Jeremy Corbyn has hailed Labour’s Oldham by-election victory as a “clear demonstration that Labour is the party working people trust.”
Its candidate Jim McMahon won a 10,722-vote majority from UKIP’s John Bickley, and a 62% vote share that was higher than at the general election.
The election followed the death of former Labour MP Michael Meacher in October.
Mr Corbyn said: “By-elections can be difficult for the party holding the seat, and turnouts often low. But to increase our share of the vote since the general election is a vote of confidence in our party.
“It’s a clear demonstration that Labour is the party working people trust.”
The contest was predicted to be a closer fight with UKIP, and Nigel Farage has criticised what he deemed a “perverse” result.
“I’ve been involved in thirty by-elections and no result has shocked me as much as this one.
“Some very odd things happened yesterday, there was a fifteen per cent increase in the number of postal votes yesterday and stories of practices that shouldn’t happen in a modern democracy.”
Mr Farage claims people came to polling stations with bundles of postage votes and this has led to “bent” election results. He does not accept that the results are a vote of confidence for Jeremy Corbyn as many of the voters do not speak English but were keen on voting Labour even though they did not know who Jeremy Corbyn was.
“That means the electoral process is now dead”.
Mr Corbyn said UKIP had benefited from a “protest vote”.
McMahon supported Liz Kendall in the Labour Party leadership election in September but claimed in a speech on Wednesday that “Jeremy has my full support”.
A spokesperson from Scottish Labour said: “This is a great victory for Labour across the UK.”