Labour wins Wythenshawe by-election. UKIP takes second place

David Cameron denied that UKIP’s second place in the Wythenshawe by-election was a breakthrough for the party, despite the Tories being pushed down to third place.

Labour’s Mike Kane took a convincing victory with 55% of the vote. Conservative candidate 26-year-old vicar Daniel Critchlow received 15%, while UKIP’s candidate John Bickley took 18%, five times what the party got in 2010.

The by-election came after the death of Labour MP Paul Goggins in January this year, who had won the seat at four consecutive general elections.

Cameron said that he wasn’t especially surprised that Labour won the seat easily, and brushed aside embarrassment over UKIP beating his own party, saying that by-elections are an opportunity to send government protest messages.

Speaking on ITV, Cameron said: “Well obviously, the Wythenshawe by-election, which is a very safe Labour seat, there was never much doubt about the result. When people know there’s a by-election, they know the government isn’t going to change, that obviously messages and signals are sent and protests are made and government should always listen to those things and I always do.

He added: “Obviously one would prefer to come second rather than third but I don’t think this is a particularly surprising result in Labour holding this seat – and as I say, by-elections are an opportunity when people send messages and make protests and all the rest of it, and obviously I listen to those very carefully. But I don’t think it was the kind of breakthrough that people were talking about.”

The Liberal Democrats had a disastrous result, losing their deposit for the fifth time since the 2010 election.

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