Tag Archives: Gareth Snell

Peterborough By-Election: post-poll analysis and thoughts

Well, I got it wrong vis a vis the headline result. I thought that the Brexit Party would win and indeed enjoy a near-walkover. In the event, Brexit Party had to accept a close 2nd place. As the Americans are supposed to say, “close but no cigar”.

The result of the Peterborough by-election

The result was:

  • Labour 10,484 votes, a vote share of 31% (down from 48% in 2017);
  • Brexit Party 9,801 (29%);
  • Conservative Party 7,243 (21%, down from 46% in 2017);
  • LibDems 4,159;
  • Green 1,035;
  • UKIP 400.

All others, nine in number, received fewer than 200 votes each, most below 100.

In retrospect, my own prediction was badly misled by the betting (which even on the day showed Brexit Party as very heavily odds-on) and by the large and impressive meetings Farage held in the city (one with 2,000 in the auditorium).

I was right about the Conservatives coming third and the LibDems in fourth etc. Still, irritating to have misread the main contest, close as it was. No cigar for me, either.

Why did Brexit Party lose at Peterborough?

In my previous blogging on the specific subject of this by-election, and on other topics, I have made the point that the UK now has cities (including London) where the white population (let alone the British white population) is less than 50%. Peterborough still has, supposedly, about 80% white population, but at least 10% are from other parts of Europe. The white British part of the population is below 70% of the whole, possibly as low as 60%.

There is also the point that the city and constituency are not delineated the same; part of the city is not within the constituency.

When a city has more than a token non-white presence, a nationalist party of any kind will struggle to win elections there, and that applies even if (as is the case with Brexit Party) the party is not social-national, has no racial or ethnic principles or policies, and even if (as with Brexit Party) some of its actual candidates are black or brown.

It is not only that, in general, the “blacks and browns” will not vote for even a mildly (and notionally) “patriotic” party such as Brexit Party (let alone a social-national party) because they fear that party. The point is that the vast majority of ethnic minority voters have little or no real connection with Britain, its society, its history, its culture etc. They are, in a word, alien to Britain. Look at how even those adhering to the far-longer-standing Jewish community are always “threatening” (“promising”?) to flee from the UK if their demands are not met. They are not really rooted here; the roots of the “blacks and browns” are shallower yet.

Thus, in Peterborough, one can surmise that few blacks, Muslims etc voted Brexit Party. Why should they? Why would they? Brexit Party is hardly the British National Party. It offers no implied threat to the minorities, but it is broadly conservative-nationalist in ethos, and that is enough for the ethnic minorities to vote elsewhere, mainly for Labour.

I have been blogging and tweeting for several years about how the UK part of the “Great Replacement” (of whites by non-whites) means that elections become a no-win situation in much of the UK. That was true, for example, in the Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency in 2017. In the by-election of that year, Gareth Snell, a spotty unpleasant Twitter troll, was the Labour candidate. Paul Nuttall stood for UKIP. Snell beat Nuttall, Labour beat UKIP, by only 2,620 votes. The Pakistani Muslim community locally, numbering over 6,000,  almost all (always) vote Labour, a cohesion enforced by dodgy postal ballots and “community” exhortations (eg in local mosques) to vote Labour. Local Muslims 6,000+, Labour majority 2,620…

In other words, without those 6,000 or more Muslims (and others), Nuttall and UKIP would have won Stoke-on-Trent Central easily. As it was, UKIP faded and, at the General Election of 2017, Labour won again, against the Conservatives in 2nd place. Labour won by 3,897 votes. Point made, I think.

Now look at Peterborough. The postal votes were very high (who knows who really fills in the forms?) but even leaving that aside, we see that Brexit Party lost to Labour by 683, in a constituency where the non-European ethnic minorities number perhaps as many as 20,000. “It was the w**s wot won it!”, to paraphrase the famous Sun headline of 1992.

