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Polls close in Stoke and Copeland by-elections

The polls have closed what could be two historic by-elections in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent.

Voters arrived at a polling station in Stoke-on-Trent earlier on Thursday Credit: Pa

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced potentially his most difficult electoral challenge so far, with upsets predicted in both constituencies.

In Copeland, the Conservatives were tipped to win after almost 80 years as a Labour stronghold.

And in Stoke-on-Trent - a seat previously held by Labour leadership contender Tristram Hunt - Ukip's Paul Nuttall was hoping to become the party's first leader to be elected as an MP.

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Labour braced for battle to retain Copeland seat

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

Labour faces a tough battle to retain its seat in Copeland, with the Conservatives tipped to win what would be an historic victory in Thursday's by-election.

The Cumbrian constituency has remained a Labour stronghold for almost 80 years.

But the resignation of MP Jamie Reed, who has taken up a role at the Sellafield nuclear plant, means Jeremy Corbyn now faces one of his greatest tests as Labour leader.

Some 62% in the town voted to leave the European Union.

  • The full list of candidates in Thursday's Copeland by-election
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