Given that the outgoing MP, Heidi Alexander, secured 69% of the vote at GE2017 it has been very hard to predict anything other than a Labour hold. That was why, in the eyes of many, the party’s selection battle was the real fight.
That was completed on Saturday when the local party chose Lewisham’s, deputy mayor ahead of the Momentum backed candidate as well as the one supported by Unite – an outcome that’s been seen as a bit of a slap in the face for the Labour leader.
A key part in that outcome was played by Ian McKenzie, chairman of the Lewisham East constituency party, who, it turned out, had made a couple of sexist Tweets about Emily Thornberry two years ago.
McKenzie’s supporters say the Tweets had been dug out in a move to discredit him. He’s now been suspended.
Whatever the truth this is not the sort of publicity a party wants to attract at a crucial stage in a by-election. The LDs are throwing everything at getting a good result here and anything they can use to discredit Labour will be seen as helpful.
Ladbrokes make LAB a 1/50 favourite with the LDs t 20/1 and 100/1 on the Tories – betting odds, know doubt, that will be used by the yellows to make the case that only they can best Labour in he seat.
The Lib Dem effort has been focused on the LAB stance on Brexit suggesting that Team Corbyn is ignoring Remainers.