2019 Peterborough by-election

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2019 Peterborough by-election
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Peterborough constituency

Peterborough2007Constituency.svg
Boundary of Peterborough in Cambridgeshire.

Incumbent MP

Fiona Onasanya
Independent



A by-election will be held in the UK Parliament constituency of Peterborough on 6 June 2019[1] following the removal of former Labour MP Fiona Onasanya through a recall petition triggered by her conviction for perverting the course of justice.[2]

Background[edit]

As the Labour candidate, Onasanya was first elected to represent Peterborough in the 2017 general election, defeating Stewart Jackson, the sitting Conservative MP, by 607 votes.[3]

Following a conviction for perverting the course of justice relating to a motoring offence in 2017, which resulted in a custodial sentence, it was announced in January 2019 that she had been expelled from the Labour Party.[4][5] She remained in parliament, where she sat as an independent and continued to protest her innocence.

As a result of her conviction, a recall petition was organised in her constituency. It was signed by 27.6% of the electorate, more than the 10% threshold required; as a result, on 1 May it was announced in the House of Commons that the seat had fallen vacant. This was the second recall petition and the first successful use of the voters' petition procedure to remove a sitting MP, as provided for in the Recall of MPs Act 2015.[6]

During the 2016 United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 62.1% of Peterborough voted to leave the EU.

Candidates and campaign[edit]

The final list of candidates was announced on 9 May. A total of 15 candidates are standing for election.[7][8] Anticipating the recall petition's success, several parties announced candidates before it had even opened.[9]

Party Candidate
Conservative Paul Bristow
Labour Lisa Forbes
English Democrat Stephen Goldspink
Brexit Party Mike Greene
Monster Raving Loony Alan 'Howling Laud' Hope
UK EU Party Pierre Kirk
No description Andrew Moore
SDP Patrick O'Flynn
Common Good Dick Rodgers
Christian Peoples Tom Rogers
Liberal Democrat Beki Sellick
No description Bobby Smith
Renew Peter Ward
Green Joseph Wells
UKIP John Whitby

Although not disqualified from seeking to regain her seat, Onasanya will not be fighting the by-election.[10] Former Labour and Respect Party MP George Galloway announced his intention to stand on a pro-Brexit position[11][12] and sought the Brexit Party candidacy, but he was not selected. Although he had mooted standing as an independent,[13] he did not do so.[14]

The Liberal Democrat campaign will focus on opposition to Brexit and calling for a second referendum on the matter.[12] Change UK, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Renew were close to supporting a joint Remain candidate,[15] Femi Oluwole of Our Future Our Choice,[16] but they ultimately opted to stand their own candidates[7] or, in the case of Change UK, no candidate. Change UK's Gavin Shuker said the plan was stymied by Labour, who, he said, made clear they would "strenuously" disrupt their campaign.[17] Change UK reportedly blamed Labour-aligned figures in the People's Vote campaign. Oluwole denied being pressured by Labour sources, but said he was concerned he would split the Labour vote and allow the Brexit Party to win.[18][19]

Previous result[edit]

2017 general election: Peterborough[20]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Fiona Onasanya 22,950 48.1 +12.5
Conservative Stewart Jackson 22,343 46.8 +7.1
Liberal Democrat Beki Sellick 1,597 3.3 −0.4
Green Fiona Radić 848 1.8 −0.8
Majority 607 1.3
Turnout 47,738 67.5 +2.6
Labour gain from Conservative Swing +2.7

References[edit]

  1. ^ "This is when the Peterborough by-election will be held". Peterborough Telegraph. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Recall petition result: Fiona Onasanya no longer Peterborough's MP". ITV News.
  3. ^ Lamy, Joel (9 June 2017). "BREAKING VIDEO: Stewart Jackson loses Peterborough seat to Labour after recount". Peterborough Today. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Fiona Onasanya expelled by Labour as party chief tells Peterborough voters – 'you were failed'". Peterborough Telegraph. 3 January 2019. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  5. ^ Sabbagh, Dan (4 January 2019). "Labour confirms expulsion of convicted MP Fiona Onasanya". The Guardian. London.
  6. ^ "Disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya loses seat after recall petition". The Guardian. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Statement of Persons Nominated" (PDF). Peterborough City Council. 9 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Peterborough by-election: Fifteen candidates to fight seat". BBC News. 9 May 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  9. ^ "Selection of next Peterborough Labour Party candidate will be more rigorous than Fiona Onasanya selection". www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Ousted MP Fiona Onasanya will not fight Peterborough by-election". BBC News. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  11. ^ George Galloway [@georgegalloway] (1 May 2019). "I intend to stand in the forthcoming parliamentary by-election in Peterborough. More follows..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  12. ^ a b "Brexit candidates may split Peterborough vote after jailed MP ousted". Evening Standard. 2 May 2019.
  13. ^ Crerar, Pippa (1 May 2019). "NEW: @georgegalloway tells me that he has approached @Nigel_Farage directly to say he wants to stand in Peterborough by-election for his Brexit Party. But if not selected, he could stand as an independent".
  14. ^ Lamy, Joel (8 May 2019). "Peterborough by-election: George Galloway withdraws from contest after missing out on Brexit Party nomination". www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Anti-Brexit parties considering a Remain candidate for by-election". The New European. 8 May 2019. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  16. ^ "How Brexit Party was almost pitched against a sole referendum candidate in Peterborough writes Peston". ITV News. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Peterborough by-election contenders named". 9 May 2019. Retrieved 21 May 2019 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  18. ^ "What failure to agree a Remain candidate in Peterborough means for Change UK". www.newstatesman.com. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  19. ^ Oluwole, Femi (10 May 2019). "I was asked to stand for Remain in the Peterborough by-election – this is why I said no". The Independent. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Peterborough parliamentary constituency - Election 2017". BBC News. 8 May 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2018.