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More woes for Brown as Labour loses by-poll

world Updated: May 23, 2008 10:54 IST

PTI
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Within three weeks of Labour performing poorly in the local elections, the party lost a key by-election this morning, further queering the pitch for Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Considered a Labour stronghold, the Crewe and Nantwich seat was won convincingly by the Conservative candidate, Edward Timpson, registering the party's first by-election gain in 26 years.

Timpson won 7,860 more votes, which was the margin of victory of the Labour's candidate, Gwyneth Dunwoody, in the last election.

The by-election was caused by Dunwoody's death, and Labour fielded her daughter, Tamsin.

The election result is expected to increase voices of criticism against the leadership qualities of Brown, who recently came under fierce attack over tax policies.

Several Labour MPs have openly questioned his ability to lead the party to victory in the next general election scheduled to be held in the next two years.

Some party MPs are no longer sure if brown should remain the party leader before the elections are called.

The Conservative Party's last by-election gain was in Mitcham and Morden, south-west London, in 1982.