Mid Bedfordshire by-election result: Tories lose by-election in blow for government

Alistair Strathern, winner of Mid Bedfordshire by-election
Alistair Strathern is the second Labour Party candidate to take a seat from the Conservatives on Friday. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Labour have claimed victory in Mid Bedfordshire, overturning the party's biggest by-election deficit since 1945 to hand a humiliating defeat to Rishi Sunak.

They triumphed in the battle to succeed former cabinet minister Nadine Dorries, who had represented the constituency since 2005.

Alistair Strathern was announced as the winner at Central Bedfordshire Council's headquarters in Chicksands shortly after 3am on Friday.

It was the second seat the Labour Party took from the Conservatives on Friday, overturning huge majorities in both as Sarah Edwards gained a set in Tamworth.

Mr Strathern said his victory in the Mid Bedfordshire by-election had "made history".

Mr Strathern said his victory sent a "resounding message".

Giving his victory speech, the newest Labour MP said: "Tonight, residents across Mid Bedfordshire have made history, after decades of being taken for granted, feeling left behind, being under-represented, they made a decision it was time for a change.

"Nowhere is off limits for this Labour Party and tonight's result proves it."

The swing from the Conservatives to Labour in Mid Bedfordshire was 20.5 percentage points.

Alistair Strathern said he had "made history" in his speech.

The by-election campaign had been one of the most drawn-out in recent history, having effectively begun when Ms Dorries announced her resignation on 9 June.

She then did not hand in her formal resignation until late August, leaving a 78-day period in which constituents complained of feeling they had been left in limbo, and she was criticised by the prime minister.

Commenting on the Labour Party' success leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "Winning in these Tory strongholds shows that people overwhelmingly want change and they're ready to put their faith in our changed Labour Party to deliver it.

"Voters across Mid Bedfordshire, Tamworth and Britain want a Labour government determined to deliver for working people, with a proper plan to rebuild our country.

"To those who have given us their trust, and those considering doing so, Labour will spend every day acting in your interests and focused on your priorities. Labour will give Britain its future back."

Leaders of the three main parties each visited the constituency in a bid to win over voters during the lengthy campaign.

Conservative Festus Akinbusoye was seeking to defend Ms Dorries 24,000-vote majority.

The full Mid-Bedfordshire by election results:

  • Alistair Strathern, The Labour Party 13,872, 34.07%

  • Festus Akinbusoye, The Conservative Party, 12,680 31.14%

  • Emma Holland-Lindsay, The Liberal Democrat, 9,420 23.13%

  • Gareth Mackey, Independent, 1,865 4.58%

  • Dave Holland, Reform UK , 1,487 3.65%

  • Cade Sibley, Green Party, 732 1.80

  • Ann Kelly, The Official Monster Raving Loony Party 249 0.61%

  • Antonio Vitiello, English Democrats, 107 0.26%<

  • Sid Cordle, Christian Peoples Alliance, 101 0.25%

  • Alan Victor, True and Fair Party, 93 0.23%

  • Alberto Thomas, Heritage Party, 63 0.15%

  • Emperor of India Prince Ankit Love, 27 0.07%

  • Chris Rooney, Mainstream, 24 0.06%

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know