Labour have won the Mid Bedfordshire by-election, overturning a Conservative majority of 24,664.

Alistair Strathern's victory means that the constituency will have a Labour MP for the first time in its 105-year history.

The vote was called when Nadine Dorries resigned as a Conservative MP two months ago. She had held the seat since 2005, and the Conservatives had held it continuously since 1931.

But Mr Strathern's victory - the largest numerical majority ever overturned in a by-election - brings an end to that 92-year run.

The Comet: Alistair Strathern celebrates Labour's victory with Sir Keir Starmer.Alistair Strathern celebrates Labour's victory with Sir Keir Starmer. (Image: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

He won 13,872 votes, gaining a majority of 1,192 over the second-placed Conservative candidate, Festus Akinbusoye.

Mr Strathern hailed the result as "a historic moment", and said that it was "only possible because the Labour party has changed" and "moved where the country is".

He said that residents of Mid Beds had "made the decision it was time for a change" after "decades of being taken for granted, feeling left behind [and] being under-represented".

Emma Holland-Lindsay, the Liberal Democrat candidate, came third with 9,420 votes.

Turnout was 44 per cent, down from 74 per cent in the constituency at the 2019 general election - when the Labour candidate came second with 14,028 votes.

Labour also won a by-election in Tamworth yesterday - the first time the party has won two by-elections on the same day since 1962.

Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, said: “These are phenomenal results that show Labour is back in the service of working people and redrawing the political map.

“Winning in these Tory strongholds shows that people overwhelmingly want change and they’re ready to put their faith in our changed Labour Party to deliver it."

Alistair Strathern's victory speech in full

"I want to start by saying a huge thank you to everyone involved in the count tonight.

"This election hasn't always felt the quickest by-election - as I'm sure the candidates behind me can pay testament to - but I am deeply grateful for your work in promoting the election, supporting the election, and in conducting such a thorough and efficient count tonight.

"Because, tonight, residents across Mid Bedfordshire made history.

"After decades of being taken for granted, feeling left behind [and] being under represented, they made the decision it was time for a change. It was time to deserve better. It was time to get better politics, higher standards, and it's time for Labour.


"But this victory is only possible because the Labour party has changed. Under new leadership, we have moved where the country is, and where Mid Bedfordshire is.

"We're a party that's fit for sound economic policy, a party that's going to deliver safer streets, and get our NHS back on its feet again.

"We love our country and its traditions; a country where playing by the rules matters, where ambition and hard work are rewarded, and where everyone has a chance to succeed in life.

"That's the Bedfordshire I grew up in, and that's the Bedfordshire that's delivered a resounding message tonight.

"And that is why people are turning to Labour. Our values as a party are shared by people across our county - towns, cities, and yes, even rural villages in farming communities like those right across Bedfordshire.

"Nowhere is off limits for this Labour party, and tonight's result proves it.

"I set about trying to send a message here. We knew that we had a chance, but we knew we were going to have to work hard.

The Comet: Mr Strathern arrives at the count with his partner, Megan.Mr Strathern arrives at the count with his partner, Megan. (Image: PA Images/PA Wire)

"People here had been given good reason to doubt politics, to be sceptical that it could be there for them, and there for their values.

"And I am so, so proud of everyone involved in this campaign for showing them that they can have better - that politics can speak up for the towns and villages across Mid Bedfordshire, it can speak up for our values, and those values have a home here in the Labour party.

"To those who put your trust in me, particularly those of you who voted Labour for the first time: I won't let you down.

"From tomorrow until the day of the general election, I will be working hard to show you [that] you made the right choice in me and you made the right choice in Labour, to speak for your values and to champion them locally and in parliament.

"I'll work day and night to repay you, to show your trust is in the right place, to show you that decency can have a place in our politics again.

"As your MP, I'll be a man of my word. Me and Megan [his partner] will be living here by your side, we'll be accessible to you, and find a voice for you when you need it most.

"A real pleasure for me throughout this campaign has been the thousands and thousands of conversations I've got to have with so many of you.

"And to all of you who took the time to speak to me, to give me a hearing, whether you supported me or not - thank you.

"Your conversations, your engagement, your support, has been such a powerful motivator through a campaign that went on several days, several months, several wet days, several sunny days, but got us to where we are today - a historic message and a historic moment.

"But throughout all of that one conversation really sticks with me. Recently, over the last month, I had the pleasure of meeting a man called Neville, in his 90s. He'd been voting Labour his entire life, first under Clement Attlee.

"He's lived in Bedfordshire his entire life - every time he's showed up at the general election to cast his vote for Labour, to not see a Labour MP returned.

"Well, today, Neville, I have to say, I hope the wait was worth it! Thank you for your patience, thank you for your support Mid Bedfordshire, and thank you for supporting me to give us a much stronger voice in parliament.

"Thank you."