Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent By-Election Results
Yesterday by-elections in Copeland
and Stoke-on-Trent Central
were held. Copeland was gained by the Conservatives from Labour and Stoke-on-Trent Central was held by Labour, although their vote declined slightly.
Copeland was won by Labour in 2015 by a 6.5% margin over the Conservatives. In fact, Copeland (and its predecessor Whitehaven) has returned a Labour candidate since 1935, although it was a close run race in 1983, 1987 and 1992.
The Conservatives won the seat with their share of the vote increasing by 8.5 percentage points from 2015 on a 6.7% swing in their favour. Note that the Conservatives have not gained a seat whilst in government since the 1982 Mitcham and Morden by-election when Bruce Douglas-Mann defected from Labour to the SDP and split the Labour vote.
The Liberal Democrats experienced a minor resurgence, increasing their share of the vote from 3.5% in 2015 to 7.2%, and saving their deposit this time. Judging from the vote share changes, UKIP lost votes to the Conservatives. Indeed, UKIP went from 15.5% in 2015 to 6.5%, a drop of 9.0 percentage points. The Green Party also fell back.
Stoke-on-Trent Central was held by Labour. There was a 2.1% swing from Labour to UKIP which was nowhere near close to the 8.3% swing UKIP needed to take it. The Conservatives increased their share of the vote by 2.0 percentage points, but they again came third. The Liberal Democrats increased their share of the vote from 4.2% in 2015 to 9.8%. The Green Party fell back slightly.