Voters in London had been left confused and annoyed by ends in a number of the capital’s key seats because the spectre of Brexit drove some large shocks throughout the election evening, cementing the town’s fame as a stay enclave.
Finally, solely 4 seats modified palms – Putney, Kensington, Richmond Park, and Carshalton and Wallington. The Conservatives gained two and misplaced two, Labour gained one and misplaced one, as did the Liberal Democrats – so general throughout the capital there was no change.
Three of those 4 seats overwhelmingly backed stay – Putney 72.24%, Kensington 68.8% and Richmond Park 71.31%, and it was in these seats that the largest upsets occurred.
Tony Travers, a visiting professor on the London College of Economics (LSE) division of presidency and director of LSE London, mentioned the capital remained a “Labour metropolis”.
He added: “There was remarkably little change in London, which in comparison with the Midlands and the north is considerably higher for Labour.
“Labour misplaced no seats web within the capital – it misplaced Kensington however gained Putney. London stays a ‘Labour metropolis’, although the Conservatives did fairly properly in comparison with losses lately. Labour might have reached a excessive water mark, which suggests they’ll’t compensate for losses elsewhere.
“As elsewhere, the Liberal Democrats did very badly, given the scale of the London ‘stay’ vote. The capital stays a ‘Labour v Conservative’ contest.
“One additional thought, the 2019 basic election consequence will make it arduous for the Tories to carry boroughs equivalent to Wandsworth and Westminster within the subsequent (mid-term) native elections.”
In Putney, the very publicly pro-remain, pro-second referendum Labour candidate, Fleur Anderson, achieved the celebration’s solely acquire nationally of the evening. The seat swung from the Conservatives, the place Justine Greening, a vociferous remainer who noticed the Tory whip eliminated, determined to not run once more, having held the seat since 2005. Regardless of the Conservative candidate, Will Candy, being a former remainer, it wasn’t sufficient to influence the citizens and he fell quick by 4,774 votes.
Nicholas Goddard, an NHS surgeon in his 60s, who has lived in Putney for 30 years and voted Conservative on Thursday, mentioned the lack of Greening was behind the consequence.
He mentioned: “We’ve had an excellent constituency MP right here in Putney for the final 10 years plus. She was an excellent consultant of the folks, she was uncommon as a result of she had rules. She misplaced two cupboard posts due to her rules. I feel dropping her was a significant factor.”
Richmond Park has lengthy been a febrile battleground between remain-backing Lib Dems and the Brexit-backing Tory incumbent Zac Goldsmith. Goldsmith misplaced his seat at a byelection that he triggered in 2016 over the federal government’s proposal for a 3rd runway at close by Heathrow. He managed to scrape again the seat in 2017 with a weak majority of 45.
However final evening Sarah Olney, the Lib Dem candidate who received the byelection in 2016, regained the seat – this time with a much more important majority: 7,766 in contrast with 1,872 in 2016. It’s clear that because the Conservative celebration has lurched to the best, it has haemorrhaged many extra of its average remain-backing supporters.
Emily Woodfield, 21, a receptionist who lives in Richmond Park, mentioned Brexit was nonetheless a giant concern however “the lurch of the Conservative celebration to the best is the largest subject”.
She mentioned: “I voted tactically to oust Zac Goldsmith, I really feel that many Richmond Park residents did the identical. I really feel the surge for the Lib Dems was motivated primarily by a basic want to get the Tories out slightly than real assist for the celebration or their folks.
“I really feel usually heartbroken and devastated by the general state of this election, however for me, it is a small victory.”
In Kensington, Labour’s Emma Dent-Coad misplaced to the Conservative candidate Felicity Buchan by 150 votes, regardless of the legacy of the Grenfell fireplace and the raging arguments round Tory austerity attributable to the catastrophe.
However what occurred in Kensington was not about Grenfell, it was about “stay”. The full tally for referendum-backing Labour, Lib Dems and Greens got here to 26,465 – 60.5% of the vote, towering over Buchan’s 38.3%.
It didn’t take lengthy for indignant Labour activists to pour scorn on the Lib Dems for fielding a high-profile candidate – the defecting former Tory minister Sam Gyimah.
Quite than standing apart to present Labour a stronger likelihood, their determination to run Gyimah seems to have break up the stay vote and handed the seat to a leave-backing Tory.
Diane Abbott, the shadow residence secretary, referred to as Gyimah a carpetbagger, a slang-term for a politician who seeks election in an space the place they don’t have any native connections.
Carshalton and Wallington on the southern fringe of the London metropolitan space backed go away by 56.26% within the election so it’s maybe unsurprising that the Lib Dems misplaced the seat to the Conservatives.
However the Lib Dems’ candidate, Tom Brake, the celebration’s longest serving MP, having been first elected in 1997, misplaced his seat by solely 629 votes. The Labour candidate – Ahmad Wattoo – pulled in 6,081 votes, as soon as extra elevating the query over whether or not Brake may need survived had the stay vote not been break up.
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