But aren’t they being a bit premature?
One of the things about the main opposition party is that it is an awful long time ago since it was able to gain a seat in a Westminster by-election – something that the Tories and LDs have done at fairly regular intervals in recent years. In 2021 alone the Tories took Hartlepool from LAB while the LDs had spectacular gains at Chesham & Amersham and Shropshire North.
You have to go back to Corby in 2012 to find Labour making a gain so is it any wonder that activists get excited about a possible seat coming up.
Labour list is carrying a story about party campaigners in Wakefield – a typically Red Wall seat that flipped to CON at GE2019. This is from its report:
Potential Labour Party candidates are preparing to stand in the parliamentary constituency of Wakefield, ahead of a by-election that could soon take place but has not been confirmed and may not be held…Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan, who took the seat from Labour as a Tory candidate in 2019, is set to go on trial after being accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008, which he has denied “in the strongest terms”.The MP is suspended by the Conservative Party pending the outcome of the case and currently sits as an Independent. He pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court in September and his trial is expected to start on March 28th.
I think we are a long way from a by-election victory for Labour in which the party gains a seat. Firstly here the court verdict has to open up that possibility and then a prison sentence has to be imposed. Then Labour has to reverse what happened at GE2019.
Note- we are having issues with Vanilla which means the commenting system is down. Hopefully, this will soon be restored