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Gibson may stand as independent in Norwich by-election

Michael Crick | 14:53 UK time, Friday, 26 June 2009

Ian Gibson, who stood down as Labour MP for Norwich North last month, has hinted to me that he may stand as an independent in the forthcoming by-election for the seat.

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Talking to Newsnight in his first TV interview since he announced his resignation, Dr Gibson refuses to rule out the possibility of standing as an independent. He implies that his decision will partly depend on who Labour pick as their candidate to replace him.

The national Labour Party will tomorrow reduce the current shortlist of around 12-13 contenders down to three names. Members of the Norwich Labour Party are due to meet on Sunday to choose their candidate from these three.

Gibson is a popular figure in Norwich and if he does stand in the by-election, it would probably wreck any chance Labour has of keeping the seat. The Conservatives need a swing of just under six per cent to win Norwich North, an easy target in the current political climate.

An ICM poll in Norwich North commissioned by Norwich University and College Union gives the Tories a four per cent lead over Labour - 34 per cent to 30 per cent. The poll suggests the Lib Dems will simply be fighting Greens to avoid coming fourth, with the Lib Dems on 15 per cent and the Greens on 14 per cent.


  • Comment number 1.

    It would be marvellous to see Labour routed yet again until the final denouement of a General Election!

  • Comment number 2.

    Gibson is anti-Brown so he may win it, anyone anti-Brown must have a chance and he is hardly a signed up member of the NuLabour fan club..

  • Comment number 3.

    Dr Gibson should just retire into the sunset with his bag of swag.

    I was surprised to hear that Dr Gibson is a popular figure in Norwich, from reading the local media online it looks like he is as popular as the football team just down the road in Ipswich !!.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Ian Gibson has to be the best MP to have ever served Norwich he always made himself avaiable for questions and helped many a just cause locally over the years. He wasnt a yes man and that was his downfall its a shame other politicians don't follow his lead and stay true to their beliefs instead of always pampering to the few at the top !!

  • Comment number 6.

    There is no doubt that this is a mjor blow for any local candidates that thought they would be able to steal this seat from Labour, especially the Conservatives who only needed a 6% swing to take the seat. Dr Gibson is a popular figure in Norwich and considered a good MP without. Standing as an independent will only strengthen is non-partisan image and I wouldn't be surprised if he won the bi-election.

  • Comment number 7.

    Just imagine the incandescent rage Gordon Brown would be thrown into if an "Independent" Dr Gibson was re-elected ahead of the Conservatives with the Liberals in third and the "official New Labour" candidate coming in 4th?


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