Tiverton and Honiton by-elections: who are the candidates and what the results could mean for the Tories

Mr. Parish said he first stumbled upon the site after browsing tractors online, but then returned to it a second time intentionally in a “moment of madness.”

After reporting on The Olx Praca Chopper’s Politics podcast last month that he could run as an independent, he has since decided not to run on June 23.

Table of Contents

What happened last time?

In the 2019 general election, in which Johnson’s party won a landslide victory, 3.3% moved towards the Conservatives.

The Tories won 60.2% of the vote (35,893 votes), followed by Labor with 19.5% (11,654) and the Liberal Democrats with 14.8% (8,807).

Voters in Tiverton and Honiton supported Brexit in June 2016, with 57.82% voting to leave compared to 42.18% to keep.

Who are the candidates?

Listed by last name (in alphabetical order), the candidates are as follows:

  • Jordan Donoghue-Morgan, Legacy
  • Andy Foan, Reform UK
  • Richard Ford, Liberal Democrats
  • Helen Herford, Conservative
  • Liz Pole, Labor
  • Frankie Rufolo, For Britain
  • Ben Walker, Ukip
  • Jill Westcott, Green Party

The Liberal Democrats, who are keen to secure a victory in Tiverton and Honiton despite finishing third in 2019, have chosen Richard Furd, a Sandhurst-trained former army major, as their by-election candidate.

After a final all-female list was drawn up, the Conservatives nominated Helen Herford, a former headmaster. Speaking to Radio Exe, she said she now supports Mr Johnson, but declined to say how she would have voted in the June 6 vote of confidence if she were an MP.

Labor is fielding Liz Pole, who was also the party’s nominee in 2019 when the Tories lost 7.6% of their share of the vote from the 2017 poll amid the party’s declining national wealth.

Is there an “electoral pact” between Labor and the Liberal Democrats?

There was speculation of an “agreement” between Labor and the Liberal Democrats, with a by-election taking place on the same day as the others in Wakefield, which Labor felt had a better chance of winning.

The Labor Party has instructed its leaders not to travel to Tiverton and Honiton to campaign to give the Liberal Democrats a better chance of winning, Politics Home reported last month.

A Labor spokesman said they would “fight for every vote” in the constituency, and Sir Keir Starmer’s party and the Liberal Democrats vehemently denied having reached such an agreement.

Oliver Dowden, chairman of the Conservative Party, accused the two parties of pitting themselves against each other in May’s local elections to boost left and liberal votes across the country.

How can the contract affect the result?

The Olx Praca analysis found that working together against the Conservatives gives the Liberal Democrats and Labor a 20-point lead on Election Day.

In last month’s local elections, Labor lost 49 seats to the Liberal Democrats in the southwest. The Liberal Democrats received an average of 51 percent of the vote in those seats, compared to 29 percent of the local vote in the same area where Labor ran.

Similarly, in places where the Liberal Democrats were left behind, Labor received an average of 46 percent of the vote, compared with 26 percent of the vote where all major parties ran.

The Conservatives fielded at least one candidate in every district.

What can the result of the by-election mean?

The results of the by-election will be announced early in the morning on June 24.

The Conservatives are fighting the election to defend their track record in the region, the Liberal Democrats have focused on farming and raising state taxes, and Labor has focused on the cost of living crisis.

If the Conservatives can hold on to Tiverton and Honiton, it will ease worries about Johnson’s leadership among his central MPs after he survived a no-confidence vote earlier this month, albeit sparking a bigger uprising than expected.

But if they suffer their first defeat in the constituency, there will be questions about whether Johnson’s brand is damaged beyond repair, as well as the direction of his government’s policy on taxation, the cost-of-living crisis and clean rivers.

The Liberal Democrats won two surprise by-election victories last year, filling traditionally safe Conservative seats, winning both North Shropshire and Chesham and Amersham.

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