Polls close in Peterborough by-election
The closely fought contest could see Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party gain its first MP.
Polls have closed in the Peterborough by-election which could see Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party gain its first MP.
The constituency, which voted Leave by 60.9% in the EU referendum in 2016, has historically been a closely fought battle between Labour and the Conservatives.
Labour won the seat in 2017 with a wafer-thin majority of 607.
Fifteen candidates stood in Thursday’s by-election, which was called after Peterborough’s previous MP Fiona Onasanya was forced out after she was jailed for lying about a speeding offence.
Onasanya was elected as a Labour MP and was suspended from the party after she was sentenced.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have campaigned hard ahead of the 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 Mr Farage’s 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.
Labour’s by-election candidate, Unite activist Lisa Forbes, faced controversy in the week before the poll over a Facebook post she “liked” which said Theresa May has a “Zionist slave masters agenda”.
She told The Sunday Times she apologised “wholeheartedly for not calling out these posts” and that she had liked the video attached to the post, “not the views expressed in the accompanying text”.
She said she would “deepen” her “understanding of anti-Semitism so I can act as an ally, challenging it wherever it occurs”.
The candidates standing in the by-election were:
– 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
– No Description: Andrew Moore
– No Description: Bobby Smith
– Labour: Lisa Forbes
– Liberal Democrats: Beki Sellick
– Monster Raving Loony: Howling ‘Laud’ Hope
– Renew: Peter Ward
– SDP: Patrick O’Flynn
– UK European Union Party: Pierre Kirk
– Ukip: John Whitby