HEYWOOD, United Kingdom – Labour’s Liz McInnes held the seat of Heywood and Middleton in tonight’s by-election, after what is likely to be remembered as yet another remarkable UKIP surge. Nigel Farage’s party went from a poor fifth place in the 2010 general election to second, beating the traditional Conservative challengers into third.
UKIP got 11,016 votes compared to Labour’s 11,633, up from 1,215 the last time the Manchester seat went to the polls. In advance of the result UKIPs Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP told Breitbart London he wanted to beat the party’s best previous by-election result in the 2013 Eastleigh by-election when they got 28.7 percent of the vote. This time they scored 38.7 percent, which made it their best ever performance, until Clacton was announced a few hours after.
The second place result represents another breakthrough for UKIP. As reported on Breitbart London yesterday the North-West of England is home to a large number of voters who are looking for any opportunity to beat Labour. By coming second UKIP will now have the right to claim they are the only party that can end Labour’s dominance. This in turn will enable them to tab into another rich stream of voters, at the expense of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the British National Party.
The turnout was 36.02 percent or 28,519, which was much lower than the Labour party had been predicting. In private briefings with the press a spokesman had said they expected the turnout to be “mid 40s”. The party had feared that a low turnout might have meant their core vote were staying at home as a protest against the weak leadership of Ed Miliband. In the end enough Labour voters came out to save the seat for them.
In advance of the vote their had been suggestions that Ed Miliband might resign if Labour lost. But Heywood and Middleton is generally considered a Labour heartland and the party were defending a majority of 5,971 over the Conservatives. Any challengers would have to overcome a Labour loyaltist vote that has not deserted the party in generations. In the end the result was so close that UKIP officials demanded a full recount when it emerged they were only around 650 votes from winning.
John Bickley told Breitbart London: “Its no surpise the British working class feel the Labour Party are much more interested in mass immigration than they are about helping people who are struggling in hard times… The Labour Party don’t see working class people, they don’t care about people who have a proper job. They have no empathy with the working people of this country. Today’s result shows just how out of touch they are.” He claimed he had never expected to do so well.
Commenting on the result from Clacton, Nigel Farage said: “Labour have won, just. We have come from absolutely nowhere”. The by-election was triggered by the death of Jim Dobbin who had represented the seat since 1997. When McInnes took to the rostrum to accept her new post she began her speech with “tonight the people of Heywood and Middleton have backed Ed Miliband’s plans…” she was then drowned out by jeers and olf whistles from UKIP activists.
The full results are:
John Bickley (UKIP) – 11,016
Iain Gartside (Conservative) – 3,496
Abi Jackson (Green) – 870
Liz McInnes (Labour) – 11,633
Anthony Smith (Liberal Democrat) – 1,457
MAJORITY – 617