By-election set to be close call

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BALLOT papers for the Rotherham by-election were being counted last night with a low turnout expected.

The election was called after the resignation of former MP Denis MacShane for dishonest expenses claims.

Front-runner for the seat has been Labour candidate Sarah Champion but she faced a challenge from Respect - which targeted disillusioned Muslim voters - and UKIP, which was focusing on white, working class people in the constituency.

Full details of the result will be published on The Star’s website today and in tomorrow’s newspaper.

Low turnout is expected to substantially reduce Labour’s majority of 10,462 in the 2010 General Election, although a shock for the party was not expected unless the number of voters who went to the polls was heavily reduced.