Any bets on whether there will be a by-election in Bury North?

Guido Fawkes points out here that the MP for Bury South, who was elected as a Conservative in 2019 but defected to the Labour party today, had in 2020 co-sponsored a bill requiring MPs who change parties to submit to a by election.

The bill was not passed but if he still believes in what he voted for sixteen months ago he does of course have the option of resigning and fighting a by-election. The opinion polls suggest he would have a good chance of being only the fourth MP in modern history to fight a by election and win it on changing parties (after Dick Taverne in 1972 and the duo of Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless in 2014).

Lest there be any misunderstanding, I am not calling the MP for Bury South to trigger a by-election, not because I am afraid of the result but for one reason only - I refuse to add to the irritating display of double standards and hypocrisy from too many people on all sides of politics whenever an elected politician crosses the floor. 

Time and again when someone joins a political party other than their own, a chorus of people demand a by-election, but when someone defects to their own party, the same people welcome them with open arms and either deny that a by-election is needed, or else there is a deafening silence from them on the subject.

It will be interesting to see whether Copeland Labour party, who have been demanding a by-election for the Mayoralty of a council which will not exist in fifteen months time because the Mayor joined the Conservatives, write to Sir Keir Starmer demanding that the MP for Bury South fight a by-election.

Bet they don't.


Jim said…
FWIW I think he probably would win a by election, in fact I'm convinced it's re election that's his ploy. He won the usually safe redwall seat by only 402 votes. That was an election on brexit and the alternative was Corbyn with Diane Abbott. It was a brexit election and the only party offing to get brexit done were the conservatives.
I think he is of the opinion Labour will take the seat at the next election. He likes the gig of being an MP so that's his best chance of keeping his nose in.
I'm always sceptical when tory - Labour defections take place (both ways) generally torys would drift a bit to the left and go lib dem, preveviosly they maybe had strong EU feelings and move to UKIP, that I can see. But to defect to the other side like that, well its not often a tory suddenly decides they are a socialist after all. So when that happens, in either direction, I don't blame anyone who questions the motive.

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