Labour steals victory from Brexit Party at Peterborough by-election as Farage makes swift exit

PUBLISHED: 02:02 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:57 07 June 2019

Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene gives a thumbs down as newly elected Labour MP Lisa Forbes gives her winners speech. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Brexit Party candidate Mike Greene gives a thumbs down as newly elected Labour MP Lisa Forbes gives her winners speech. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA Wire.

Labour has surprised political pundits by managing to see off a threat from Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party at the Peterborough by-election.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism

With a huge turnout of 48%, the opposition party managed to recruit enough support to prevent the newly-formed party of Brexit from its first Westminster victory.

Despite topping the polls at the European elections just days before, and the Peterborough constituency voting to Leave in the 2016 EU referendum, the Brexit Party were unable to succeed against Jeremy Corbyn's Labour.

Lisa Forbes managed to secure 10,484 votes for Labour compared to the Brexit Party's 9,801 votes - a majority of 683 votes.

The Tories fell into third place with 7,243 votes, while the Lib Dems came fourth with 4,159 votes. The Greens secured 1,035 votes, followed by UKIP on 400 votes.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) and party candidate Mike Greene have a drink at The Bull public house in Newborough in Peterborough. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (right) and party candidate Mike Greene have a drink at The Bull public house in Newborough in Peterborough. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

The fact the party managed to win second place, however, is still likely to concern Westminster parties assessing the impact the Brexit Party would have in a future general election.

While Labour's majority is slightly up, its vote share is down from 48.1% to 30.9%.

Labour's Lisa Forbes said she had campaigned on a "message of hope". She told supporters at the count: "The politics of division will not win... The politics of hope can win, regardless of the odds."

The Brexit Party was represented by Mike Greene, who appeared in Channel 4's The Secret Millionaire and was a former business partner of Greybull Capital, the private equity group which let British Steel collapse into administration.

Newly elected Labour MP Lisa Forbes gives her winners speech after the count for the Peterborough by-election. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)Newly elected Labour MP Lisa Forbes gives her winners speech after the count for the Peterborough by-election. (Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

He came into difficulty during the campaign trying to explain claims he had made about the European Union during a BBC Radio 4 interview.

Farage is said to have made a swift exit ahead of the declaration of the result to avoid questions from the media.

The by-election was called after Peterborough's previous MP Fiona Onasanya was forced out after she was jailed for lying about a speeding offence.

Onasanya was elected as a Labour MP in 2017, taking the seat off the Conservatives with a wafer thin majority of 607 votes. She was suspended from the party after she was sentenced.

Become a Supporter

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

Become a supporter

Related articles

You've seen the news, now discover the story

The New European is committed to providing in-depth analysis of the Brexit process, its implications and progress as well as celebrating European life.

Try 13 weeks for £13

Latest Articles

Most Read

latest issue

ANTI-BREXIT EVENTS

Find your nearest anti-Brexit campaigning activities, talks, protests and events nationwide.