Conservative candidate Stephen O’Connell has won a close battle with labour for the London Assembly seat for Croydon and Sutton.
Stephen O’Connell has won a close battle with Labour for the London Assembly seat for Croydon and Sutton.
O’Connell has kept his seat with 60,152 votes which looked under threat from Labour candidate Louisa Woodley who was close behind during the count, finishing with 50,734.
The Liberal Democrat candidate Abigail Lock came in third with 21,889 and Fresh Choice for London beat the Green Party for fourth place.
Winston Truman McKenzie for Fresh Choice for London got 10,757 votes and Gordon Ross for the Green Party gained 10,287.
O’Connell said: “I am absolutely delighted. I expected to win though as there is very strong Conservative support.
“There is a strong Labour vote across London but evidently Conservative is just as if not stronger.”
He added: “It is my second time and I am really looking forward to it.”
O’Connell was elected Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton in 2008, succeeding Conservative Andrew Pelling.
At the count in Kensington Olympia, prior to the result, O’Connell maintained he was confident despite not being clearly ahead.
“I’m not far enough ahead to be comfortable yet but I’m quietly confident,” he said.
“If I win, I’ll celebrate by going for a quiet pint of ale down my local pub.”
Labour Candidate, Louisa Woodley, said: “It is a remarkable result when you consider that, four years ago, Stephen O’Connell had a 40,000 majority, and I’ve now narrowed that to under 10,000.”
“The one regret I have is for the people who voted for me, that it didn’t quite happen,” she added.
She partly blamed the poor weather on Thursday for hampering her vote but admitted that may sound silly.
She has not dropped her opposition to the controversial waste incinerator, in Sutton and Croydon, and will be maintaining pressure on Mr O’Connell.
She believes that Labour has been successful across London so far and hopes this close result will pile pressure on the Tory council to listen to Labour concerns.
“We will be pushing to get more police on the streets. There are 100 fewer police on the streets of Croydon, even after the riots,” she said.
“The result sends the message that people are fed up with the Tory-LibDem coalition.”
The results show a further positive for the Conservatives as current London Mayor Boris Johnson won the majority of the London Mayoral vote for Croydon and Sutton.
Reporting Team: Sophie Exton, Helena Hickey, Jasmine Marsh, Matthew Reason, Freddy Mayhew and Liam Twomey