Politics

The Tories just suffered a historically bad by-election defeat in Chester

First By-Election Test For Rishi Sunak As Voters Take To The Polls …

The Tories have just had a shocker in a Chester by-election and it is not a good sign for elections to come.

Labour's Samantha Dixon retained the seat for her party in what was the first by-election since Boris Johnson (and Liz Truss) left office.

She got 17,309 votes, a 61 per cent share and nearly 11,000 more than the Conservative candidate.

Even worse for the Tories, Labour got a better result than in 2019 when the gap between the parties was 6,164 votes, meaning there has been a 13.8 per cent swing to Labour.

It is also the worst result for the Conservatives in Chester since 1832, with candidate Liz Wardlaw getting 6,335 votes or 22.4 per cent.

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Dixon said voters "are fed up with the government".

In her victory speech, she said they had delivered a message to Sunak that the Conservatives "no longer have a mandate to govern".

"I don't think they believe that the Conservatives have the answers, I think they think it's Labour's turn now," she added.

Lord Hayward, a Conservative peer and elections analyst, said the election went "generally as expected, no shocks but definite satisfaction for the Labour Party".

He told Sky News that there is "no question" the Tories have a "real challenge on their hands".

The contest was triggered by the resignation of previous Labour MP Christian Matheson.

He stood down after Parliament's watchdog recommended his suspension for "serious sexual misconduct".

It is a simple and fundamental principle that the government derives its democratic legitimacy from the people. The future of the country must not be decided by plotting and U-turns at Westminster; it must be decided by the people in a general election. And for this reason The Independent is calling for an election to be held. Have your say and sign our election petition by clicking here.

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