THE ANTI-SEMITIC Labour Party has narrowly seen off a challenge from the Brexit Party and held on to its seat in the Peterborough by-election – by just 683 votes.
In a curious repetition of the last General election in which Peterborough Tory MP was unseated by just under 700 vote to Labour’s criminal Fiona Onansanya, last night, Union activist Lisa Forbes managed to retain the seat for Labour, winning just 683 more votes than Nigel Farage’s candidate Mike Greene.
Paul Bristow for the Conservatives came in third place.
The by-election was called after former MP Fiona Onasanya’s conviction for lying over a speeding offence.
Ms Onasanya was dismissed from the Labour Party in December 2018 and was jailed for three months in January.
Constituents backed a recall petition demanding a fresh election, the first time this has happened in the UK.
Labour won a 31% share of the vote, with 10,484, down 17% on the 2017 election.
The Brexit Party won 29% of the votes with 9,801, with the Conservatives taking a 21% share with 7,243 votes.
A total of 15 candidates stood in the by-election, including Beki Selleck for the Lib Dems, and John Whitby for UKIP, with the Brexit Party vying for its first MP after gaining 29 seats in the European elections.
Turnout for the Peterborough contest was 48.4%, down from the 67.5% turnout for the 2017 general election.
Labour and the Brexit Party had jostled for position as the bookmakers’ favourite up until the result was announced.
Both Labour and the Conservatives 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.
Whilst the national media will undoubtedly now claim that the vote reflects a change in public opinion towards Brexit, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as demographics, enormous numbers of European migrants, and alleged electoral fraud carried out by the local Labour branch, all contributed massively to the result.
It has also been noted that whereas the referendum was a non-party-affiliated vote, last night’s by-election placed voters back into the arena of political allegiance, with Peterborough having slowly drifted towards left-wing parties over the past three years.