Labour Party candidate Lisa Forbes wins Peterborough by-election
Labour Party candidate Lisa Forbes has become the new MP for Peterborough after holding off the challenge from the new Brexit Party by 683 votes.
Union worker Ms Forbes (10,484) defeated the Brexit Party’s Mike Greene (9,801) who had been the frontrunner for the seat according to the bookmakers by 683 votes.
Conservative Paul Bristow came in third (7,243). The Tories’ vote share fell by 25.5 percentage points from two years ago, while Labour’s fell by 17.2 percentage points.
The Lib Dems saw their vote share rise by nearly nine percentage points but could only manage fourth.
Ms Forbes’ victory marks a second successive victory in the swing seat for Labour after Fiona Onasanya triumphed by 607 votes in 2017.
However, Ms Onasanya was in December convicted for perverting the course of justice after lying about a speeding ticket and immediately ditched by Labour.
She was subsequently jailed for three months which triggered a Recall Petition under which her constituents booted her out of Parliament.
Ms Forbes, who was selected as the Labour candidate from an all-woman shortlist, had previously contested the seat in 2015 but was defeated by Stewart Jackson.
A former city councillor, Ms Forbes has lived in Peterborough for 30 years and in her day job supports working people in accessing services at Unite the Union.
Her campaign focused on improving education standards in the city and increasing the number of police officers, but less than a week before polling day she apologised for liking an antisemitic post on Facebook which described Theresa May keeping her “Zionist Slave Masters agenda alive”.
In total 15 candidates were standing at the by-election, but it was quite clear from early on in the evening that it was a two horse race.
Campaigners said Labour had mobilised well in the inner city areas of Peterborough to get out the vote, with the Brexit Party performing strongly elsewhere.
In the end the big push from Labour, who mobilised hundreds of activists, was enough to secure victory for Ms Forbes.
Voter turnout in the evening was 48.4 per cent. For postal votes it was 69.4 per cent.
FORBES Lisa - Labour: 10,484
GREENE Michael Thomas - Brexit Party: 9,801
BRISTOW Paul - Conservative: 7,243
SELLICK REbeka - Liberal Democrats: 4159
WELLS Joseph - Green Party: 1035
WHITBY John - UK Independence Party: 400
ROGERS Thomas - Christian People’s Alliance: 162
GOLDSPINK Stephen - English Democrats - 153
O’FLYNN Patrick - SDP Fighting for Brexit: 135
HOPE - Alan - Official Monster Raving Loony Party: 112
MOORE Andrew - Independent: 101
RODGERS Richard - Common Good - Remain in the EU: 60
WARD Peter - Renew: 45
KIRK Pierre - UK European Union: 25
SMITH Robert - Independent: 5