The by-election will take place in Peterborough on Thursday, June 6. Labour’s Fiona Onasanya won the seat for Labour in 2017, but was removed following a recall petition after being jailed for lying about a speeding offence. Now, leading figures from both Labour and the Conservatives plan to descend upon Peterborough this weekend in a bid to fend off a Brexit Party win, hot on the heels of their European election success last week.
Could the Brexit Party win?
After Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party success at the European elections, this by-election will be an opportunity for the party to test its success in a first-past-the-post election system.
With sights set on Number 10, the fledgeling party would be further bolstered by a strong showing in Peterborough next week.
But a win for candidate Mike Greene, a local businessman who has switched support from the Conservatives, would give the Brexit Party its first footing in Westminster.
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But the Brexit Party has downplayed its chances of a win.
An aide close to Mr Farage was keen to understate their chances, emphasising the party is just six weeks old.
They said: “We do not have the data that you need to get your vote out, but we’ll give it a shot.”
In contrast, Labour and the Conservatives have been canvassing since Ms Onasanya was found guilty in December in the expectation that a by-election would be held.
Labour is aware the party needs to show it still has the ability to win seats outside urban strongholds following the poor showing in the local and European elections.
A local resurgence of the Liberal Democrats could also chip away at Labour’s vote, as it did in the recent polls.
Beki Sellick, the Lib Dem candidate, said local Labour members are fed up with Labour’s failure to take a stand on Brexit and the damaging row over a second referendum.
The Conservatives’ campaign has tried to ply up the pro-Brexit credentials of their candidate Paul Bristow, after the party suffered huge losses at home and in the EU.
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