Stellar Peterborough victory stuns Corbyn’s opponents, testifies to Labour’s policies and energy

Lisa Forbes, Labour’s newest MP, with party chair and star Ian Lavery


Labour has achieved a stunning victory in the Peterborough by-election just two weeks after the Brexit party romped to victory in the European Parliament elections – increasing the party’s majority compared to the 2017 general election.

The bookmakers’ odds on the result swung wildly as the count progressed:

The last week has seen Labour written off and Corbyn’s ‘LOTO’ team subjected to a relentless series of coordinated attacks in an attempt to isolate the Labour leader from his most loyal aides by blaming them for the very policies that have seen Labour win in leave-stronghold Peterborough.

Peterborough was a tight marginal in the ‘Corbyn surge’ of 2017, with Fiona Onasanya winning then by only 607 votes – the party’s 14th most vulnerable seat and number 13 on list of potential Conservative gains. It has been a largely Tory seat since 1950 – yet tonight Labour’s majority stands at 683 – on a lower turnout than in the 2017 general election (although still high for a by-election).

After Onasanya was convicted and removed and with Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents on either side of the Brexit spectrum pushing simplistic messages to damage the party, the odds were stacked against Labour.

The Peterborough result

The party’s victory on Thursday was therefore massive evidence of Corbyn’s stature and his determination to bridge the divide and work for the 99%, not just the 52% or the 48% – especially only a couple of weeks after Labour received only 17% on a low turnout and the Brexit party 38% in the EU elections.

This result shows that in spite of all the divisions and difficulties the country has had over Brexit, when it comes to a vote on the issues that directly affect people’s lives, on the need to invest rather than cut services, Labour’s message can cut through.

The people of Peterborough have responded positively to Labour’s policies and its strong candidate Lisa Forbes and see Labour as their only option to end austerity and to start investing in this country’s people and services again.

Peterborough is one of the Tories’ top Tory target seats, yet they came third tonight.

The Brexit Party had a simple message, and while it worked for them well in the single-issue European elections that were treated by the media as a proxy referendum and appealed to a lot of Tory voters, Labour voters tonight have rejected Farage’s divisive politics.

Voters are also rightly protective of the NHS and they saw this week that with Trump, Farage and Johnson, the NHS is only safe in Labour hands

Brexit has been a very difficult issue. Labour has sought compromise on Brexit and to represent those who voted leave and those who voted remain. Voters in Peterborough have looked seriously at what the parties offer and concluded there are no simplistic solutions of the sort offered by the Brexit Party.

The LibDems, meanwhile, wanted to turn the clock back as if the referendum never happened. They also received a clear message in Peterborough last tonight.

Those who have tried to paint Corbyn into a corner – and especially those who have exploited the damage the push for a new referendum caused two weeks ago to try to blame and force the sacking of the likes of Ian Lavery, Seumas Milne and Karie Murphy, three of Corbyn’s staunchest allies – must now hang their heads in shame and eat their words.

Lavery in particular must receive huge credit – and a grovelling apology from his critics.

Those ‘Labour’ critics lost their spine when solidarity was needed – and they publicly called for the sacking of some of the finest socialists in the country. They have destroyed their own credibility and must accept that their push for a new referendum was an almost-disastrous error.

They – and those like Watson who have damaged the cause – must get out of the way of the party’s continuing push to serve the many. Labour – Corbyn’s Labour – is the only party with the wit, imagination and policies to do it.

(PS – the media are already downplaying Labour’s achievement and talking about the ‘lessons Corbyn needs to learn’. Surprise. Nigel Farage fled the waiting media without speaking.)

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  1. To everyone who put monumental time and effort into this victory you are all heroes to the millions who desperately need a Labour government

    1. Did you lump on at the 7/1 you tipped t’other day, Doug?

      Hope so! Enjoy yer winnings if you did; wish I’d had the moolah – 7/1 in what was an essentially two-horse race was a knocking price!!