Non-white ethnic minority population in the constituency—10,000-20,000. Votes for Labour in the by-election—10,484

In fact, Labour only won Peterborough by 607 votes at the 2017 General Election, thus propelling useless African ex-“solicitor” Fiona Onasanya into Parliament.

The Future

Labour is, as I have often noted before, now the party, in terms of core vote, of the ethnic minorities (excluding Jews), of the metropolitan “socially liberal” types, of public service workers or officials. The real hard core is mainly the blacks and browns, and the public service people. Labour struggles to win votes wider than that core. Labour won Peterborough in the by-election on a vote-share of only 31%.

Brexit Party has suffered a bad blow. Had it won at Peterborough, its momentum would have carried on. Now, its future seems unclear. It may continue and may yet win seats, but Peterborough was a very good chance despite the ethnic minority vote, and Brexit Party fluffed it.

The LibDems almost quadrupled their 2017 3.3% vote to about 12%, but are still well behind the 2010 days of “Cleggmania”, in which they scored nearly 20% at Peterborough. My opinion? There will be no LibDem revival, at least not on a big scale. Most voters are getting angry. “Centrism” is not the flavour of the times.

The Conservatives were the big losers, as in the EU elections. They achieved what might be regarded as, had it been elsewhere, a respectable 3rd place on a vote-share of 21%, 7,243 votes, only 3,000 or so behind the Labour victor; but Peterborough has mainly been a Conservative seat since 1945. It had a Conservative MP as recently as 2 years ago.

If this result were to be replicated nationwide, there would be little left of the Conservative bloc in the House of Commons. Seats would fall either to Brexit Party, or to Labour (or in a few cases, to LibDems).

Final words

Strategically, a Brexit Party win would have been my preference, in that, down the line, it would expedite the break-up of the “LibLabCon” “three main parties” scam. Having said that, the Conservatives were rightly cast down, while at least the Labour MP elected seems to be to some extent against the Jewish Zionists (though pretty invertebrate when “challenged” on that).

Tweets etc

Below, illustrating my point that Labour’s core vote is now “the blacks and browns”

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peterborough_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoke-on-Trent_Central_(UK_Parliament_constituency)

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2019/05/09/notes-from-the-peterborough-by-election/

https://gab.com/Fosfoe/posts/YldMYkx4cXRRdlpGM2NqWE40QjNYZz09

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Forbes_(politician)

https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/peterboroughs-new-mayor-says-prison-stint-should-be-forgotten-as-he-prepares-to-become-citys-first-citizen/

http://participator.online/articles/2019/06/peterborough_byelection_postal_voting_questions_20190611.php

EU Elections 2019 in Review: Labour

Labour did not do well at the EU elections: 3rd-placed with 2,347,255 votes, a 13.7% vote share, and 10 MEPs (down from 20). Labour only got two-thirds as many votes as the LibDems, and far less than half as many votes as Brexit Party attracted.

Remain whiners are saying that that happened because Labour did not proclaim itself as anti-Brexit and/or pro a second EU referendum. That is a doubtful proposition, in that it seems that more Labour voters voted Leave than Remain in 2016. What probably is correct is in saying that Labour’s message was mixed, or that Labour and Corbyn were “fence-sitting” re. Brexit (true, but what else can he do?). Parties that had a clear Brexit message (Brexit Party, LibDems, Greens) did better than those with mixed messages (Conservative and Labour). In the Russian proverb, “if you chase two hares, you won’t catch one”.

True, Change UK and UKIP had clear messages either way on Brexit and both failed miserably, but in the case of UKIP, Brexit Party simply took its votes and was seen as the bandwagon on which to jump; Change UK was just seen as a joke (there was something of that in UKIP too, it having joined with the “alt-Right” wastes of space “Sargon of Akkad” Carl Benjamin, “Prison Planet” Paul Watson and “Count Dankula” Mark Meechan).

Labour did not come in 1st place in any of the EU constituencies and, in the 5 constituencies where it came 2nd, was far behind Brexit Party (and typically with less than half of the votes of Brexit Party), with the sole exception of London, where Labour came 2nd to the LibDems (23.9% vote, LibDems on 27.2%).

