2021 Batley and Spen by-election

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Event.png 2021 Batley and Spen by-election  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
BandS result.jpg
Date1 July 2021
DescriptionA by-election in the parliamentary constituency of Batley and Spen.

The 2021 Batley and Spen by-election was held on 1 July 2021 following the resignation of Tracy Brabin MP on 10 May 2021.[1]

Labour candidate Kim Leadbeater, sister of murdered MP Jo Cox, was elected with 13,296 votes. Conservative candidate Ryan Stephenson came second with 12,973 votes and former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway came third with 8,264 votes.[2] The Labour majority was just 323 votes in this Red Wall seat, which has returned Labour MPs since 1997.[3]


A Labour Party leaflet uses an image of Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi

Labour could lose

On 14 June 2021, The Times reported:

Labour’s support among British Muslims has fallen by a tenth under Sir Keir Starmer’s leadership, a poll reveals, amid party fears that it will lose next month’s by-election in Batley & Spen.

Starmer’s popularity lags far behind that of his party among Muslim voters after criticisms of his stance on Kashmir, Palestine and a report on Islamophobia in the party, according to poll findings seen by The Times.

The Labour leader has a favourability rating of minus 7 per cent among Muslim voters, compared with his party’s rating of 42 per cent.[4]

On 22 June 2021, Keir Starmer removed his political director as part of a wider reshuffle of his team ahead of the Batley and Spen by-election on July 1 where the Labour leader could face defeat.[5]

Number one issue

MOATS Episode 106 (27 June 2021)

George Galloway, the Workers Party of Britain candidate, is running on a pro-Palestinian, anti-Keir Starmer platform and launched his campaign on 3 June 2021.[6]

On 14 June 2021, Aaron Bastani of Novara Media tweeted:

"Not long ago former Labour MP Anna Turley wrote that Labour must ignore issues like Palestine if it wants to win. Now everyone I speak to in Batley and Spen says it’s the number one issue (yes, really) among most Labour voters. I guess she’s a former MP for a reason."[7]

On 17 June, Galloway spoke to BBC Newsnight and said that he wants to play a historic part in toppling Starmer, and be a strong voice for Batley & Spen.[8]

On 18 June, Guido Fawkes exclusively reported that Labour was circulating a leaflet in the Mount Pleasant area of the constituency about Palestine.[9]

Leadbeater pulled out of a debate with Galloway on 19 June.[10] Galloway then attended it alone.[11]

Episode 106 of George Galloway's Mother Of All Talk Shows accused Labour party members and journalist Paul Mason of disseminating fake photos of him carrying weapons including an AK47 rifle during the by-election campaign. Galloway said he would be taking legal action against them.[12]

A meme featuring the Mayor and her husband.

On 28 June, Galloway's poster was pulled down by Labour’s former Mayor of Kirklees, councillor Gwen Lowe and her husband.[13]

Media coverage

On 30 June 2021, Inaya Folarin Iman went to Batley to cover the by-election for GB News. Labour Party MPs and activists refused to speak to them, but George Galloway did. Kim Leadbeater hasn't spoken to the media.[14]

Galloway was also ambushed in a shambolic BBC interview.[15]

Labour think they have a 5% chance at winning.[16]


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:Batley and Spen by-election: Palestine becomes potential dealbreakerArticle18 June 2021Alex MacDonaldAccording to Coral, Galloway is currently on 50/1 odds to win, compared to 2/1 for Leadbeater and 2/5 for Conservative candidate Ryan Stephenson. William Hill has the Conservatives on 1/3, Labour at 5/2 and the WPGB at 33/1.
Document:Labour has ignored its voters – it is now paying the priceArticle24 June 2021Paddy HannamGeorge Galloway speaks to Spiked Online about the problems faced by the Labour Party, and his campaign in the 2021 Batley and Spen by-election
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