Labour Party beats the odds to defeat Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in Peterborough by-election

GettyNigel Farage
  • Labour clings on in the Peterborough by-election against a strong challenge from the Brexit Party.
  • Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party had been widely expected to claim the seat.
  • However, Labour’s Lisa Forbes wins the seat on a much-reduced majority for her party.
  • The Brexit Party had been strong favourites to claim their first seat in the UK parliament.
  • Visit Business Insider’s home page for more stories.

LONDON – The Labour party has won the Peterborough by-election, despite widespread predictions that Nigel Farage’s Brexit party would claim the seat.

Lisa Forbes won the seat by a majority of just 683 votes in the strongly Leave-voting area after a bitterly fought campaign. She said her victory showed that “the politics of division will not win.”

Bookies had the Brexit Party as clear favourites to win the Cambridgeshire seat as their first in the UK parliament, after their victory in the European elections.

However, Labour had a more effective ground campaign, managing to cling on despite a large fall in their majority.

The Conservatives, who held the seat until 2017, lost 25% of their vote with most seemingly switching to the Brexit Party.

The Liberal Democrats also had a good result, more than trebling their share of the vote since the general election.

Peterborough by-election result

  • Labour: 30.9% (-17.2)
  • Brexit: 28.9% (+28.9)
  • Conservative: 21.4% (-25.5)
  • Liberal Democrats: 12.3% (+8.9)
  • Greens: 3.1% (+1.3)
  • UKIP: 1.2% (+1.2)
  • *changes on 2017 general election

The by-election was called after the incumbent Fiona Onasanya was convicted for perverting the course of justice. Her successor as Labour candidate, Lisa Forbes, had a difficult campaign after she was accused of engaging in anti-semitic social media posts. Forbes told the BBC she had done so “in error” and offered to undergo training on the issue.

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