Labour’s campaign was weak, and the Jewish-Zionist element was, as always, still there, sniping from cover at Corbyn and his (as far as I can see) very limited if even existent “anti-Semitism”.

Labour’s best argument in respect of Westminster elections has been, for the past 9 years, that it is not the Conservative Party. That trend has continued and strengthened under Corbyn. Is that enough?

True, Labour has policies designed to appeal to the middle-of-the-road voter (public ownership of some utilities, rail lines etc, a fairer deal for tenants, promises of more money for NHS etc).

On the other hand, if a voter wants to really give the Conservatives a kick, particularly in usually-Conservative-voting areas or in marginal Con-LibDem (Westminster) constituencies, that angry former Labour voter or floating voter might well do better to vote Brexit Party rather than Labour, because in strongly Conservative areas, Labour has no chance anyway in most years, whereas the LibDems are often the second party in such areas. Such a voter could (obviously) just vote LibDem straight off. Many voters, though, if there is a 3-way Con-LibDem-Brexit Party split (realistically), may want to vote Brexit Party rather than LibDem in the hope that a BP candidate can come through the middle to win, or because the LibDems enabled the 2010-2015 “coalition” government.

As to the impact of Brexit Party on Labour seats in the North and Midlands, I should assess it as potentially very damaging, but difficult to quantify. It is not just that Corbyn is said to be unpopular. It is also a question of Labour’s failure to stand up for (real) British people, for white neighbourhoods and communities. Labour failed to stem mass immigration and in fact encouraged it (of course, we now know from a whistleblower that Labour Jews such as Barbara Roche, and Phil Woolas, deliberately imported millions of non-European immigrants in order to destroy our race and culture).

There is also the connected fact that Labour never even admitted the nature and extent of the sexual exploitation of young girls by Pakistani gangs across the country, and particularly Northern England. In fact, Labour covered up the crimes, assisted by Common Purpose organization members in the police and in local councils.

The Labour voters who voted Green in the EU elections (held under proportional voting) will mostly return in a Westminster election (held under FPTP voting) because in the Westminster election, a Green vote is a wasted vote, without doubt.

If Brexit Party can take away 10% or more of what would otherwise be the Conservative vote, the Conservative Party is badly damaged (as when UKIP got 12% in 2015). If Brexit Party can get an overall 20%, the Conservative Party is toast except in a few very safe seats. Labour voters should therefore (whatever they think of Farage and his party) vote Brexit Party and not Labour, unless Labour is in a very strong position to win in any particular seat.

Labour has a good chance of forming a minority government or even a (small?) majority one if a general election is held soon, meaning in 2019, maybe 2020. The Conservatives are despised, divided, and weakened both internally and by the upstart Brexit Party. I blogged recently about how the Conservatives might try to limp on to 2022, when the reduction in MP numbers to 600 and accompanying boundary changes will cost Labour as many as 30 MPs. Much depends also on whether Brexit Party is a flash in the pan or a growing menace to the Conservatives.

I wrote the following after the Stoke-on-Trent by-election of 2017:

Labour has been declining for years. Corbyn is both symptom and cause. The disappearance of the industrial proletariat has swept away the bedrock underneath Labour, replacing it by the sand of the “precariat”. Labour imported millions of immigrants, who are now breeding. The social landscape becomes volatile. The political landscape too.”

I see no reason to change my view.

Notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Roche

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Woolas

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/6418456/Labour-wanted-mass-immigration-to-make-UK-more-multicultural-says-former-adviser.html

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/7198329/Labours-secret-plan-to-lure-migrants.html

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-7095191/DAN-HODGES-Labour-declare-party-smug-metropolitan-elite.html

Update, 6 June 2019

The tweet below, from the Peterborough by-election, illustrates my often-posted belief that the Labour core vote is now largely composed of the “blacks and browns”:

More proof…

In other words, Labour is now the party of the blacks and browns.

