Intermediate elections: Polling stations close in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton | Politics news

Written by Javed Iqbal

Polling stations are closed in midterm elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton.

Both seats were held by the Conservatives before their former MPs withdrew in disgrace, triggering the midterm elections.

The results are expected to be published during the night.

The polls are considered a key test for the Prime Minister Boris Johnson‘s leadership after 148 of his own MPs voted against him by a vote of confidence.

The countdown begins as PM faces nervous night – follow the latest updates

Asked whether he would consider his position if he lost both by-elections, the prime minister said: “I will follow the results with interest.”

While “always full of optimism and buoyancy”, the prime minister warned: “I think most experienced political observers like yourself know that midterm elections are never necessarily easy for any government.”

I Wakefield, West Yorkshire, Former Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan resigns after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy and imprisoned for 18 months.

Once one of the so-called Red Wall seats, it was won by the Tories in the 2019 general election, though Labor now hopes to take it back.

In Tiverton and Honiton, Devon, Neil Parish resigned after admitting he had seen pornography twice on his phone in the House of Commons.

The Liberal Democrats have their eyes fixed on the constituency and will have to overthrow a Conservative majority of 24,239.

If the Conservatives lose both by-elections, it would only be the seventh time a government has suffered a double defeat since World War II.

Labor National Campaign Coordinator Shabana Mahmood said voters returned to the party under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership.

She said: “Labor has run positive campaigns with fantastic candidates in both by-elections – but we know that taking the seats requires many Tory voters to switch to Labor, which is more difficult in by-elections, where low turnout is common.

“Wakefield has been a marginal constituency since Labor last won a parliamentary election, and the Conservatives have won the largest majority since 2010 – making this an uphill task.

“While we await the results of both elections – the message we have heard is clear: many are returning to Labor under the leadership of Keir Starmer.”

The Liberal Democrats said a significant turn away from the Tories in Tiverton and Honiton, one of the party’s safest seats, could see Mr Johnson’s MPs looking nervously over his shoulder.

Treasury spokeswoman Christine Jardine said: “Never in the history of British politics has such a large majority been overthrown in a by-election. We have said throughout this campaign that this is a great mountain to climb.

“But if the Conservative Party loses a significant number of votes tonight in one of their safest seats in the country, there will be countless Conservative MPs looking nervously over their shoulder tomorrow.”

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Javed Iqbal

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