Labour has just been declared the winner of the Corby by-election, gaining a seat from the Conservatives for the first time in such a contest since Wirral South in February 1997. The swing from the Tories was 12.8 per cent, around five points larger than that currently shown by the national opinion polls.
The Conservatives are dismissing the result as the kind of mid-term defeat that governments always suffer, but it’s still notable that Corby has voted for the winning party in every general election since 1983. Labour has performed well enough for Ed Miliband to claim that he has a good chance of becoming the next prime minister. Turnout was a respectable 44.8 per cent, down from 69.2 per cent in 2010.
It was another disastrous by-election for the Lib Dems, who finished a poor fourth to Ukip and lost their deposit.
Here’s the result.
Labour 17,267 votes 48.4% (+9.8%)
Conservative 9,476 votes 26.6% (-15.6%)
UK Independence Party 5,108 votes 14.3% (N/A)
Liberal Democrats 1,770 votes 5% (-9.5%)
British National Party 614 votes 1.7% (-3%)
Green Party 378 votes 1.1% (N/A)
Labour majority 7,791 (21.8%)
Turnout 35,665 votes 44.8%
We’ll have more reaction and analysis on The Staggers shortly.