Wakefield by-election polls: Will Labour reclaim its seat?

MP Imran Ahmad Khan expelled by Tory Party after conviction

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Tory MP Imran Ahmad Khan is currently appealing against his conviction, which found him guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy at a party in 2008. The verdict saw the Conservative Party expel him with “immediate effect” and due to the nature of the proceedings, which could last months, the Wakefield MP has “regrettably” resigned.

Posting on Twitter, Mr Khan said it would not “ordinarily be appropriate to resign” while legal proceedings were continuing.

He added: “Owing to long delays in the legal process, my constituents have already been without visible parliamentary representation for a year.

“Even in the best-case scenario, anticipated legal proceedings could last many more months.

“I have therefore regrettably come to the conclusion that it is intolerable for constituents to go years without an MP who can amplify their voices in Parliament.”

The decision will trigger a by-election for his seat, which Labour previously held for 87 years.

Mr Khan won a majority of 3,358 votes in 2019, which is seen as being part of the Conservatives’ Red Wall of former Labour strongholds in the North of England.

This will be the first constituency vote since the Partygate scandal unfolded, and compounded by the spiralling cost of living, will Wakefield, which is said to include some of the most deprived wards in England, be voting in a new party to take the seat?

What are the Wakefield by-election polls saying?

According to results gathered on April 12 by platform Britain Predicts, which proved a reliable guide for the Birmingham Erdington and Old Bexley and Sidcup by-elections, it would suggest the Labour Party would likely win Wakefield by seven points if the by-election were to take place today.

The platform predicts Labour to win 47.2 percent of votes, nabbing the seat from the Tory party, who are predicted to win 40.3 percent.

The Reform Party are predicted to win 3.8 percent, closely followed by the Liberal Democrats at 3 percent.

The last portion of votes is predicted to be taken by the Green party, at 2.6 percent.

It will be up to the Conservative Party when the by-election will take place, but parliamentary rules they must issue a writ – the legal process to trigger a by-election – within three months.

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The vote then has to take place between 21 and 27 days later.

A Conservative spokesperson said: “Decisions will be made in due course by the chief whip’s office.”

If it wasn’t for the recent spate of events, Wakefield could have been a tougher constituency to crack for the Labour party.

The Conservatives won a number of seats off Labour in last May’s local elections across the board – some for the first time in decades – meaning the Tory Wakefield victory wouldn’t have been a one-off.

However, with Partygate and the spiralling cost of living crisis unfolding, recent poll results don’t appear to be as Conservative-heavy as they have been in recent years.

According to Statista, in March 2022, 37 percent of British adults taking part in their online survey said they intended to vote for Labour if a general election were to take place today, whereas 35 percent intended to vote for the Conservatives.

Another poll aggregated by Politico reveals Labour to again, win a higher proportion of votes at 40 percent, with the Tories falling short at 35 percent.

Politico polls aim to boost statistical reliability by amalgamating “all well-conducted polls” on a specific question into a single estimate of national political sentiment.

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