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Labour 'optimistic' of winning in Corby

Labour said it was "cautiously optimistic" of claiming victory on Friday in the battle to fill the Corby parliamentary seat following the much-publicised resignation of Tory incumbent Louise Mensch.

The result will not be known until the afternoon but Labour is hopeful that it will overturn Mensch's 1,951 majority to claim the Northamptonshire seat, which is seen as an electoral barometer.

"We are cautiously optimistic about Corby," a Labour source told the Press Association.

"Turnout is looking as if it will be over 40 percent with at least 250 Labour activists on the ground."

The source said the party was also confident of winning Thursday's by-elections in Cardiff and Manchester.

Mensch announced in August her decision to resign -- just two years after being elected -- in order to spend more time with her family in New York, despite being seen as in line for a promotion in a government reshuffle.

The constituency has returned a candidate from the winning party in every general election for the past 30 years.

Mensch was elected to serve on the Select Committee for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport in June 2010 and was a key participant in the cross-examination of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch last July.

Polling stations closed at 10.00pm.

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