Labour scored comfortable victories in two parliamentary by-elections as it held on to safe seats with handsome majorities.
The party held Manchester Central with a majority of 9,936 votes and Cardiff South & Penarth by 5,334 votes. Both contests were triggered by the decision of sitting Labour MPs to resign to stand in the police and crime commissioner elections.
The result of a third by-election, in the marginal Northants seat of Corby, previously held by Tory Louise Mensch, will be declared this afternoon. Labour is confident of gaining the seat.
Lucy Powell picked up 11,507 votes in the Manchester contest, almost 70 per cent of the votes cast. In a distant second was the Liberal Democrat candidate Marc Ramsbottom, who secured 1,571 votes.
The Tory candidate Matthew Sephton won 754 votes. He is expected to lose his deposit after winning less than 5 per cent of the vote.
The turnout of 18.16 per cent was reportedly the lowest in a parliamentary by-election since the Second World War.
In Cardiff South, Stephen Doughty with 9,193 votes was well ahead of his nearest rival, the Conservative Craig Williams, who won 3,859 votes.
In third place was the Liberal Democrat Bablin Molik, who managed 2,103 votes.