Stretford and Urmston by-election: Time for a Labour government, says Starmer after win – BBC

Sir Keir Starmer has said "it's time for a Labour government", after the party comfortably held Stretford and Urmston in a by-election.
The Labour leader said the result, which saw the party increase its share of the vote, showed people were "fed up of 12 years of Tory failure".
Andrew Western secured 70% of the vote, with an 11% swing from the Tories.
Labour had been expected to retain the Greater Manchester seat, which they have held since it was created in 1997.
But the fact the result was in little doubt, plus the bitterly cold weather on polling day, led to only a quarter of eligible voters turning out.
Another factor in the low turnout may have been problems with postal ballots amid ongoing industrial action.
Mr Western, who has led Trafford Council within the constituency since 2018, achieved a majority of 9,906.
The 37-year-old succeeds Kate Green, who resigned last month after being nominated as deputy mayor of Greater Manchester.
Sir Keir congratulated Mr Western on Twitter, although he is not expected to visit the constituency following the result.
Tory peer and pollster Lord Hayward said the result was "disappointing but not bad" for the Conservatives, pointing out that the swing to Labour was smaller than in a recent by-election in Chester.
However, he told Sky News other Tory MPs in the area, including Sir Graham Brady, who represents nearby Altrincham and Sale West and is chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers, would be "concerned".
"There's been a trend away from the Conservatives in that belt of south and west Manchester," he added.
By Sir John Curtice, Professor of Politics, Strathclyde University
If you take this and Labour's victory in the Chester by-election earlier this month together, they are basically consistent with the evidence of the opinion polls – Labour are now in a stronger position than they have been at any point since David Cameron entered 10 Downing Street as prime minister in 2010.
Therefore the challenge that the Conservatives are facing is certainly a very substantial one. Can Prime Minister Rishi Sunak persuade voters to ignore what happened in the Liz Truss administration?
Mr Sunak does have a personal reputation for economic competence that does not, at the moment, extend to his party.
Can he, in the very difficult economic circumstances the government now faces, have any chance of turning things around?
The Stretford and Urmston constituency includes the Old Trafford area around Manchester United's stadium.
The count was held in a large suite there because the usual venues had long been booked for Christmas parties.
Mr Western said the result sent out a "strong message", showing 12 years of Conservative government was "coming to an end".
Emily Carter-Kandola trailed a distant second for the Tories, with a 16% share of the vote.
Thanking voters who braved -6C conditions to back him, Mr Western said it "must hold the record for the coldest polling day".
He added: "It's clear from the result, and from the conversations I have had with voters throughout the campaign, that the public want a general election.
"The Tories have given up on governing and it is increasingly clear that the British people are giving up on them.
"Labour stands ready to deliver for our country and only Labour has a plan for working people and to create a fairer, greener, future."
It is the second by-election victory for Labour this month, after the party easily held Chester.
Recent national opinion polls suggest Labour have a substantial lead over the Conservatives, which grew with the turbulence of Liz Truss's premiership.
The government is also grappling with soaring prices, an economic downturn and a wave of strike action.
By Kevin Fitzpatrick, political reporter, BBC Radio Manchester
As expected, this was a resounding victory for Labour.
The freezing temperatures on polling day and a lack of jeopardy appear to have contributed to a low turnout but it's the percentage share of the vote that the parties are focused on.
By-elections are always tricky for a party of government and this one – in a Labour stronghold, in a cost-of-living crisis – was always going to be harder than most for the Tories.
But it does all add to the growing sense of momentum that Labour are building as they become increasingly bullish about their chances of returning to power at the next general election.
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