Update, 21 September 2019

…from the Independent, “reporting” on beach patrols at Dover; all too typical of the sort of persons now prominent in “Labour” and what is left of the trade unions:

Riccardo La Torre, firefighter and Eastern Region Secretary of the Fire Brigade Union, branded the coast patrol “despicable” and said: “These have-a-go, racist vigilantes have no place in any kind of enforcement or emergency activities and will only serve to make conditions and tensions worse.”

“These groups claim to be the voice of the working class, but now they want to act as an arm of the authorities by patrolling beaches to apprehend struggling working-class people desperately trying to get to safety.
[https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/far-right-britain-first-beach-patrols-calais-dover-anti-migrant-a9113471.html]

So “Riccardo La Torre” (que?), a regional secretary of the Fire Brigade Union, thinks that migrant invaders from Africa and the Middle East are “working class people”, who are “trying to get to safety”?!

Safety from, er, France? There you have in a nutshell, the craziness that is much of “Labour” now. Alien migrant-invaders are “working class people”, who should be allowed to occupy the UK at will (and be subsidized too)! Note the fag-end “Marxism”, trying to shoehorn the facts into some 1980s polytechnic back-of-postcard Marxism-Leninism.

Stoke Central and Copeland: the aftermath for Labour and UKIP

The by-elections in Stoke Central and Copeland have been held. The public relations people for Labour (UKIP seems to have no public relations section) are still trying to spin positives out of the Stoke result and even the Copeland defeat. The time has come to look to the future based on what can be taken from these by-elections.

The Result in Stoke Central

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoke-on-Trent_Central_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s

The Result in Copeland

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copeland_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s

First Thoughts

I blogged before the poll that, if UKIP failed to win Stoke Central, that that would surely be the end or at least beginning of the end for it as a serious contender. I have also blogged and tweeted for 18 months my view that UKIP peaked in 2014. I have no reason to change those views now.

As a candidate, Paul Nuttall was fairly poor, not resilient, not intelligent, not really passionate enough politically. The UKIP organization or administration of the campaign also seemed poor. Overall, as in the past, UKIP seemed to be afraid to really set the campaign alight. The law being what it now is, UKIP could hardly have copied the successful 1960s Smethwick Conservative by-election candidate whose posters said “if you want a n****r for a neighbour, vote Labour”, but UKIP seemed to want to bypass the race/culture question entirely. There was no bite to the UKIP campaign.

The Labour candidate at Stoke Central, Gareth Snell, might fairly be described as “a poorly-educated and spotty Twitter troll, living mainly if not entirely off his allowances and expenses as a local council leader, who seems never to have had a non-political job (except a trade union one of some kind)”. In some respects he was a worse candidate than Paul Nuttall.

One has to bear in mind the heavily-industrial, heavily-Labour-voting history of Stoke-on-Trent. Labour has always had a built-in advantage there. The Conservative candidate, Jack Brereton, though looking like a schoolboy, did well to come a close third to Labour and UKIP, though in fact the Conservative vote increased by only a modest 1.8 points over the 2015 result.

Apathy or hostile apathy was the real winner in Stoke Central. 62% of the electorate did not vote. No party energized them to come out to vote for it.

As to Copeland, the main point that leaps out, apart from the obvious Labour car crash, is the poor performance of UKIP.

Future View

UKIP

UKIP surely must be finished now. It started in 1993 and in the nearly 24 years since then has failed to win a single Westminster seat, save for that of former Conservative MP Douglas Carswell, who is really just a Brexit Conservative and “free market” globalist.

UKIP would have been in a far better position had it won even a couple of seats at the 2015 General Election, but, in the irritating phrase, “we are where we are”. Theresa May’s Brexit policy has “shot UKIP’s fox” on the EU.

That leaves immigration, race and culture. UKIP now seems to have many spokesmen who are not of European race, so UKIP is not even offering the UK a white persona, a white country, if you like.

The conclusion is clear: UKIP is pointless, hopeless and must go.

