Voters will send mainstream parties a message tonight as the Brexit Party is on the brink of making history with another victory just two months after it launched. The constituency, which voted Leave by 60.9 percent in the 2016 EU referendum, has historically been a closely fought battle between Labour and the Conservatives.
But Brexit Party candidate, local entrepreneur Mike Greene, is vying to become the group’s first Member of Parliament, riding high on the European election results last month.
Peterborough is hosting a by-election after disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya was booted out by her constituents after 19,000 people signed a recall petition.
Labour MP Onasanya was forced out after she was jailed for lying about a speeding offence.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have campaigned hard ahead of the June 6 by-election, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, former prime minister Gordon Brown and Tory big guns Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt all visiting the city in the lead-up.
But the Brexit Party, which won 29 seats in the European elections, has also campaigned hard in its first tilt at a Westminster seat.
Labour and the Brexit Party have jostled for position as the bookmakers’ favourite.
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8.56am update: Peterborough by-election candidates
The candidates standing in the by-election are:
– Brexit Party: Mike Greene
– Christian Peoples Alliance: Tom Rogers
– Common Good: Remain In The EU: Dick Rodgers
– Conservatives: Paul Bristow
– English Democrats: Stephen Goldspink
– Greens: Joseph Wells
– Independent: Andrew Moore
– Independent: Bobby Smith
– Labour: Lisa Forbes
– Liberal Democrats: Beki Sellick
– Monster Raving Loony: Alan “Howling Laud” Hope
– Renew: Peter Ward
– SDP: Patrick O’Flynn
– UK European Union Party: Pierre Kirk
– Ukip: John Whitby
8.35am update: Tories face ‘existential crisis’
Hardcore Brexiteer MP Steve Baker has warned the Tories are facing an “existential crisis”, condemning the withdrawal agreement negotiated by Theresa May as “dead, dead, dead”.
Mr Baker – who favours leaving the EU on World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, was speaking at the House of Commons at the launch of a new policy document published by the Politeia think tank. The document was written by City University’s Professor David Collins and entitled The EU, The UK and Global Trade: A New Roadmap.
The event saw heavyweights including Jacob-Rees Mogg, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith and Eurosceptic John Redwood as well as dozens of other MPs, economists and journalists crammed into a packed committee room.
Mr Baker, a former Brexit minister and deputy chairman of the European Research Group (ERG), offered tentative backing to current leadership contenders Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab and Esther McVey – without ruling himself out of the running.
Speaking the day before the Peterborough by-election, which bookies Paddy Power make Nigel Farage’s fledgling Brexit 1/7 favourites to win, Mr Baker said: “We have allowed three years to go by with a lack of resolve and understanding. “It’s not acceptable to go forward like this.”
8.28am upate: Macron makes Brexit hint at D-Day commemorations
The French President said the monument would also be a symbol of the ties binding France and the UK.
He said: “Nothing will break them. Nothing can ever break ties that have been bound in bloodshed and shared values.
“The debates taking place today cannot affect the strength of our joint history and our shared future.”
President Macron assured Mrs May of his friendship, adding: “Leaders may come and go but their achievements remain.
“The force of our friendship will outlast current events.”
READ MORE: How to vote in the Peterborough by-election
8.22am update: Students back Brexit Party
A group young people are backing The Brexit Party to secure their first MP on Thursday as Peterborough hosts an historic by-election.
A first-year university student and campaigner for the Student Brexit Group told Express.co.uk: “Any threat to stop Brexit is a threat against democracy and it is despicable.
“I am voting for The Brexit Party because I believe in democracy and I believe that Brexit needs to go through. Whether I am a Remainer or a Brexiteer, left or right, it makes no difference when you know what is right.”
A former Conservative Association member who was too young to vote in the initial election back in 2016 backs Leave, a decision she says the Government must deliver.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “As I finished my GCSE’s the results of the vote came in. The country had voted to Leave.
“The years went on. I sat my AS exams, no Brexit. I finished my A-levels, no Brexit. It is astonishing to me that I am now finishing my first year of university and Brexit is still being debated.
“Brexit should no longer be a possibility; it should be a certainty. The people of Britain have voted, it is now for the government to deliver.”