Labour is planning to hold two by-elections in Stoke, Staffordshire, and Copeland, Cumbria, on February 23rd.
The seats are considered to be tough fought, with Labour having narrow majorities in both seats. Labour won Copeland seats with 2600 votes, and Stoke Central, with 5000 votes from the Conservatives and UKIP respectively.
Paul Nuttall from UKIP is expected to stand in the Stoke Central seat.
It is believed the Conservatives and UKIP are expected to try and exploit Labour Party differences of opinion on immigration and Brexit. In the Brexit vote, both constituencies voted for Brexit which Labour opposed.
The two by-elections have been triggered as two MPs and outspoken critics of Jeremy Corbyn resigned for lucrative private sector jobs. Both were parachuted in MPs under the Blair/Brown era and both were heavily involved in the failed coup to oust Corbyn as leader.
Opposition Parties Mobilising
The Conservative Party have started to distribute leaflets throughout the constituency of Copeland, trying to make the most of the Labour Party’s dislike of nuclear power. The constituency is home to the Sellafield nuclear power plant, which is a significant employer in the area.
UKIP are expected to flood Stoke with resources as their leader is expected to stand for the seat. He is expected to announce his candidacy on Saturday.
Outgoing MP Tristram Hunt has taken a job in the Victoria and Albert museum in London. His resignation letter said that there were few jobs that would have tempted him away from his role as MP.
He wrote, “The post of director of the V&A – the world’s greatest museum of art, design and performance – is just that.”
Hunt’s total salary package is expected to be worth £230,000.
Copeland MP Jamie Reed has taken up a position in Sellafield nuclear power plant. His salary package is believed to be very competitive.