Labour rival camps were today battling to put their spin on the results of council by-elections which included another shock by-election defeat to the Liberal Democrats.
Centrists activists claimed the defeat in North East Derbyshire, in which Labour’s vote collapsed nearly in half, was an indicator of the public’s lack of faith in Jeremy Corbyn.
Supporters of the leader pointed, however, to Labour local authority wins in Carlisle and Newcastle.
The Tupton seat is barely 10 miles from the Sports Direct in Shirebrook, which has been the focus of much campaigning by Jeremy Corbyn, and his predecessor, Ed Miliband, over the appalling working conditions.
Tupton (North East Derbyshire) result:
LDEM: 38.3% (+38.3)
LAB: 34.7% (-32.4)
CON: 17.5% (-15.4)
UKIP: 8.9% (+8.9)
BPP: 0.7% (+0.7)
The Tupton by-election was triggered when Wayne Lilleyman, the sitting councillor, stepped down after admitting biting a teenager on the nose.
The defeat comes after similarly poor results in Mosborough, in Sheffield, which local MP Angela Smith said in a LabourList article was due to “traditional Labour voters [who] refused to vote for Jeremy Corbyn”, and Grangefield, in Stockton.