First successful recall petition means there will be a parliamentary by-election in Peterborough

Official portrait of Fiona Onasanya crop 1
Former MP Fiona Onasanya

For the first time, a recall petition under the Recall of MPs Act 2015 has been successful. There will be a parliamentary by-election in Peterborough.


In the 2017 general election the Peterborough result was:

LAB Labour 48.1%
CON Conservative 46.8%
LD Liberal Democrat 3.3%
GRN Green Party 1.8%

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

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22 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 1st May '19 - 9:01pm

    Brexit party leader Nigel Farage announced that they will to fight Peterborough “to win”.
    Ian Paisley MP DUP (son of Ian Paisley MP DUP) was not recalled.
    He declared a “miracle”.

  • Current odds – Labour 8/11, Brexit Party 2/1, the Tories 5/1 and the rest nowhere. I suspect Labour and the Brexit Party will be joint favourites within a few days and the Tories will drop away.

  • Martin Land 2nd May '19 - 8:05am

    Labour should win comfortably.

  • John Marriott 2nd May '19 - 9:24am

    Just what makes seemingly intelligent people like Ms Onosanya think they are above the law? The same could equally apply to Chris Huhne and his former wife, Vicki Pryce. It will be interesting to see whether Labour hangs on, as it will be when Sheffield Hallam comes up again.

    You know, the devil in me hopes that Nige might stand and get it. After all, the Tories needed to bend the rules to keep him out of Thanet at the last General Election. Perhaps, after all those attempts, he deserves a bit of luck, especially as the Peterborough Tories reckon the seat is in the bag. It would be fun to see him on the green benches. Mind you, if he does get returned to Brussels/Strasbourg, he might be in a bit of a dilemma. I seem to recall that, a few years ago, the then Lib Dem MEP, Chris Davies, managed for a while to combine that rôle with the slightly less prestigious one of District Councillor in Cumbria, how long for I do not know.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd May '19 - 10:21am

    Felling street trees was an unpopular move by the Labour council in Sheffield, worldwide news.

  • Robert (Somerset) 2nd May '19 - 11:59am

    I suspect Farage might hesitate in standing at the Peterborough by-election. Were he to win it not only would he be subject to the demands of day to day constituent’s problems, which he doesn’t face as a MEP, but also to the requirements of the members’ register of outside financial interests and income sources.

  • OnceALibDem 2nd May '19 - 3:47pm

    “Chris Davies, managed for a while to combine that rôle with the slightly less prestigious one of District Councillor in Cumbria, how long for I do not know.”

    He didn’t and if he did it wouldn’t have been in Cumbria

    He was an Oldham Cllr and MP jointly for a while. I can’t recall anyone being an MEP and a councillor simultaneously but I’m sure it’s happened.

  • Wunsa is correct about Chris Davies – though Cumbria was in his MEP constituency.

    One of his ‘triumph’s was to pose for a press picture with a ferret…………… interesting contrast to today’s Tory Party who are undergoing an anthropomorphic reversal by fighting like ferrets in a sack.

  • @ John Marriott “the slightly less prestigious one of District Councillor in Cumbria”.

    I beg your pardon, how very dare you, Sir.

    As a former District Councillor in Cumbria I can tell ex-Councillor Marriott that such a role is immensely prestigious. I have cut many a ribbon in my time !!

  • marcstevens 2nd May '19 - 4:58pm

    Latest yougov EP poll not such bad reading for the Lib Dems, but look at that combined vote for the remain parties it would be 28% add in a bit more for PC and SNP vs 34% for the anti EU parties combined and it’s quite close.

  • John Marriott 2nd May '19 - 5:50pm

    @OnceALibDem
    I am obviously wrong in the precise detail and for that I apologise. In my defence I did indicate that I wasn’t entirely sure, although it would appear that Mr Davies did briefly indulge in a kind of dual hattedness (?) that was quite unusual. I plead old age and ask for your understanding.
    @David Raw
    I would not dream of implying that the rôle of a District Councillor was any less worthy than that of an MEP, even though I would like to see these particular councils and their members abolished. Indeed I was one for 18 years.

  • Peter Watson 2nd May '19 - 5:54pm

    @marcstevens “Latest yougov EP poll …”
    This week’s poll gives Brexit parties 34% vs. Remain parties 32% vs. Con 13% vs. Lab 21%.
    Last week’s poll gave Brexit parties 33% vs. Remain parties 32% vs. Con 13% vs. Lab 22%.
    The previous week’s poll gave Brexit parties 29% vs. Remain parties 32% vs. Con 17% vs. Lab 22%.
    The crossbreaks (?) suggest that the Change UK vote is skewed towards London and the Lib Dem vote is skewed towards the rest of the South (which is bigger in more ways than one!).
    There’s still all to play for, but the trend is not great: it looks pretty flat for the unambiguously Remain parties (LD/ChUK/SNP/PC/Green). Good local election results could redistribute these votes in the Lib Dems’ favour but billing the european elections as a proxy second referendum could polarise it into a Change UK vs. Brexit Party vote.
    It’s going to be an interesting month!

  • Richard Underhill 2nd May '19 - 7:31pm

    Fiona Onasanya was expelled from Labour but continued as an independent MP.
    Labour campaigned against her, including selecting a rival candidate for MP.
    That campaign is likely to have informed the local electorate about recall being possible.
    If this is broadly correct a recall needs a campaign.
    It does not explain why Ian Paisley’s constituents condoned his actions.

  • Fiona Welch 2nd May '19 - 10:16pm

    I find it remarkable that there weren’t enough of Paisley’s constituents wanting to sign the petition, but I do wonder how well advertised it was, or if people really understood what was on offer to them. At least now it’s happened once, it might be easier next time.

  • Richard Underhill 2nd May '19 - 11:13pm

    Polling on 6 June 2019. The previous MP is thought unlikely to stand.
    If Nigel Farage wants to stand he would have already said so.
    What about The Pub Landlord?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Murray

  • OnceALibDem 3rd May '19 - 12:07pm

    The Paisley petition only had 3 signing centres across the constituency.

    There was, shall we diplomatically say, some surprise at that in some quarters

  • Richard Underhill 3rd May '19 - 12:41pm

    Northern Ireland is also voting today, at the local government level, using the Single Transferable Vote, despite the devolved assembly not having met since it was elected.
    The so-called ‘Democratic’ Unionist Party, founded by the late Ian Paisley, must carry some responsibility for this failure of Northern Ireland’s provincial democracy.
    In the light of recent events in Northern Ireland there should be hope that the electorate will express their need for peace, and the prosperity which comes with peace and decide to support those who have always worked for peace, even in the most difficult situations.

  • I think in Paisley’s case people probably knew that there was no chance of anything but a DUP hold, probably with IP as the candidate. It is much harder to generate any kind of enthusiasm for a petition in that situation.

  • Richard Underhill 25th Jun '19 - 4:03pm

    ‘Ian Paisley MP DUP (son of Ian Paisley MP DUP) was not recalled’.
    Spotlight BBC1 Northern Ireland 22.35-23.05 Tuesday 25/6/19 (FreeSat Channel 978)
    “Ian Paisley MP faces new questions over trips to the Maldives in a special Spotlight investigation.”

  • Richard Underhill 25th Jun '19 - 11:31pm

    The programme is about family holidays in the Maldives paid for by the government of the Maldives. Ian Paisley MP appears to be in trouble, again.

  • Richard Underhill 26th Jun '19 - 10:42am

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