Mid Beds’ new Labour MP says “tonight residents have made history”

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Mid Beds candidates (after Festus Akinbusoye and Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India had walked off) Image-LDRS
Mid Beds candidates - after Festus Akinbusoye and Prince Ankit Love, Emperor of India had walked off. (Image: LDRS)

Labour has won the Mid Bedfordshire by-election, taking the seat from the Conservatives.

This is a victory that is being called the “biggest by-election shock in history” after Labour overturned a Conservative majority of 24,664.

Labour’s Alistair Strathern, took the Westminster seat with 13,872 votes – nearly 1,000 more than the number polled by the Conservative candidate, Festus Akinbusoye (12,680)

Mid Beds’ new MP, said: “Tonight residents across Mid Bedfordshire have made history.

“After decades of being taken for granted, feeling left behind, being under-represented, they made a decision it was time for a change.

“Nowhere is off limits for this Labour Party and tonight’s result proves it.”

Turnout for the vote was 44 per cent, a fall from the 73.7 per cent recorded at the last general election.

Before the result was announced, Lib Dem sources said they had “doubled their vote share which helped Labour to win the by-election”.

This was disputed by Labour Party members.

Akinbusoye arrived on stage for the declaration at the last minute and left immediately after the full result was announced.

Mid Bedfordshire Parliamentary By Election 19 October 2023 Image: LDRS
Mid Bedfordshire Parliamentary By Election 19 October 2023 Image: LDRS

The by-election was called after former Conservative MP Nadine Dorries resigned in August.

She had originally said she would quit with immediate effect in June.

It was believed that she would be made a peer by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his resignation honours list.

Ms Dorries said she wanted to find out why she was refused a seat in the House of Lords.

Mid-Bedfordshire has been Conservative since 1931 (apart from when Ms Dorries lost the Whip for six months in 2012 following her appearance on I’m a Celebrity…Get me out of here).

Ms Dorries had won the seat five times since being elected in 2005. At the last election in 2019 she won with a majority of 24,000 over second-placed Labour.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter

 
 
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