Defeat would undermine the PM’s vote-winning reputation – the reason many Tory MPs are continuing to stand by him
Image: UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Imag)
Boris Johnson faces a bruising 24 hours in two key by-elections today.
Labour is tipped to win in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, as it builds back support in its former Red Wall heartlands.
And the Lib Dems are believed to be neck-and-neck with the Tories in the Devon seat of Tiverton and Honiton.
Defeat would undermine the PM’s vote-winning reputation – the reason many Tory MPs are continuing to stand by him. Tory sources were privately downbeat about their chances of retaining Wakefield.
One said: “We’re not kidding ourselves this is going to be an easy night. We all know some of this is about the Prime Minister personally.” Labour sources were upbeat about their chances of overturning the Tories’ 3,358 majority.
Labour leader Keir Starmer said last night: “The people of Wakefield have a chance to send a message to the Tories that enough is enough.”
Labour’s Simon Lightwood needs a 3.8% swing to win Wakefield. In Tiverton and Honiton, ex-Army Major Richard Foord, 44, has a Tory majority of 24,239 to overturn for the Lib Dems. A Lib Dem source said: “We’re seeing a lot of traditional Tories who say they don’t like Boris. They feel he has forgotten about them.”