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Labour leader cheered

Labour by-election victory ‘a vote of confidence’

Jeremy CorbynLabour held on to its Oldham West and Royton seat in a by-election with an increased vote, described by leader Jeremy Corbyn as a vote of confidence in the party.

Jim McMahon won with a 10,835 majority from UKIP’s John Bickley and a 62% share of the votes. This was higher than at the general election and surprised those who thought UKIP had a chance of picking up the seat.

Mr Bickley, nearly overturned an 11,000 Labour majority at the Heywood and Middleton by-election in October 2014, losing by just 600 votes.

Yesterday’s by-election followed the death of long-serving Labour MP Michael Meacher who had a 14,738 majority in May, but on a higher turnout.

It was the first electoral test for Mr Corbyn since is election as Labour leader in September and just 24 hours after the Labour party was divided over going to war in Syria.

Last night he said: “By-elections can be difficult for the party holding the seat, and turnouts are often low.

“But to increase our share of the vote since the general election is a vote of confidence in our party. It’s a clear demonstration that Labour is the party working people trust.”

Mr McMahon, the former Oldham council leader, described the result as “quite staggering”.

Votes:

  • Jim McMahon (Labour) – 17,209 (62.11%)
  • John Bickley (UKIP) – 6,487 (23.41%)
  • James Daly (Conservative) – 2,596 (9.37%)
  • Jane Brophy (Liberal Democrat) – 1,024 (3.70%)
  • Simeon Hart (Green Party) – 249 (0.90%)
  • Sir Oink A-Lot (Monster Raving Loony) – 141 (0.51%)
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