Labour retains seat in Oldham West and Royton by-election

Labour has retained its seat in Oldham West and Royton, in the first by-election of this parliament.

Jim McMahon, the 35 year old leader of Oldham Council, comfortably saw off challenge from UKIP candidate John Bickley, securing a 10,722 vote majority.

The by-election was triggered by the death of Labour’s Michael Meacher, who won with a majority of 14,738 in May’s general election.

Despite Meacher’s larger majority, McMahon won 62 per cent of the vote share, which represents a 7.5 per cent increase compared to the general election. This is due to the lower turn out of 40.26 per cent, down from 59.6 per cent in May.

In a statement McMahon said: “I am delighted to have been elected tonight. Michael Meacher was a close friend of mine and he was admired by people across the country as someone who worked tirelessly for the causes he believed in. I will do my best to live up to those high standards.

“My sole focus has always been on what is best for Oldham, I want to make our town a better place for my sons to grow up in and make it somewhere they can be proud of, my priority will always be Oldham.

“We also need to remember what is currently at stake under this Tory government. While everyone is looking the other way they are quietly pushing through cuts that will change the face of towns like Oldham.

“The sooner we kick the Tories out and get a Labour government back in the better for all of us. The hard work starts now.”