Rishi Sunak braced for triple by-election defeat as polls close

Michael Gove warns by-elections will be difficult

Rishi Sunak faces a nerve-wracking wait until the early hours to see if the Tories have managed to win the three by-elections.

Voters headed to the ballot box in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Selby and Ainsty, and Somerton and Frome, on Thursday with polling closing at 10pm. The results are expected in the early hours of Friday.

The Prime Minister braced MPs at a meeting of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers on the eve of the polls that they face a “tough battle” in what were seen as safe seats for his party.

Labour hopes to take Uxbridge and South Ruislip, Boris Johnson’s former London constituency, and Selby and Ainsty in North Yorkshire, which was vacated by his ally Nigel Adams.

The Lib Dems are eying victory in the contest in Somerton and Frome in Somerset that was triggered by David Warburton quitting after admitting cocaine use amid allegations of sexual harassment.


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