      Doug – doing his best to bring you the Doug(h)

      *I’ll get me coat

      1. Grandbairn and his mother will get most of it, daughter works two jobs 6 days a week and still struggles,
        She needs a break !
        Thanks again to members who got out for Lisa, JC and Labour party


    1. And absolutely NOWT to do with NOT calling for a 2nd ref in a 60% leave constituency where the (main) brexit party lost out by a mere 680 or so votes…Oh, no. Not a bit of it.

      1. Wrong – Ha’Penny.
        Wrong – The Toff

        … Disney’s crew of cartoon fantasists.

        I reckon that was a great campaign to get out the vote for Labour, and those on the ground deserve congratulations for really serious work.

        As to the polling messages – that can wait for another time. Ha’Penny’s and Toff’s incontinent pissing down their legs in public isn’t really the point at present.

      2. Unworthy of you jpenny.Jack may have the politics of Brexit wrong,but he is a good socialist and I am happy to stand beside him in the fight against reaction,inside and outside the LP.

      3. Whilst I am delighted at Lisa’s victory in Peterborough, it doesn’t detract one iota from the need for the LP to become the Remain party in a PV. When the data is examined, it will become clear that there was a swing from Labour to the Brexit Party but a much greater swing to the Lib Dems.

      4. You’ve completely missed the point, Jack & RH.

        This is proof positive that a PV is a bad idea and should be abandoned. Brino is the only way to go.

        This is f***ing fantastic news. Mandelson, Watson, Thornberry & co must be in despair! They thought they had Corbyn on the run after the EU elections. Notice how the media are playing the result down…

      5. timfrom –

        Simply – nothing of the sort. The result has absolutely nothing to say about that – positive or negative.

        But I’ll leave arguing the toss about implications for now. The result is something positive to enjoy in a pretty bleak scene.

  3. FANTASTIC NEWS , well done and huge thanks to all those campaigners and volunteers getting the vote out . I know my individual thanks means very little but thank you and the same to the people who voted Labour.

  4. The Conservatives didn’t come nowhere, they came third. Facts matter for credibility.

  5. Happy to have egg on my face.like many other Labour party corbyn supporters I have become weary of seeing loyal corbyn supporters sacrificed on the alter of expediency.I am ecstatic on seeing a true socialist ELECTED in Peterborough!.We now need to get busy with removing the Labour mps that are destroying the confidence of party activists like me.Let’s see more of the party machine in action against Watson’s treacherous supporters.

  6. Brilliant result for a great Pro-Corbyn working class candidate and many thanks to the Labour activists who poured in.
    Thanks to to the people of Peterborough including the Asian community who stood loyal to Labour despite the lack of focus nationally (despite Labour’s efforts) on Islamophobia being addressed.
    An actual increased majority though on a 48% turnout.
    Well done all!

  7. Congratulations to Lisa; it seems she’ll make a great MP – and a big thank you to those who worked so hard to get this result.

    A note of realism; had the Conservatives not been in disarray and had they had a candidate under Gove or Johnson (repulsive as that might seem to many of us), they might well have won.

    I think Trump’s comments about the NHS & his endorsement of Farage might have played their part in bolstering the Labour vote too (in much the same way that an endorsement from Tony Blair is the kiss of death).

    Andy McDonald on Today R4 this morning did little to reassure me that Labour have learnt much from this by-election and the fudge designed to keep the the PLP onside, as opposed to offering a lead to the people, continues. The 2017 Manifesto ought to be the bible for Labour spokespeople until such time as a new one is agreed.

    As Skwawk implies, something must be done about Watson and co; they’ve ceased just pissing in the tent and are now openly shitting in it. Hopefully this result will strengthen JC’s hand in stopping the sabotage and blunting the toxic/destabilising influence of “PV” Campbell inside the party.

  8. If not for the cause of the by-election we could have done much better.

    The Tory vote having fallen furthest more leavers can be assumed to have migrated to BP from Tories than from Labour, so some good news.