Labour

Labour has been declining for years. Corbyn is both symptom and cause. The disappearance of the industrial proletariat has swept away the bedrock underneath Labour, replacing it by the sand of the “precariat”. Labour imported millions of immigrants, who are now breeding. The social landscape becomes volatile. The political landscape too.

The elimination of “socialism” from Labour led to focus-group rudderlessness, surely personified by Tony Blair, who has no principles, no real ideology, just careerism, self-seeking and politically-correct non-thinking. Labour became a party made in Blair’s image. It has no real ideology any more, not even social-democracy.

By 2020, the House of Commons will consist of 600 MPs, reduced from the current 650. Labour is currently at about 25% in the opinion polls and it is likely that, in 2020, Labour will have between 100 and 200 MPs in the House. Labour cannot now form even a coalition or minority government. It will slowly crumble.

The Future Beyond 2020

A new social nationalist party must be formed. It must be ideologically clear, administratively disciplined, capable of gaining trust and credibility. When a crisis comes, that small party may be able to seize control, as has happened before in history.

Update, 23 April 2019

I am updating because there has been much water under the bridge in the past 2 years and 2 months. Labour did fail to become the largest party in the Commons at the 2017 General Election, held a few months after the above was written. However, the Conservatives lost ground. Labour has trailed in the opinion polls since I wrote the above blog post, but just recently has managed to come back, not really on its own merit but because the Conservatives under Theresa May have had a complete car crash in several respects, especially Brexit. Labour has been sitting on the fence, not exactly a “cunning plan” but effective enough…

Update, 20 November 2020

The world turns…the 2019 General Election finished off the “15 minutes of fame” political career of Gareth Snell. He lost out to the Conservative Party candidate: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Snell; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoke-on-Trent_Central_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s.

As for the planned reduction of MP numbers to 600 (from 650), that will not now occur.

Update, 6 December 2020

I just noticed that my prediction of Labour MP-strength in the House of Commons (100-200 by 2020) was right: the Labour Party now has 200 MPs (201, if presently-suspended Jeremy Corbyn is included).

At date of writing, and despite the appalling incompetence of the Boris Johnson government, Labour under Jewish lobby puppet Keir Starmer is still trailing a few points behind the Conservative Party.

Stoke-on-Trent Central By-Election

Last week, I wrote a preview of the upcoming (23 February 2017) Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, one of two taking place on that day

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/01/18/stoke-on-trent-central-preview/.

Now that the main candidates are declared, I am ready to expand on that and to predict the result as best one can a month before polling.

The Stoke Central constituency has existed since 1950 and the Labour Party has won every election since then. Until Tristram Hunt appeared in 2010, the Labour vote varied between 48% and 68%. Hunt’s votes have been 38.8% (2010) and 39.3% (2015). Stoke Central has moved from being a Labour safe seat to one which can be regarded as marginal:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoke-on-Trent_Central_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections

The Labour vote in 2015 was about 12,000, that of both UKIP and Conservatives about 7,000. The Liberal Democrats, until 2015 the second party, crashed to fifth place (behind an Independent) with 1,296 votes. In fact, the LibDem vote in 2010 was 7,000, the same as the UKIP vote in 2015, perhaps a sign that the “protest vote” bloc at Stoke Central is around 7,000 or so. Arguende. The LibDem candidate for the by-election is Zulfiqar Ali, a consultant cardiologist, who lost his deposit (vote share 4.2%) in the 2015 General Election.

Tristram Hunt, the outgoing-going-gone Labour Party MP, was never very popular in his own constituency, though London TV studios loved him. He made no bones about despising the leader of his own party, tried and failed to formulate policy of his own and was surprisingly bad (for someone of his background and education) at arguing his points when (as so often) being interviewed.

Hunt stepped down as MP in order to take a job as Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. MP pay is about £74,000 (plus generous expenses); the V&A Director presently gets a package worth £230,000. Hunt may be getting more. No wonder that he said that “the V&A offer was too good to refuse.” So much for political conviction, vocation and, indeed, loyalty (whether to party or constituents). Stoke Central is well rid of him.

