Peterborough By-Election: a victory for hope, a victory for Labour
In Peterborough, a marginal constituency that voted to leave the EU by 60.9%, Labour held their seat against all the odds in a fantastic result for our party, our movement and our members.
At a time when the Brexit debate rolls on and dominates every inch of newspaper columns and TV coverage up and down the country, Labour fought back against the narrative that any future election will be decided on this subject alone.
Only 14 days ago at the EU elections, the Brexit Party defeated Labour by 9000 votes and swept home as the largest party on a 35% turnout. They were odds on across all bookmakers to win in Peterborough again last night. The argument since has been that Labour must unambiguously support a second referendum and how this was the only way to win the next election. This has now been proven false and shows that there is more to this country and our politics than Brexit.
Hardline Remainers and Leavers take heed, by discussing council cuts, crime rates and crippling Tory austerity on the doorstep, Labour managed to get the message across that we aim to bring the country together and fight local issues. The real battle is not between the 52 and the 48% but between the 99 and the 1%, between the many and the few. This is our message and we must stick to it, now more than ever we need to bring our country back together. Only Labour offers this choice.
A massive congratulations to incoming MP Lisa Forbes who ran a great campaign and I have no doubt will be a great MP for her local constituents. “Despite the differing opinions across our city, the fact that the Brexit Party have been rejected here in Peterborough shows that the politics of division will not win,” she said after the vote was declared.
Last night’s result is down to the hard work of hundreds of activists and should reignite the flame in Swanley and beyond of how important canvassing is at a time when we have all been at a low ebb.
So a huge congratulations and solidarity to every single campaigner on the doorstep in Peterborough that got out the vote on the day and every canvasser before then. Without our army of mobilised and positive members, this result would not have been possible.
As Grace Blakely put so eloquently online:
Most commentators don’t understand that Labour’s strength is the strength of our movement – one built on the belief that a better world is possible – and that’s something no amount of spin can defeat.’