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Ukip hopes for shock in first Westminster poll test for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour

Published 03/12/2015

Nigel Farage and candidate John Bickley hope Ukip can stage an upset
Nigel Farage and candidate John Bickley hope Ukip can stage an upset

Voters will go to the polls today in the first by-election of this Parliament.

Constituents in Oldham West and Royton will cast their ballots in the tightly fought election which has seen Ukip closing in on Labour who have comfortably held the seat for almost 50 years.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage was in the town this week to lend his support to candidate John Bickley in their campaign to cause a major by-election shock.

It will be left-winger Jeremy Corbyn's first electoral test since becoming the Labour leader.

The by-election comes following the death of long-serving Labour ex-minister Michael Meacher and has proved to be a hotly contested seat.

Although Labour has a majority of more than 14,000 in Oldham West and Royton, the odds have been tumbling on a win for Ukip.

The party came second in the constituency in the last general election with 21%.

Mr Bickley will stand for the third time as a Ukip Westminster candidate and will go head-to-head with Labour's Jim McMahon.

Last October Mr Bickley nearly overturned an 11,000 Labour majority at the Heywood and Middleton by-election, losing by just 600 votes.

The other candidates are: Liberal Democrats Jane Brophy, Conservative Party James Daly, Green Party Simeon Hart and Sir Oink A-Lot The Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

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