SIR - Further to Mr Cole's analysis of the recent by-election in Batley and Spen in which only 37,695 votes were cast as opposed to 52,927 in 2019, a reduction of over 15k. ( T&A, 6 July). Labour's share of the vote fell from 42.7per cent to 35.3per cent while the Conservatives' fell from 36per cent to 34.4per cent.

No doubt Mr Galloway took a significant amount from Labour but the low turnout is significant. Many Labour voters may have chosen not to vote at all, hardly a ringing endorsement for the party's long term future. Whilst Paul Halloran, an Independent candidate, gained 6,400 votes in 2019, perhaps many who had voted for him decided not to vote for other candidates this time. The assumption that they would have largely voted Conservative had proven false.

The result can thus be considered anomalous and not a barometer for future elections.

Alec Suchi, Allerton Road, Bradford