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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Sophie Huskisson

By-election held today in test for Rishi Sunak - but lots of voters aren't bothered

Voters will head to the polls in Stretford and Urmston today in a by-election triggered by the resignation of Labour's Kate Green.

The former frontbencher formally quit as an MP last month to become Andy Burnham’s deputy mayor of Greater Manchester.

But with freezing temperatures, soaring energy and food prices and nationwide strikes - including a historic walkout by nurses - many voters don't care.

'I'm not bothered about all that mate,' one man who was walking by the entrance to Stretford Mall told the Manchester Evening News.

Another said: "I don't like to think about politics too much at the minute because it just makes me depressed. People are really struggling to make ends meet.

Kate Green retained the seat with a 60% majority in 2019 after being first elected in 2010 (Manchester Evening News)

"I'd like to see people being able to get on with their lives without having to go to foodbanks just to make ends meet. That's the government's main issue."

There are nine candidates battling to succeed Ms Green. Labour is expected to hold the seat - its candidate Trafford Council leader Andrew Western is the frontrunner.

Ms Green, a former shadow education secretary, retained the constituency with more than 60% of the vote - a majority of 16,417 - in 2019 after being first elected in 2010.

The Tories came second at the last vote, with the Lib Dems in third.

Polling stations opened at 7am and close at 10pm, with the result expected in the early hours of Friday morning.

It marks Rishi Sunak's second electoral test in a matter of weeks as he faces mounting pressure over the cost-of-living crisis, soaring inflation and nationwide strikes.

Rishi Sunak suffered a blow at the Chester by-election two weeks ago when Labour won (PA)

His first test was two weeks ago at a by-election in Chester, triggered by the resignation of Labour MP Christian Matheson after complaints of serious sexual misconduct were upheld.

Labour won a convincing victory, delivering a huge blow to Mr Sunak in the first by-election since Boris Johnson ’s and Liz Truss ’s exits from No10.

The other most recent by-elections, which took place on the same day in June, were a disaster for the Conservatives - with Labour snatching Wakefield and the Liberal Democrats securing a historic victory in Tiverton and Honiton.

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