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Miliband: Result shows 'scale of disillusionment'

Labour's narrow victory in the Heywood and Middleton byelection shows "the scale of disillusionment with Westminster politics", Ed Miliband has said.

Speaking alongside the new MP Liz McInnes, the Labour leader said this disillusionment had led long-time Labour voters to side with Ukip - who came second in the seat, just 600 votes behind Labour.

Ed Miliband alongside Liz McInnes in Heywood and Middleton.

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Ed Balls congratulates newest Labour MP after win

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls has congratulated Labour's newest MP after she won the Heywood and Middleton byelection:

McInnes was elected just 617 votes ahead of the Ukip candidate and was jeered as she made her victory speech last night.

Labour MP: 'All bets are off' after Ukip's performance

Veteran Labour MP Frank Field has said "all bets are off" following Ukip's performance at the Clacton and Heywood and Middleton byelections.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports:

Alexander: Lib Dem and Tory vote 'collapsed' into Ukip

Labour's narrow lead in the Heywood and Middleton byelection was the result of a "collapse" of the Conservative and Lib Dem vote into support for Ukip, the shadow foreign secretary said.

Douglas Alexander told Good Morning Britain: "We actually increased our share of the vote in the seat last night.

"I was elected myself in a byelection just six months after our greatest landslide in 1997 and got a comparable share of the vote to that which Liz got"

Labour grandee says party 'preparing for coalition'

Former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has urged Ed Miliband to be bolder, claiming it looks as though the Labour leader has resigned himself to not winning the 2015 election outright.

Writing in his Sunday Mirror column, Lord Prescott said it looked as though Mr Miliband was only trying to woo traditional Labour voters and "a few ex-Lib Dem voters", rather than appealing to the whole electorate.

Lord Prescott urged Ed Miliband to be 'brave'. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

"He might as well have said at the end of his conference speech: 'Go back to your constituencies and prepare for coalition'," he argued.

The veteran of the Blair years contrasted a "flat" Labour conference with a "confident" performance from David Cameron at last week's Conservative conference.

He urged the Labour leader to "be brave" and go "all out for the win" in 2015 by quickly coming up with eye-catching policies.

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Conservatives edge above Labour in latest opinion poll

The Conservatives have edged ahead of Labour for the first time in two-and-a-half years, according to a new opinion poll.

David Cameron and wife Samantha during the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham. Credit: PA

A YouGov survey for the Times shows the Tories have overtaken Ed Miliband's party following David Cameron's speech to activists this week in which he promised tax cuts for 30 million people.

Labour has not been behind in the polls since March 2012, just before Chancellor George Osborne's "omnishambles" budget.

Asked who they would vote for if the general election was tomorrow, 35% of people backed the Conservatives - a single point higher than those who said they would opt for Labour (34%).

YouGov's research, conducted after the Tory conference, also shows voters support Mr Cameron's pledge to lower income tax by 2020, but remain sceptical over whether they will be better off as a result

Lessons of history from the marginal seat of Dudley North

The scale of the task facing the Conservatives at the annual conference has been made clear by an opinion poll for ITV News.

It suggests that in 40 marginal constituencies where Labour and the Tories will go head to head, Ed Miliband's party has an 11% lead.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship reports on the lessons of history in the marginal seat of Dudley North:

Third of marginal seat voters would consider voting Ukip

A third of voters in 40 marginal seats would consider voting for Ukip at the next general election but over half said they would next cast their ballot for the eurosceptic party, a new ComRes poll for ITV News suggests.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

In the event of a coalition government after the next election, voters would prefer the Liberal Democrats to Ukip as the junior partner by 42% compared to 35%.

Conservative voters also preferred to work with the Lib Dems instead of Ukip by 47% to 40%.

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