a Labor candidate Sarah Edwards won the Tamworth constituency in central England with a majority of 1,316 votes, while in Midfordshire, north of London, the Conservative Party lost to Labor candidate Alistair Strathern by 1,192 votes, according to the results of opinion polls announced during the early hours of the day.
These victories were highlighted by the swing of voters in these traditionally conservative constituencies, which lost more than 20 percentage points in terms of votes to the main opposition party in relation to the 2019 legislative elections.
In Medfordshire, which has elected Conservative MPs since 1931, this was the largest transfer of support to Labor since 1945.
The victory in Tamworth is important because it is located in an area that lost many voters to the Conservative Party in 2019, which is considered important for Labour’s return to power.
Party leader Keir Starmer declared: “This is an amazing result that shows that Labor is once again serving those who work and redrawing the political map.”
He added, “Winning in these two Labor strongholds shows that people want change and are willing to trust a renewed Labor Party to achieve it.”
John Curtis, a pollster at the University of Strathclyde, said the “extraordinary swings” in Labour’s favor could be compared to the collapse of Tory support during Prime Minister John Major’s tenure in the 1990s.
He added, “And we all know how that ended,” referring to the landslide victory achieved by the Labor Party in 1997 under Tony Blair.
Other analysts warned that voter turnout on Thursday was low and that the election was unusual, replacing lawmakers who left under disastrous circumstances.
In Tamworth, Chris Pincher resigned after Parliament’s Conduct Committee recommended he be suspended for “grossly inappropriate” behaviour.
Pincher touched two men in a private club in London in a way that was considered inappropriate and attributed it to the state of intoxication they were suffering from.
Then-Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s reluctance to punish Pincher when the allegations emerged helped lead to Johnson’s downfall at the hands of his party last year.
Former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorris has resigned from her position as Member of Parliament for Medfordshire, unhappy at not being appointed to the upper house of Parliament, the House of Lords.
Doris is a staunch ally of Johnson and has accused Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of helping to oust the former leader.
The results increase pressure on the ruling party, which has lost several by-elections since Sunak took office less than a year ago.
Rishi Sunak replaced Liz Truss, who resigned in October 2022 after just seven weeks in the job, after her tax cut plan rattled financial markets and rocked the economy.
Sunak has succeeded in stabilizing the economy, but has failed to increase the party’s popularity in opinion polls, consistently trailing Labor by 10 to 20 points.
Legislative elections must be called by the end of 2024.
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