Tiverton and Honiton voted to leave the EU by 58 to 42 per cent, and the result will dampen proposals that the party can return to win by returning to the Brexit battlefield.
That was Mr Johnson almost completely absent during the campaignmade only a single casual visit where he did not meet any voters and he did not appear on local party magazines.
Prior to the competition, the Prime Minister already downplayed expectations that the Tories would hold on to the seat and rejected questions that he should resign as “crazy”.
“Government parties generally do not win by-elections, especially not in the midterm period. I’m very hopeful, but you know there is. That’s just the reality,” he said Thursday.
Mrs Hurford said in the run-up to the vote that the fallout from the party gate and the manner in which Mr Parish had resigned had made the campaign to keep the seat an uphill battle.
Wakefield victory suggests holes in Tory ‘Red Wall’
In Wakefield, Labor’s Simon Lightwood won a massive 13,166 votes to beat Conservative candidate Nadeem Ahmed, who won 8,421 votes.
Mr. Lightwood’s victory signals potential Tory vulnerability in 45 ‘Red Wall’ constituencies that turned blue for the first time in a generation in 2019.
Labor will hope the victory is a sign that they can win back northern British and working class loyalty who left the party at the last parliamentary election.
The victory is also likely to lead to further questions about whether Boris Johnson will ever be able to regain public confidence after the partygate scandal.