Reality Check: Has a governing party won a by-election since 1878?

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech on Brexit

Mrs May said the Copeland result showed that the Conservatives are the party "listening and responding" to working people across Britain.

It was also the first time since 1982 that a governing party had won a Commons seat from the Opposition.

Copeland had been held by Labour for more than 80 years - the Tories' Trudy Harrison won with 13,748 votes to Labour's Gillian Throughton's 11,601.

'It's been very clear talking to people throughout this campaign that Jeremy Corbyn doesn't represent them, ' Harrison, 40, said in her victory speech.

But there was some comfort for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn after his party held on to a parliamentary seat in the English city of Stoke.

Copeland is home to the Sellafield nuclear power plant, and much was made of Jeremy Corbyn's anti-nuclear stance throughout the campaign.

But ironically, on the same night he suffered the personal blow of losing Copeland, one of the defining decisions of his leadership - not to oppose Theresa May on Article 50 - was vindicated, at least to a degree, in Stoke-on-Trent Central, where the party ran a campaign demonstrating new-found enthusiasm for Brexit, a stance that probably helped their candidate Gareth Snell over the line in a constituency where almost 70 percent backed Brexit.

He accused the UK Independence Party of pulling out in Copeland to give the Conservatives a free run, and said the Tories had pulled out in Stoke to give Paul Nuttall a free run.

Meanwhile Gerald Jones, a Labour shadow Welsh minister, told BBC Radio Wales the result was "a significant set back for us as a party and one that we have to now rebuild from".

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But in practice, the two, both widely respected, left because they could not see a future for their party under Mr Corbyn. Prepare to be told that this defeat is not Jeremy Corbyn's fault, but behind the spin, Corbyn's misjudgements are the cause of Labour's woes.

They won 42.3 per cent of votes in the 2015 General Election with Jamie Reed as their candidate, 6.5 percentage points above the Tories' share of 35.8 per cent.

The NHS was an issue that we campaigned on but the nuclear [issue] dominated and we couldn't cut through on that one...

UKIP finished with 24.72% of the vote, just ahead of the Conservatives' Jack Brereton on 24.35%.

"Two years ago at the last election that had collapsed down to about 4% more than we got yesterday".

Labour had fought the campaign arguing that it was best placed to protect a local hospital.

And she claimed hard-left "entryism" into Labour under Mr Corbyn's leadership mean Tory victory in the polls is even more crucial.

Labour had held both seats since their creation. It's likely that Corbyn will now shamelessly cling on for at least half a year until Labour Party Conference, where he and his team will seek to change the rules to ensure his successor is from the same part of the party.

"We have to got to work out how we are going to build alliances with people who share our values across the political parties, but also those outside politics".

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