In a historic day, Trudy Harrison of the Conservative party has won the Copeland by-election seat, beating Labour’s Gillian Troughton by 13,748 votes to 11,601. This unexpected turn of events is certainly a boost for Theresa May’s Conservative party, and another let down for the Labour party, who have represented the seat for more than 80 years.
Mrs Harrison called the triumph “a truly historic event” – and it was; it was the first by-election victory by a governing party since 1982 – when the Conservative party, once again, won the seat at Merton, Mitcham and Morton from a Labour stronghold.
Mrs Harrison won 44% of the vote, up by nearly 8% when compared to the General Election result in 2015 – where the Labour majority was at 2,564 votes. She overturned this, a took the seat with a majority of 2,147 votes – a swing of 6.7%.
In her speech, Mrs Harrison made a statement about the Labour party, and in particular, Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership:
“It’s been very clear talking to people throughout this campaign that [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t represent them.”
Elsewhere, Gareth Snell of the Labour party held on to the Stoke-on-Trent Central seat with 7,853, seeing off the UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, who received 5,233 votes.
Nuttall, seeming undeterred at losing such a prominent seat, stated that the party’s: “time will come.”