Will Labour win Copeland?

Doorstep feedback 'positive', says Labour. May visits next week

New Statesman

Who will win the Copeland by-election?

No governing party has gained a seat in a by-election since 1982, but the Conservatives have a good chance of breaking that streak in Copeland. In a measure both of the closeness and the confidence around the Conservative camp, Theresa May wil make a campaign stop there. Sitting Prime Ministers often stay away from by-elections, not least to minimise any idea that the contest is about them.

Although the seat has been Labour-held (under various names) since 1935, the wider context could scarcely be more favourable for a Conservative pick-up.

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Copeland by-election: Who are the candidates?

Voters go to the polls next Thursday (Feb 23) to elect a replacement for Labour MP Jamie Reed, who quit Parliament to work in the nuclear industry.

It's one of two by-elections taking place that day, with Labour also defending the seat of Stoke-on-Trent Central.

The remote coastal seat of Copeland is mainly rural, farming country and includes Scafell Pike, England's tallest mountain, and Wastwater, its deepest lake, which was named Britain's favourite view in 2007.

It is also home to the fishing port of Whitehaven and the Sellafield nuclear processing site, which employs over 10,000 people.

Labour has chosen pro-nuclear Gill Troughton as its candidate. The councillor and former doctor and ambulance driver was chosen from an all-woman shortlist.

Up against her for the Conservatives is Trudy Harrison, who lives in the village of Bootle and was a parish councillor for a number of years.

UKIP has chosen its 2015 general election candidate, Fiona Mills.

Representing the Liberal Democrats are Rebecca Hanson and the Green Party Jack Lenox .

There are also two independent candidates - Michael Guest and Roy Ivinson.

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Business Insider

Labour now believes it will win a narrow victory in the Copeland by-election

Labour expects to win in Copeland by a narrow winning margin of around 500 votes

Feedback on doorsteps in Copeland has been "a lot more positive" than reports suggests

Prime Minister Theresa May to visit Cumbria later this week

Labour also expects to win in Stoke with a winning margin of around 5,000 votes

Theresa May is set to visit Copeland this week with the Conservatives feeling increasingly confident of snatching the seat from Labour at next week's crucial by-election.

Tory candidate Trudy Harrison is currently odds-on to win the Cumbrian seat on Thursday, February 23. This is despite that the fact that Copeland has been in Labour's control since 1931.

But this time around the situation is different for Labour. Copeland is a quintessential "heartland" seat. It's a pro-Brexit, working-class, socially conservative stronghold, hundreds of miles away from metropolitan London.

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