LONDON ELECTION 2012: Labour’s Onkar Singh Sahota wins Ealing and Hillingdon seat from Tories


The Labour Party scored an upset after winning the seat from Richard Barnes, despite voters choosing Boris Johnson as their Mayoral preference.


By SWLondoner staff

Labour’s Dr Onkar Singh Sahota scored a major upset after narrowly winning the London Assembly seat from former Conservative Deputy Mayor, Richard Barnes, in Ealing and Hillingdon.

Only 3,110 votes separated the two candidates – Dr Singh Sahota finished with 65,584 while Barnes fell just short with 62,474.

Michael Francis Cox, Lib Dems, came third with 11,805 votes only narrowly finishing ahead of the Green Party’s Mike Harling who finished with 10,877.

Dr Singh Sahota ran his campaign on improving healthcare, drawing on 23 years of experience as a Hanwell GP.

Despite his win voters in the constituency still came out in strong support of Boris Johnson.

Ealing Council leader Julian Bell said the Lib Dems’ electoral demise has not been premature.

“Most people expected them to do badly and they have. Their vote tends to be quite transient. They have a very small core vote, and if the election weather is going against them, they disintegrate,” he told South West Londoner.

“I’m wary of that though, because sometimes former Lib Dem voters will go Tory instead of Labour, so having them on their knees doesn’t always work to our advantage.

“It will be very interesting if Labour gain in the Assembly and Boris retains the Mayorship, because if we get a two-thirds majority, we can stop his Budget.

“It’s premature to say whether that will happen. Of course we want it to happen, and it will be great if it does, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Barnes’ responsibilities had included social policy, as well as equality and access for the Olympics.

The race remained tight throughout with Ruislip, traditionally Conservative, being one of the last areas to be counted.

Dr Singh Sahota is also a noted supporter of Ken Livingstone’s ‘Fare Deal’ to reduce the price of public transport, and campaigned for better life opportunities within the community.

Reporting Team: Helena Hickey, Adam Knight, Jasmine Marsh, Freddy Mayhew and Liam Twomey

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