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Batley and Spen: Polls close in crucial by-elections that could put pressure on Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer | Politics News

The polls ended in the Batley and Spen by-elections, with pollsters and bookies predicting a Tory victory – an outcome likely to trigger action to oust Sir Keir Starmer as Labor leader.

Conservative challenger Ryan Stephenson is set to win Laborof Kim Leadbeater, sister of the assassinated former MP Jo cox, after one of the most bitterly contested partial election campaigns in living memory.

Throughout the moody campaign, rival parties accused their opponents and supporters of bashing, intimidation, including assaults, fake leaflets, racism and homophobia, prompting police and election officials to intervene.

Labor candidate Kim Leadbeater arrives to vote in the by-election in the constituency of Batley and Spen in West Yorkshire
Labor’s Kim Leadbeater defends a majority of just 3,525

Although the Tories are the big favorites to win the by-elections, Labor staged a massive campaign of votes in the final hours before the polls closed in hopes of securing a remarkable victory against all odds.

Ms Leadbeater is defending a majority of just 3,525 won in the December 2019 general election by former Coronation Street actress Tracy Brabin, who called the by-election with her election to the new post of West Yorkshire Underground Mayor.

Labor faces a humiliating second Tory by-election defeat in two months, largely due to the aggressive campaign by maverick left-wing George Galloway, who was once Labor MP, to ‘overthrow’ Mr. Keir.

The controversial Mr Galloway won a sensational by-election victory in neighboring Bradford West in 2012 with a campaign wooing ethnic minority voters – and although a repeat of that success in Batley and Spen would be a major shock, he used the same strategy this time.

Campaigning in a vintage open-top bus in his trademark fedora hat, Mr Galloway sought to persuade Muslim voters to desert Labor and vote for him by exploiting the …

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This notice was published: 2021-07-01 19:06:00

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