    The danger of a BP/Tory coalition ought to have receded before the next GE. It’s unlikely the incoming PM, even with Tories crashing in the polls, will risk calling a snap election at “peak BP” before October with coalition in mind, as BP popularity is unpredictable – but in desperation he or she just might.

    To finish off the Tories for good we have to – by argument and by example in dealing with the important stuff like AI, the environment, health and wealth distribution – persuade the EU of the fatal flaws in unregulated market forces.
    The next financial crash will help convince them.
    Then we might even offer the public the opportunity to rejoin a newly-reformed, increasingly socialist and unreservedly welcoming EU.
    Possibly within a decade but more likely two.

    1. I braved Andrew Neill’s (what a twat!) Tory Party PPB last night waiting for the result. Portillo – who is a Tory,whatever else – was adamant on that issue of a GE – that it would be suicide for the Tories, and I can see nothing to contradict him *at present*. Basically, that improbability should be clear in shaping strategy.

      I take nothing from the sterling effort on the ground in Peterborough – it was a great pierce of campaigning work, especially with a previous candidates crapping on the doorstep.

      As to the wider messages re.the Brexit issue and its effects, it’s neither one nor t’other, despite the rush to claim strategic superiority. A sobering thought (which actually is a further compliment to the campaigning) is that something like 10% of votes that might have *didn’t* go to the LibDems and Greens, and I doubt that they went to the Tories or Brexit.

      1. ”I braved Andrew Neill’s (what a twat!) Tory Party PPB last night waiting for the result.”

        Hmmm….Wonder if it felt anything like what most of us have to ‘brave’ with your insufferable libdem/cuk prattling and trolling, eh?

        As for your thoughts on neill…Well that makes two of yous then 🙂

  9. It’s good news week.
    May, no longer the PM as from today and our win in Peterborough.
    Yet, the Right-Wing Media are in full denial of the “FACTS”!

  10. 62% of Labour constituencies voted leave.

    We will lose the next election if we support remain and we will win it if we honour our manifesto commitment to leave the EU.

    That is a just a blindingly obvious fact.

    1. It may be blindingly obvious to you IA but there again you were never very good at evaluating results. If Labour support any form of Brexit, where do the more than 60% who didn’t support Brexit, coupled with those who have now changed to Remain go?

      A week is a long time in politics, three years is quite a bit longer!

      1. Just in case anyone was still wondering whether or not JackT is an #FBPE troll his response to my valid point above answers that question.

        He clearly is a troll, 100%.

    2. Constituencies don’t vote. Labour supporters do – in favour of ‘Remain’.

      Category error.

      1. Oh dear, the RH LibDem bot seems to be malfunctioning. Category error, does not compute, malfunction.

        You’re such a donkey, RH. You must be the most pathetic troll I have ever seen in my life.

        On a human level I just hope you are getting paid to post people’s vote propaganda. If you aren’t being paid that would be just too sad to bear.

        You sad pathetic troll.

    1. Or the fact said remainer has NOT, REPEAT NOT made a congratulatory post for Ms Forbes as yet. (1:35pm 07/06/2019)

      1. I heard he didn’t polish his boots this morning either, corporal.
        You’ve the mind of a car park attendant.

      2. Well this ‘carpark attendant’ has got that sneering, begrudging prick well & truly sussed, hasn’t he?

        rh – labour supporter… MY arse AND yours.

  11. Time to spend some of our hard earned political capital,
    1) open up deputy leader election
    2) suspend Pantomime Dame for vexatious claims of anti semitism
    3) replace JLM with JVL
    4) Call VONC when final two cheap and nasties are selected
    5) Green light for deselections
    Every penny is worth a pound when you invest in one of the above
    To do nothing and fail to defend our proud record would mean every pound spent on avoiding these challenges would be worth a penny

      Lets be avin you now RW PLP Twatson OUT NOW!!

  12. Congratulations to Lisa for winning and to all who campaigned for her,and it is one in the eye for the doom mongers in the party who wanted us to lose so that they could mount another coup against Jeremy and his staff.
    The bookmakers and the media were proved wrong by determined campaigning.
    Richard Dennis.

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