Oldham West and Royton by-election as it happened: Labour win as Ukip claim postal vote 'distorted' result

The election was triggered by the death of the veteran Labour MP and former minister, Michael Meacher

Lizzie Dearden,Dean Kirby
Thursday 03 December 2015 17:56
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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with Deputy Leader Tom Watson, right, and candidate Jim McMahon, in Oldham, last week
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with Deputy Leader Tom Watson, right, and candidate Jim McMahon, in Oldham, last week

Voters are going to the polls in Oldham West and Royton today in the first by-election since the May elections. Here are the latest updates:

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It is a key test for Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership as the party seeks to hold its seat following the death of former minister and veteran MP Michael Meacher.

Having comfortably held the seat for more than 50 years, Labour is being threatened by Ukip and a tight result is expected to be announced tomorrow morning.

Nigel Farage paid a visit to Oldham this week to lend his support to candidate John Bickley in their campaign to cause a major shock and build on his party’s tally of one MP in the Commons.

Corbyn at by-election

Mr Bickley is standing for the third time for a seat in the Commons and will go head-to-head with Labour's Jim McMahon.

Last October, he almost overturned an 11,000 Labour majority at the Heywood and Middleton by-election, losing by just 600 votes.

Despite the late Mr Meacher’s majority of more than 14,000 votes in Oldham West and Royton, the odds have been tumbling on a win for Ukip, which came second with 21 per cent of votes in May.

The other candidates are Jane Brophy for the Liberal Democrats, Conservative James Daly, the Green Party’s Simeon Hart and Sir Oink A-Lot, from The Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

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