A BY-ELECTION triggered by the death of MP Jo Cox has been won by Labour candidate and former soap star Tracy Brabin.
The former Coronation Street and Emmerdale actress won comfortably, with nearly 86 per cent of the vote for the Batley and Spen seat on October 20.
Brabin, 55, secured a majority of 16,375, winning a total of 17,506 votes. The English Democrats had 969 votes, the BNP came in with 548, and the One Love Party had 34 votes.
The Conservatives, UKIP, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party did not contest the seat as a sign of respect to Mrs Cox.
The 41-year-old mother-of-two was shot and stabbed in Birstall, on June 16 as she walked to a constituency surgery.
Thomas Mair, 53, from Birstall, is due to go on trial next month on four charges relating to Mrs Cox’s death.
During her acceptance speech Brabin, who was born in Batley, referred to her victory as a “bittersweet occasion”.
She said: “I hope Jo will be proud tonight of our community. We have shown that we stand together with one voice choosing unity and hope.”
Karl Berry, 24, of York Road, Batley, said: “Everyone in the community was shocked at Jo’s death. It hit home for a lot of us. She was killed whilst doing her job – a job she was great at.
“I was pleased when the results showed Tracy had won, I think she’s the only candidate that can fill the role, she’s the only one with the concerns that Jo had.”
Jo Cox’s widower, Brendan Cox has been a key supporter in Brabin’s campaign. He took to Twitter to show his support during the campaign and also to congratulate her on her success: “Well done @Tracy4MP & great to see all the purveyors of hate lose their deposits #MoreInCommon.”
Brabin says as well as community cohesion she will focus on improvements to transport links to Leeds and Bradford, and halting the downgrading of Dewsbury hospital.
Tracy Brabin was unavailable to comment before publication.