By-election results in Mid-Bedfordshire and Tamworth show the Conservative Party lost both seats by less than the number of votes cast for Reform UK.
While the by-election results in both constituencies clearly highlight the public's appetite for change, they also show the fragility of our electoral system.
As the graphs below show, in both Mid-Bedfordshire and Tamworth, the Conservative Party would have won a majority had Reform UK stood aside - as they did in 2019 and 2017 - and their votes gone to the Tories.
It is clear from these results that Nigel Farage will be a key element in the general election next year. And this comes in the wider context of yesterday, when Farage boasted that he’d be “very surprised” if he wasn’t Conservative leader by 2026. As well as the Tory Conference, just past, where he was a bit of a star attraction.
Cal Roscow, Director of Best for Britain, said,
“Labour should celebrate what was a very good night for them, but with the Reform UK securing almost the exact number of votes that the Tories lost by, alarm bells should be ringing for those fearful of a repeat of 2019 as Farage has stood down candidates for the Conservatives at the last two general elections.
“If opposition parties won’t meet this likely electoral pact with one of their own, people must vote tactically at the next election to ensure we get a new government.”