Double blow for the Conservative Party as Labour win the Wellingborough and Kingswood by-elections
  • 2 months ago
Rishi Sunak faced a dual setback with defeats in both the Kingswood and Wellingborough by-elections on Friday. Labour overturned substantial majorities of 11,220 and 18,540, marking the Government’s ninth and tenth by-election losses of the current Parliament and achieving its second largest swing from the Conservatives in history.

Gen Kitchen clinched Wellingborough with 45.8% of the vote, while Damien Egan secured Kingswood with 44.9%. These results offered Labour a boost amid controversies over a £28 billion green project pledge reversal and an antisemitism row, leading to the withdrawal of their candidate for the upcoming Rochdale by-election.

The twin defeats escalate pressure on the Prime Minister, especially following the UK's recession announcement in late 2023. Reform UK garnered significant support from dissatisfied right-leaning voters, achieving over 10% of the vote for the first time in a by-election. Reform deputy leader Ben Habib obtained 13% of the vote in Wellingborough, while Rupert Lowe secured 10% in Kingswood. This outcome also signifies that the Government has now endured the most by-election defeats of any administration since the 1960s, surpassing John Major's eight losses preceding Tony Blair's 1997 landslide victory.