Batley and Spen by-election 2021: when will constituency vote to replace MP Tracy Brabin - and what were 2019 results?

After losing one by-election in a spectacular fashion, Labour could be set for another shock loss in the coming months

Another hard-fought by-election is due to take place next month, after the Conservatives won the Hartlepool contest in May.

Labour will again be forced to defend a seat in the North of England which they stand a high chance of losing, though this time some believe they have even worse chances of holding it.

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The by-election will take place in the Batley and Spen constituency, in West Yorkshire, which Labour has held since 1997.

Batley and Spen by-election 2021: when will constituency vote to replace MP Tracy Brabin - and what were 2019 results? (Photo by Ian Forsyth - WPA Pool /Getty Images)

Why will there be a by-election?

There will be a by-election in Batley and Spen because the constituency’s current MP has to step down from her current role to take on the job of West Yorkshire metro mayor.

Tracy Brabin won the first West Yorkshire Mayoral election with 310,923 votes, it was announced yesterday.

The West Yorkshire mayoral role includes the powers of Police and Crime Commissioner, which cannot be held by a sitting MP.

This is unlike the role of South Yorkshire mayor, held by Brabin’s Labour colleague Dan Jarvis, who retains his Barnsley seat as well as the mayoral office in a dual role.

Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham both had to step down from their seats as MPs to take on their current roles as mayors of Greater London and Greater Manchester, respectively.

When will the by-election take place?

The Batley and Spen by-election will take place on 1 July.

The by-election process is formally started when the chief whip from the party of the MP stepping down moves a motion in parliament, this is then generally accepted by the house.

Who is the favourite to win?

While the by-election has only just been confirmed following Brabin’s election, the bookmakers have already started receiving bets on the outcome.

Ladbrokes Politics currently has the Conservatives in the lead, followed by Labour.

Smaller parties are expected to factor in the contest, with the local independent party, Heavy Woolen District, likely to stand and secure a significant vote-share.

The Northern Independence Party are also likely to stand a candidate, despite their poor showing in the Hartlepool by-election.

Thelma Walker, the party’s candidate in that race, is likely to stand in Batley and Spen, due to her connection to the area as a former MP for the neighbouring constituency of Colne Valley.

A spokesperson for Ladbrokes Politics said: “The early betting has mostly been on the Tories and the odds have moved quite a bit in their favour since yesterday, from 1/2 to 1/4.

“Although it's a very different seat to Hartlepool, I think a lot of people are expecting this to be very tricky for Labour. A lot may depend on who they pick to replace a very popular candidate.”

Currently the odds are as follows:

Conservatives - 1/4 Labour - 3/1 Heavy Woolen District - 33/1 Greens - 100/1 Lib Dems - 100/1 Northern Independence Party - 200/1

What were the 2019 general election results?

Judging by the results at the last general election in 2019, Batley and Spen will be a difficult hold for Labour.

Like many places in the North of England, Labour managed to hold on in Batley and Spen in 2019, but this might only have been because another party attracted a significant number of votes which might otherwise have gone to the Conservatives.

Unlike many of these places though, like Hartlepool and Hull, it wasn’t the Brexit Party who split the vote to keep the Tories out, but a local party, the Heavy Woolen District.

Here are the results from the 2019 general election

Labour, Tracy Brabin – 22,594, 42.7 per cent Conservative, Mark Brooks – 19,069, 36.0 per cent Heavy Woollen District Independents, Paul Halloran – 6,432 12.2 per cent Liberal Democrats, John Lawson – 2,462, 4.7 per cent Brexit Party, Clive Minihan – 1,678, 3.2 per cent Green, Ty Akram – 692, 1.3 per cent