Voters will go to the polls today for the Peterborough by-election, with the Brexit Party set for an overwhelming victory.
The marginal constituency, which voted Leave by 60.9% in the 2016 EU Referendum, has historically been a close-run battle between Labour and Conservatives.
However, Nigel Farage’s party has topped polls in the lead up to Thursday’s vote, and remains the bookies’ favourite.
Fifteen candidates are standing in the by-election, which was called after Peterborough’s previous MP Fiona Onasanya was forced out for lying to police about a speeding offence.
Onasanya was elected as a Labour MP in 2017 with a with a wafer-thin majority of 607, but was suspended from the party after she was jailed for three months for perverting the course of justice.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have campaigned hard ahead of the June 6 by-election, with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, former prime minister Gordon Brown and Tory heavyweights Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt all visiting the city in the run-up.
But the Brexit Party, which won 29 seats in the European elections, has driven a hard push for its first Westminster seat, and its candidate Mike Greene is now tipped to win.
Labour’s by-election candidate, Unite activist Lisa Forbes, faced controversy in the week before the poll over a Facebook post she “liked” which accused Theresa May of having a “Zionist slave masters agenda”.
She later apologised “wholeheartedly for not calling out these posts” in an interview with the Sunday Times, insisting she had liked the video attached to the post, “not the views expressed in the accompanying text”.
She said she would “deepen” her “understanding of anti-Semitism so I can act as an ally, challenging it wherever it occurs”.
“And by saying far-right, I include the Brexit Party,” she said.
“They breed division, fear and anger. They pull communities apart. And the Labour Party’s mission is to bring communities together.”
However, members of the majority Brexit-backing constituency have said they would be backing Nigel Farage’s party to send a clear message to the British establishment.
Peterborough local Melanie Adams told the Express Mr Greene would receive her vote, because three years on from the EU referendum, “I want to be out of Europe.
“The EU is totally undemocratic, we didn’t vote for them and can’t get them out. They’re all on a gravy train, I want us to rule ourselves.”
Candidates standing in the Peterborough by-election:
– Brexit Party: Mike Greene
Christian Peoples Alliance: Tom Rogers
Common Good: Remain In The EU: Dick Rodgers
Conservatives: Paul Bristow
English Democrats: Stephen Goldspink
Greens: Joseph Wells
Independent: Andrew Moore
Independent: Bobby Smith
Labour: Lisa Forbes
Liberal Democrats: Beki Sellick
Monster Raving Loony: Alan “Howling Laud” Hope
Renew: Peter Ward
SDP: Patrick O’Flynn
UK European Union Party: Pierre Kirk
Ukip: John Whitby