Who are the candidates in this crucial seat?

The Conservatives won 47.3 per cent of the vote, Labour 39.8 per cent, the Brexit Party 6.1 per cent and the Liberal Democrats 3.9 per cent. 

But the Tories have since lost some of their national support, with Sir Keir Starmer’s party currently leading the opinion polls after years in the wilderness under Jeremy Corbyn.

Who are the candidates?

Listed by surname (in alphabetical order), the candidates are as follows:

  • Nadeem Ahmed, Conservative Party
  • Akef Akbar, Independent
  • Paul Bickerdike, Christian Peoples Alliance
  • Mick Dodgson, Freedom Alliance. Real People. Real Alternative
  • Sir Archibald Stanton Earl ‘Eaton, The Official Monster Raving Loony Party
  • Jayda Fransen, Independent
  • Jordan James Gaskell, UK Independence Party
  • David John Rowntree Herdson, Yorkshire Party
  • Therese Hirst, English Democrats
  • Christopher Richard Jones, Northern Independence Party
  • Simon Robert Lightwood, Labour Party
  • Jamie Luke Needle, Liberal Democrats
  • Ashley Theo Blue Routh, Green Party
  • Ashlea Simon, Britain First
  • Chris Walsh, Reform UK

Nadeem Ahmed, the Conservative candidate, has been a councillor in Wakefield since 2006 and was described by party chairman Oliver Dowden as “a strong local voice for Wakefield, helping us level up there and across the whole United Kingdom”.

Mr Ahmed has backed the Boris Johnson throughout partygate and said he remains a “great asset” to the Conservatives.

Simon Lightwood, the Labour candidate, is a member of the party’s national policy forum and works for the NHS. He sits on Yorkshire Labour’s regional board.

Labour was accused of breaching its own rules by limiting the number of local party representatives allowed to participate in the shortlisting process, leading the entire executive committee of the local constituency party to walk out in disgust

Labour insisted local members made the final choice on a “strong champion” for the city.

What could the result mean?

The result of the by-election will be announced in the early hours of Friday, June 24.

Depending on the outcome, Wakefield could either be a triumph or a disaster for Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer alike.

A Conservative win would be a major political victory for Mr Johnson after he survived the June 6 confidence vote. 

It would renew faith in his leadership across his divided parliamentary party, while also vindicating his claims voters are less “obsessive” about partygate than the media and are still happy with his Government’s record.

But if the party were to lose, it would signal renewed Tory vulnerability in the 45 ‘Red Wall’ constituencies that turned blue for the first time in a generation in 2019. 

There would be questions over whether Mr Johnson can ever fully regain public trust, and about the true success of the ‘levelling-up agenda’ if northern voters reject the Tories.

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