The Labour candidate in the by-election is Gareth Snell, a still fairly young former leader of the Borough Council of Newcastle-under-Lyme (3-4 miles from Stoke-on-Trent). His selection indicates that Labour are going to play on local roots and try to pretend that God is in His Heaven and Jeremy Corbyn far away, Corbyn being (arguably?) an electoral liability (seen as a credible future Prime Minister by only 16% in a recent poll).

The Conservatives have not been even the second party at Stoke Central since 2001. This by-election is one which will be decided between Labour and UKIP. The recent Theresa May Brexit speech may well have shot UKIP’s fox overall, but at Stoke Central no-one is expecting a Conservative win or even a Conservative second. The Conservative candidate is Jack Brereton, 25, who was elected at age 19 to Stoke-on-Trent City Council.

Since the 2001 General Election, the second and third-placed candidates at Stoke-on-Trent Central have received very similar numbers of votes (behind victorious Labour).

UKIP, joker in the pack. Paul Nuttall, a Northerner who was recently elected leader of UKIP, is the candidate. He must have a chance despite his partly-“libertarian” views (of which Labour is making the most, of course, claiming that Nuttall believes in NHS privatization). UKIP has a steep climb in the by-election, but it is possible. This is a by-election. The result will not affect who governs the UK. People can protest with their votes. Labour is now seen as the pro-mass immigration party and the pro-EU party. Stoke Central voted nearly 70% for Leave in the EU Referendum.

If turnout is low, if the 2015 Labour vote halves to about 6,000, if the 2015 UKIP vote mostly holds up at 7,000 or not much less, then UKIP can win. If.

It is not credible to imagine a win for the Conservatives or LibDems and they will vie for most votes not going to Labour or UKIP, but this is very much a Labour/UKIP contest. If enough people (eg 2015 Conservative voters) vote tactically for UKIP, UKIP has a good chance. On the other hand, many 2015 LibDem or Green voters may also vote tactically for Labour.

In 2015, an Independent got over 2,000 votes. Will those votes go to UKIP, now that that candidate has not renewed his candidature? Open question.

Unemployment is high, immigration is high and having had Labour MPs for 66 years has not prevented either in recent times. There is strong cultural resistance in the seat to the Conservative Party. UKIP is the insurgent here.

Prediction

The bookmakers still have Labour as odds-on to win the by-election and it would be tempting to call it as a Labour-UKIP-Conservative 1-2-3, but I am going to be bold and say that Paul Nuttall and UKIP can crack this. The seat must be one of the best chances UKIP has had or will have: anti-EU, pro-Leave, anti-mass immigration, disenchanted with the System parties and very much a “left-behind” area. Also, Tristram Hunt abandoning the seat for a quarter-of-a-million-pound job must sit badly in an area which is one of the poorest in England. In addition, Nuttall has the cachet, such as it is, of being his party’s leader.

In sum, I see the 1234 as: 1.UKIP; 2.Labour; 3.Conservative; 4.LibDem.

Effect

If the result is as I have predicted, it will push even more anti-Corbyn Labour MPs to jump ship and it will weaken Labour even further in the North (it being of little importance now in Scotland or most of the South of England). If Labour hangs on to win, then everything depends on the majority obtained but it might well be just a slower car crash.

Update, 30 May 2019

I blogged twice more about that Stoke on Trent by-election:

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/stoke-central-by-election-final-word-before-polling/

and

https://ianrmillard.wordpress.com/2017/02/24/stoke-central-and-copeland-the-aftermath-for-labour-and-ukip/

Stoke-on-Trent Central: Preview

I shall blog in more detail about the upcoming by-election at Stoke-on-Trent Central when the runners and riders are fixed. This is merely an advance viewing of the contest based on the background.

