Labour wins Kingswood as Rishi Sunak faces double by-election misery

16 February 2024, 01:57 | Updated: 16 February 2024, 03:55

Labour has won the Kingswood by-election
Labour has won the Kingswood by-election. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Labour has won the Kingswood by-election, overturning a Tory majority of 11,220.

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Damien Egan took the seat in Gloucestershire which had been held by Tory MP Chris Skidmore since 2010.

The turnout was 24,905, which is around 37.1% of eligible voters in the constituency.

Labour's win means the Conservatives have now lost nine by-elections in the course of this parliament - one more than the eight defeats suffered by the 1992-97 Conservative administration led by John Major.

It means the Conservative government has lost more by-elections in a single parliament than any government since the 1960s.

Rishi Sunak is facing further by-election in Wellingborough, where votes are still being counted.

Following Labour's victory, Sir Keir Starmer said: "This is a fantastic result in Kingswood that shows people are ready to put their trust in a Labour government.

"By winning in this Tory stronghold, we can confidently say that Labour is back in the service of working people and we will work tirelessly to deliver for them.

"To those who have put their trust in us, you can be safe in the knowledge that the Labour Party will deliver on your priorities. Labour will give Britain its future back."

Read more: Rishi Sunak contemplates defence budget boost amid warship concerns and foreign threats

Read more: Keir Starmer slashes Labour's £28bn green spending pledge in major U-turn

Votes are counted for the Kingswood by-election
Votes are counted for the Kingswood by-election. Picture: Alamy

In his winning speech, Mr Egan thanked campaigners and election workers, as well as his husband, agent, and residents of Kingswood.

"Your honesty, your frankness has helped keep my campaign rooted in the issues that are really impacting our community," he said.

Addressing national issues, he said: "In Kingswood, as across the country, 14 years of Conservative government have sucked the hope out of our country.

"There's a feeling that no matter how hard you work, you just can't move forward. And that with Rishi's recession, we're left again paying more and getting less.

"It doesn't have to be this way.

"And when the prime minister finally finds the courage to give the people a say, we're going to need each and every one of you again to come out and vote and make sure your voices are heard."

The Kingswood by-election was triggered by Chris Skidmore's resignation as an MP over legislation being introduced to boost North Sea oil and gas drilling.

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