UK & World News

  • 14 February 2014, 13:27

Wythenshawe And Sale: Labour Wins By-Election

Labour has won a by-election in Wythenshawe and Sale East after extending its share of the vote by more than 11%.

Former Manchester councillor Mike Kane held the seat for the party, polling 13,261 votes or 55.34% of the vote.

UKIP's John Bickley saw his party surge from fifth place in 2010 to second, despite leader Nigel Farage complaining the campaign had been "as dirty as they come".

The party's success and the drop in the Conservative vote is yet another by-election blow to David Cameron.

But the Liberal Democrats were also dealt a humiliating blow when they polled just 1,176 votes - not enough to hold their deposit.

In his victory speech, Mr Kane said voters had "sent a very clear message" to the Government.

He said: "They have rejected the failed policies of the out-of-touch Tories, they have rejected the isolationism and scaremongering of UKIP.

"It's a result which emphatically demonstrates that people here know the NHS is not safe in David Cameron's hands, and that we've had enough of his utterly out-of-touch government."

Mr Bickley, whose party's share of the vote rocketed by 11%, said he was "over the moon" with the result.

He told Sky News: "We've taken votes off all of them and that includes Labour."

The Prime Minister sought to play down the significance of his party's slump to third place.

Mr Cameron said: "It was never in doubt, this was always going to be a Labour win and I'll congratulate the candidate when he comes to the House of Commons.

"But by-elections are times when people know they can send a message and make a protest without changing the Government and those messages, those protests, I always listen to them very carefully and I will do on this occasion too."

Speaking in Wythenshawe, Labour leader Ed Miliband said: "What this by-election shows is that there is only one party in British politics that can stand up for the whole of the country.

"We saw a Labour party expanding, growing its support and a Tory party and a Liberal Democrat party shrinking its base and shrivelling its support."

UKIP leader Nigel Farage told Sky News the result showed the party was having a real influence on the political agenda ahead of European elections in May.

He said: "We have shifted the centre of gravity on the debate on Europe, on immigration, on many other issues and UKIP is the first party ever not actually represented in the House of Commons, that is actually dictating policy in many areas."

He said the prospect of an electoral pact with the Conservatives ahead of the next general election was "just about zero".

Wythenshawe and Sale East is the latest in a number of by-elections that have seen UKIP take second place, including South Shields and Eastleigh last year.

The by-election was brought about by the sudden death of the serving MP, Paul Goggins, on January 7 at the age of 60.

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