Tristram Hunt, the Labour Party MP, was never very popular in his own constituency, though London TV studios loved him. He made no bones about despising the leader of his own party, tried and failed to formulate policy of his own and was surprisingly bad (for someone of his background and education) at arguing his points when (as so often) being interviewed on TV.

Hunt stepped down as MP in order to take a job as Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. MP pay is £74,000 (plus generous expenses); the V&A Director presently gets a package worth £230,000. Hunt may be getting more. No wonder he said that “the V&A offer was too good to refuse.” So much for political conviction, vocation and, indeed, loyalty (whether to party or constituents). Stoke Central is well rid of him.

The Stoke Central constituency has existed since 1950 and the Labour Party has won every election since then. Until Hunt appeared in 2010, the Labour vote varied between 48% and 68%. Hunt’s votes have been 38.8% (2010) and 39.3% (2015). Stoke Central has moved from being a Labour safe seat to one which can be regarded as marginal:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoke-on-Trent_Central_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections

The Labour vote in 2015 was about 12,000, that of both UKIP and Conservatives about 7,000. The LibDems, until 2015 the second party, crashed to fifth place (behind an Independent) with 1,296 votes. In fact, the LibDem vote in 2010 was 7,000, the same as the UKIP 2015 vote, perhaps a sign that the “protest vote” bloc at Stoke Central is around 7,000 or so. Arguende.

The Conservatives have not even been the second party at Stoke Central since 2001. This by-election is one which will be decided between Labour and UKIP. The recent Theresa May Brexit speech may well have shot UKIP’s fox overall, but at Stoke Central no-one is expecting a Conservative win or even a Conservative second.

Can UKIP win? The answer, even at this stage, must be a qualified “yes”. Much will depend on its candidate and that of Labour. If Paul Nuttall, a Northerner, stands, he must have a chance despite his partly-“libertarian” views. UKIP has a steep climb but it is possible. This is a by-election. The result will not affect who governs. People can protest with their votes. Labour is now seen as the pro-mass immigration party, the pro-EU party (to an extent). Stoke Central voted about 65% for Leave in the EU Referendum.

If turnout is low, if the 2015 Labour vote halves to about 6,000, if the 2015 UKIP vote mostly holds up at 7,000 or not much less, then UKIP can win. If.

It is not credible to imagine a win for the Conservatives or LibDems and they will vie for most votes not going to Labour or UKIP, but this is a Labour/UKIP contest. If enough people vote tactically for UKIP, UKIP has a good chance. On the other hand, 2015 LibDem or Green voters may also vote tactically for Labour.

Unemployment is high, immigration is high and having had Labour MPs for 66 years has not prevented either.

Labour must still be odds-on to win Stoke Central at this point, but UKIP has a serious chance.

Update, 27 November 2020

Looking at this post nearly 4 years on, I have to say that my prediction was accurate. The Labour Party won convincingly at the 2017 by-election, with 37.1% of votes cast. UKIP came in second with 24.7%, narrowly ahead of the Conservative Party on 24.3%. LibDems 4th-placed, with 9.8% of the vote.

The less-serious candidates all captured less than 2% of the vote; indeed, all except the Green Party got less than 1%: two Independent candidates, BNP, Christian People’s Alliance and the Monster Raving Loony (who actually beat the BNP, CPA and one of the Independents). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoke-on-Trent_Central_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s.

The Conservative Party candidate, Jack Brereton, did not stand again at Stoke Central but was adopted by the Conservatives at Stoke South, where he was elected at the 2017 General Election and re-elected in 2019.

The 2017 General Election saw the Labour Party MP, Gareth Snell, a seemingly rather unpleasant individual, re-elected with a greatly-increased vote-share (51.5%). However, the 2019 General Election saw Snell lose to Jo Gideon of the Conservative Party in a close result (45.4% to 43.3%).

As for the one-time MP, Tristram Hunt, he is at time of writing still Director of the V&A, still getting that hugely-generous salary and expenses, and has, no doubt, long ago forgotten the people of “his” once-Labour constituency at Stoke-on-Trent…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tristram_Hunt