In what turned out to be an unpredictable by-election, and for all the wrong reasons, Gareth Snell has managed to cling on to Stoke Central for the Labour Party by a whisker. This will come as a relief for Jeremy Corbyn as it means that he has not succeeded in causing the centre-left party to become that unpopular in its traditional heartlands, but equally, Snell may well present a liability to the Labour Leader. This by-election victory is two sides of the same coin for him.
One has to feel sorry for Stoke Central’s electorate. This year, they have been presented with a choice of dumb and dumber. Snell has presented himself in the most despicable manner ever. here is plenty of news about him on Google. He had to apologise for a series of offensive tweets aimed at women on TV programmes like Loose Women and BBC Question Time, in which he called the panelists on the former ‘squabbling sour-faced ladies’ and Janet Street-Porter as a ‘polished turd.’
On top of that, he referred to Brexit as a ‘pile of s**t‘, not the sort of comment necessary in what is meant to be the ‘Brexit capital of Britain.’
And then there is Paul Nuttall, the UKIP Leader who has staked his entire political career on winning this seat from the jaws of Labour. His campaign has been a series of hap hazards too. He made claims that he lost friends at Hillsborough, but then burst into tears in front of his party members for admitting to that error. He suggested on his website that he was asked to be the CEO of North West Training Council in 2009, but the organisation confirmed he was never invited in the first place. Not to mention the fiasco over not actually living in the constituency.
It is a pity that Conservative candidate, Jack Brereton, never won in Stoke. As Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group on Stoke-on-Trent Council and he brought in £500 million of investment into his community. He is also a Governor for Hillside Primary School. He has been completely out of the spotlight in terms of scandals and is a local guy who has been dedicated to his hometown.
It is a shame that he did not win this time, but let us hope he gets awarded with a more winnable seat for his sterling efforts and classy behaviour during this campaign.
Corbyn may be safe now that his candidate kept this seat for his party, but given Snell’s history, there is no doubt that he may be a thorn in the side for the Labour Leader. With his opposition to Brexit quite apparent too, this willing only add to the socialist’s woes in trying to unite the people of Stoke.
If he continues to behave in such an embarrassing manner, it is only a matter of time before Stoke Central has to conduct another by-election. And if they do, let’s pray a decent candidate wins this time.