James Cleverly beats Labour’s Josie Channer in the London Assembly vote.
James Cleverly has retained his seat in the Bexley and Bromley constituency beating Labour candidate, Josie Channer.
Cleverly gained 88,442 votes while Channer finished with 40,714.
Liberal Democrat Sam Dunning Webber gained 11,396 votes, Ukip’s David Adam Coburn picked up 10,771 votes while the Green Party’s Jonathan Scot Rooks finished with 9,209.
Cleverly said: “The changes that we have been focused on we are still focused on. The government is making tough decisions. There is no point saying that public sector life is going to be easy.
“We will continue to fight on behalf of Londoners. I want to be as successful in the next four years as I was last four years.”
Second-placed Labour candidate Channer said that the Lib Dems will probably be disappointed with their result.
“It is clear that the Liberal Democratic vote completely collapsed. James Cleverly’s return of the vote has gone down by around 15,000, I think in an area that is a Conservative heartland, they have done well but should be disappointed,” she said.
Green Party candidate Rooks said: “In a very safe conservative seat a lot of people feel they want an alternative voice. We are not necessarily a left party, the Green’s a broad church.”
The traditional Conservative constituency have also selected Boris Johnson as their Mayoral preference.
Speaking to the South West Londoner prior to the annoucement of the vote Cleverly said: “Bexley and Bromley is traditionally Conservative and it looks as if the result is true to form.”
He also commented on the results of the nationwide election, which have seen the Labour Party pick up a string of victories across the English and Welsh local elections.
“Whenever you are in government you will suffer at the ballot box. A lot of people were saying the Tories would lose up to 1,000 seats, but this has been revised upwards. Losing votes is to be expected because we have had to cut the deficit and make tough decisions, which Labour would have had to have made if they had been in government anyway.
“I am disappointed with nationwide votes, but not surprised. Labour concentrated their campaign on a “punish the Tories” platform. The fact that we have not been annihilated as some expected shows that the electorate are more intelligent than that.
“The Lib Dems have upset a lot of their voters. In the coalition they have had to make some tough decisions. They have impressed me because they have not shirked from making some really tough decisions.
“Politics is not about being popular, it is about making big decisions. If the economy picks up then the Lib Dems will be forgiven to a certain extent. I’m sure Nick Clegg knew he would lose some party support when entering the coalition.
“Lib Dem votes are going to Labour, whilst Conservative votes are going to UKIP, and this was an inevitable byproduct of the coalition agreement.”
Cleverly was first elected in 2008 winning by 75,237 votes – the largest majority in any of the fourteen constituents.
Reporting Team: Peter Apps, Tristan Carlyle, Robin Jellis, Nate Saunders and Emily Wilson