Lib Dem-Labour ‘pact’ could give parties a massive boost in by-elections

The Conservatives fielded at least one candidate in every ward.

Labor and the Liberal Democrats are both standing candidates in the by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton, but have been accused of deliberately running weaker campaigns in the seat where the other is stronger.

Wakefield has been held by the Conservatives since 2019 and is widely expected to fall back to Labor following the resignation of Imran Ahmad Khan, who was convicted of sexually assualting a teenager.

Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, has not visited the constituency at all during the by-election campaign, despite visiting Tiverton and Honiton four times.

A Liberal Democrat spokesman denied that there was a pact with Labour, or that the party was going “soft” in Wakefield – pointing to a visit by Daisy Cooper, the party’s deputy leader, earlier this month.

“There is no pact and there will be no pact,” the spokesman said.

“From Devon to Yorkshire, lifelong Conservative voters are telling us they’re sick of Boris Johnson’s lies and law-breaking.”

The Tories’ 24,000-vote majority could be overturned by the Liberal Democrats in Tiverton and Honiton following the resignation of Neil Parish, who was caught watching pornography in the House of Commons Chamber.

Ben Bradshaw, a Labor MP, has suggested that voters in the constituency may wish to consider voting for the Liberal Democrats, rather than his own party’s candidate, Liz Pole.

“What some Labor members and activists don’t always appreciate is that a lot of Conservative voters, if they want to give the Government a kicking, will vote Liberal Democrat but they wouldn’t vote Labour,” he said.

“So, if we have a joint purpose of wanting to send the Prime Minister a message and ultimately defeat this government in a general election, then I think there are very good prospects of a Lib Dem victory there.”

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