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The accidental by-election: How Labor sparked yet another divisive vote for residents of Batley and Spen | Politics News

Will Sir Keir Starmer face his biggest leadership crisis yet if he loses the by-election in the constituency of Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire next week? Perhaps.

Will former Labor MP George Galloway, Labor Party candidate, attract enough support from the large Muslim community in the constituency, previously loyal to Labor, to deny the incumbent the seat? Potentially.

The Conservative Party’s approach to steer clear of the brawl between Mr Galloway’s Labor Party and Workers’ Party while following a ‘local’ playbook identical to the one proven in Hartlepool , will it allow them to pass in the midst of victory? Perhaps.

Former Labor MP George Galloway said his UK Workers' Party would run
Former Labor MP George Galloway represents the Workers Party

Or will the personal vote for Labor candidate Kim Leadbeater, evident in the streets of Batley, be enough to stem the shock wave of the 2021 by-elections? In theory.

But in this mill town that has supported Labor since 1997, and the Conservatives before, the margins are tight. There is a gap of 3,525 votes between first and second place, and sentiment in the constituencies of the constituency is clearly not going one way. On the pitch this week, neither campaign seemed entirely sure what would happen next Thursday.

The Tories seemed more confident than the rest, although the apparent flush of panic in other Labor campaigns this year is not evident here. Westminster is on the cutting edge of the consequences that would flow from a hat-trick of by-election upheaval in 2021. Some on Labor’s left flank are already asking Sir Keir to leave if he loses.

Given the potential drama in SW1 over the outcome, little thought has been given to the repercussions for the people of Batley and Spen themselves. Although everyone should be aware that it is not a normal constituency that can host a routine by-election.

On June 16, 2016, a week …

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This notice was published: 2021-06-24 16:13:00

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