++Copeland by-election – Lib Dems more than double vote share and move up to third place, beating UKIP

Congratulations to Rebecca Hanson and the team for an excellent showing at the Copeland by-election, caused by the resignation of Labour’s Jamie Reed. Our vote share more than doubled from 3.5% at the 2015 general election to 7.25%. We moved up from fourth place to third – beating UKIP.

Dramatically, the Tories won the by-election in this normally rock-solid Labour seat. Psephologist John Curtice told the BBC that this was the biggest gain, in share of the vote, by a governing party in a byelection since the Hull North byelection in 1966.

Here is the result in full, plus some bar charts from the Press Association’s Ian Jones:

Trudy Harrison (C) 13,748 (44.25%, +8.46%)
Gillian Troughton (Lab) 11,601 (37.34%, -4.92%)
Rebecca Hanson (LD) 2,252 (7.25%, +3.80%)
Fiona Mills (UKIP) 2,025 (6.52%, -9.00%)
Michael Guest (Ind) 811 (2.61%)
Jack Lenox (Green) 515 (1.66%, -1.32%)
Roy Ivinson (Ind) 116 (0.37%)

C maj 2,147 (6.91%)
6.69% swing Lab to C

Electorate 60,602; Turnout 31,068 (51.27%, -12.53%)

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist and member of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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This entry was posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections.


  • Well with the prospect of an even harder Brexit government, lets hope in the coming weeks more people can be signed up by the Liberal Democrats.

  • Matt (Bristol) 24th Feb '17 - 7:39am

    So the overall Tory numbers return to how they were before Richmond. The only party to have increased its seats since the last election? Lib Dem.

  • Sad – Jamie Reed was a decent MP.

  • Jenny Barnes 24th Feb '17 - 11:34am

    tory +Ukip vote stayed the same, but UKIP vote moved to tories
    labour +libdem vote ditto but labour vote moved to lib dem.
    Tories win.

  • C H Ingoldby 25th Feb '17 - 6:39pm

    You’re excited to reach 3rd place? Get 7.3% of the vote is something to trumpet?

  • Richard Underhill 25th Feb '17 - 8:21pm

    Former Eastleigh candidate Diane James MEP says she is no longer a member of UKIP, although she was elected as UKIP leader after Nigel Farage resigned from the UKIP leadership. She has also said (BBC TV Daily Politics 24/2/2017) that Labour were determined that UKIP should not win in Stoke and sacrificed Copeland in order to do so.
    Speeches at the Labour conference today should be seen in that light and with reference to david Miliband’s comments in the Times today (pages 1, 2, 32,33).

  • There was me thinking that Copeland was a historic victory for the Tories with the best bye-election result for a government party since 1878. I didn’t realise it was actually the Liberals ( I can’t bring myself to attach the word Democrats when it is quite obvious from your reaction to the referendum result that you are no such thing) who were the actual winners by polling 7% , thanks for putting me straight.

  • Martin, it’s a wonder you can bring yourself to talk to us ‘undemocratic’ types at all, really. A burden you shoulder bravely.
    You’ve missed a few of the other comment cliches, though. Can you not squeeze ‘metropolitan elite.’ ‘snowflakes,’ ‘neoliberalism’ or ‘will of the people’ in there as well?

  • Katharine Pindar 28th Feb '17 - 10:33pm

    As the Tories continue to welcome in the ex- Ukippers finally giving up on their absurd leaders, and as Theresa May continues to pitch for ordinary people disturbed by rotten job prospects, we can expect to see them crowing for a while longer. Obviously the present state of the Labour Party makes it a totally ineffective Opposition, and we continue to be heard insufficiently – even the Observer having the sole comment that ‘the Lib Dem surge’ didn’t continue in these by-elections.

    No, C H Ingoldby, we aren’t excited by a third-place position, but we see the result for what it was, steady progress for our Party. And I suspect the Tory cock on the dung heap will see it crumbling beneath him, because the inconsistencies of their position will show up. What, welcome the Far Right at the same time as pretending to back the common man? Claim still to be the party of industry when industry chiefs (and party grandees) are dreading a ‘hard Brexit’? Demand firm control of immigration when even their Brexit Minister says we need lots of immigrants for sections of our economy? No and no and no!

    I fear for our country, with this Government in place, but its hegemony surely cannot last. The Liberal Democrat stance is right, and will be recognised as such in the end.

  • Richard Underhill 1st Mar '17 - 4:47pm

    Trudy Harrison (C) was not in the Commons for PMQ on 1/3/2017 as Theresa May twice noted. A female tory MP compared the Copeland issue on maternity wards with what is happening in her own constituency and asked the PM for action.

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