see that Labour haven't won in Bristol, can't win in Swindon and the middle of Wales, so I think it's a very mixed picture."

But Ed Miliband saw the result as a ringing endorsement of the his party. 

“This constituency is at the heart of our country and this constituency has sent a very clear message today," he said.

"It has sent a message that it is putting its trust in a One Nation Labour Party and middle England is turning away from David Cameron and the Conservatives because middle England feels let down by David Cameron and the Conservatives." 

Louise Mensch, who stood down from the seat in order to move to New York to spend more time to her family claimed yesterday that if Labour win it wasl her fault and not the party's.

She tweeted: "Election result will not be a verdict on either Christine, or the Conservatives, but only on the decision I took to step down mid-term".

Turnout in Corby appears to be much higher than elsewhere at over 40%.

The result concluded a byelection clean sweep for Labour after comfortable victories in the Manchester Central and Cardiff South and Penarth votes.

The verdict in Manchester came after just 18% of constituents came out to vote. It's believed to be the lowest in turnout in post war by-election history.

The Conservatives beat Ukip into fourth by just five votes in Manchester. The Liberal Democrats came second, almost 10,000 votes behind Labour's Lucy Powell.

Poor turnout couldn't spoil the mood for Powell, who celebrated her comprehensive victory on Twitter.

"Honoured and thrilled to be elected. Big vote for Labour and huge rejection of Tory-Lib Dem gov. Off to bed now #PuttingMCRFirst" she said.

Stephen Doughty won the Cardiff South poll with a comfortable majority in the notionally safe Labour seat with an impressive eight per cent swing away from the Conservatives.

The Liberal Democrats held on to third, but suffered a massive 11% swing

Doughty was the head of Oxfam Cymru before his selection as Labour candidate and will now take over from Alan Michael who stepped down to fight the PCC elections.


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