Who’ll win the Lewisham East by-election?

The answer will not shock you.


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Heidi Alexander has triggered a by-election in Lewisham East, an ultra-safe Labour seat, to take up a new job in Labour politics as Sadiq Khan’s deputy mayor for transport.

Labour have opted for a short contest, which is their preferred strategy when they want to prevent a challenger taking the seat. However, in this case, the 14 June date has more to do with getting the desired candidate of the party’s power brokers in than hobbling another party.

Although the constituency has patches that voted for Ukip in general elections past, it is more Remain-y than the national average by some distance, so the Liberal Democrats ought to seek a good second place here, which they failed to do in the general election.

But that is very much the upper limit of what any party other than Labour can expect do in Lewisham East, who should and will win comfortably.

Stephen Bush is political editor of the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.