In 1983, Parliament assembled Copeland, a constituency located in the House of Commons. Recently the conservatives have managed to take over labours long reign of over 80 years; Theresa May claimed that her reason for success was due to her style of government “working for everyone”. Even though the win in Copeland may have demotivated labour members it for sure kept Jeremy Corbyn going, as he made a separate win in a by-election at Stoke Central; however certain members of the labour party have urged Corbyn to reconsider his position, due to the loss.
Despite the odds being heavily against her, MP Trudy Harrison managed to bag the seat which labour had, ever since the 1930’s. May, also commented on Ms Harrison by saying, “such a fantastic candidate”… “Actually rolls up her sleeves and gets things done”. Here Harrison is being described as a very productive and motivated MP and with such a high vote share of 44.3%, it seems as though the public believed this just as much as May did. Following on, labour raked in 37.3% on the vote, with Gillian Troughton as their leader, the Lib Dems gained 7.2% of the vote with Rebecca Hanson, and Fiona Mils running for UKIP had 6.5% of the vote, followed by other parties making up 4.7% of the results. It was said that the Copeland result was the best by-election result since January 1966, commented on Strathcycle University professor, John Curtice.
May believes that the win was down to her critical thinking and the strong relationship the conservatives have built with the public, especially the working class. “They want a party which is on the side of ordinary working people, which will respect the way we voted in the referendum and which will build a country which represents everyone”. “That’s why they voted for me tonight”. Despite the loss, Corbyn responded by declaring a lack of labour campaigns, was the fault in Copeland, “message was not enough to through in Copeland”. He sees the win stoke general as being “decisive rejection of UKIP’s politics of division and dishonesty”. Corbyn seems to have learnt from the loss in Copeland, as he remarked that, “Labour will go further to reconnect with voters and break with the failed political census”.
It is clear that if no improvements are made it will leave a weak backbone for labour’s support, which could lead to a loss in votes at the next general election, mentioned by labour MP John Woodcock; “historic and catastrophic defeat”. The low moral throughout the labour party is not acting in anyone’s favour; more is needed to be done to increase their support. During the Stoke election, UKIP had believed they were in a major advantage, as in June the area was filled with mainly leave voters in relation to Brexit.
In Stoke-on-Trent the winner Gareth Snell, commented upon the voters, claiming they had, “Chosen the politics of hope over the politics of fear”. Further on, said; “the city will not allow ourselves to be defined by last year’s referendum and we will not allow ourselves to be divided by the result”. Nevertheless, UKIP candidate Paul Nuttal, who said “his time would come”, had come only second, with 24.7% of the vote leaving of a close result with conservative candidate, Jack Brereton, with 24.4%of the vote. This was followed by Zulfiqar Ali, representing the liberal democrats gaining 9.8% and other parties made up 4.1% of the vote. In contrast to 2015, labour managed to consolidate 39.3% of the vote, rather than their 37%. Even though they were defeated UKIP seem to stand tall, commenting that “There’s a lot more to come from us”, “I am not going anywhere”. Now that the conservatives have gained the Copeland seat, the defeat in Richmond is no longer a burden.
The fact Corbyn has lost the Copeland seat may show that there is a lack of trust towards him and the Labour party. Not to mention, that left wing MP’s are remarking that his character and actions have let him down.