Breaking news: Labour take Mid-Bedfordshire in by-election

Alistair Strathern Labour's Candidate for Mid Beds MP. Image: The Labour Party
Alistair Strathern. the new MP for Mid Bedforshire. Image: The Labour Party

With 13 candidates in the running and a campaign that began in early June, the Mid-Bedfordshire by-election is finally over.

Labour’s Alistair Strathern overturned a 25,000 Conservative majority in Nadine Dorrie’s former constituency with 13,872 votes.

The Conservative candidate and Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Festus Akinbusoye took 12,680 votes with the LibDems trailing with 9,420.

The Conservative party has held the seat since 1931 and candidate Mr Akinbusoye left the count as soon as the result was announced.

We will have a full report in the morning after we’ve got some sleep.

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Voter ennui

With a turnout of 44% – down from 74.01% in the 2019 General Election – it could be said that the prolonged campaign for Nadine Dorries’ former seat in the Mid Bedfordshire constituency has led to political exhaustion from voters.

Residents on the Wixams Community Group Facebook page were scathing about the intensity of the campaigning from all parties, with one contributor saying: “I’m sick of them knocking the door. I work from home a lot and the last two weeks have been ridiculous!

“Today I answered the door six times, the last two really didn’t get a great response. Very pleased it’s done with now!”

Another mentioned that their elderly father had been phoned by the Liberal Democrats at 8.50pm to ask who he’d voted for. They wrote: “To him [a call] at that time of night means something’s wrong.”

In another comment, a resident reminded people that with a general election on the cards in the next 12 months, they’ve got it all to look forward to again.

In the other by-election in Tamworth, Staffordshire, Labour overturned a 20,000 Conservative majority.

The result, which was announced at 2.45am, gave Labour the win with 11,719 votes, followed by the Conservatives with 10,403. Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party) came third with 1,373 of the votes.

Britain First (580 votes) and the UKIP (436) polled higher than the Liberal Democrats. Both the LibDems and the Green Party received 417 votes apiece.

The Guardian said the result represented, “…a 23.89% swing to Labour, believed to be the biggest against the Conservatives since 1945.”

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