If we get to a Peterborough by-election it’s going to be a corker of a battle

If we get to a Peterborough by-election it’s going to be a corker of a battle

Currently, as I’m sure we are all aware, there is a recall petition taking place in Peterborough seeking to get a by-election following the conviction and jailing of the incumbent MP who won the seat for LAB from the Tories at the last general election.

The petition closes on May 1st and we should know within a couple of days of that whether 10% of the electors in the constituency have demanded that their MP be recalled.

If it does then there will be a by-election at which she can, if she wants to, be a candidate. What makes this very interesting is the closeness of the result at the last general election and the fact that this is a seat that flips between Labour and the Conservatives.

Generally the Westminster by-elections that we’ve had in recent times have not been in in super-marginals and this will, if it does take place, be very much the exception.

Based on the 2.5% LAB to CON swing that we saw in Newport West overnight it is conceivable that the Tories could retake the seat. But who knows?

And of course this could all be premature. The recall petition might end up like the only other one to take place, in Northern Ireland last year, with the signature total falling short of the threshold.

The law, passed during the coalition, is very restrictive about what can be reported when a petition is under way and things like opinion polls are banned.

Mike Smithson

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