Joe Powell wins for Labour in Kensington and Bayswater.

Kensington and Bayswater swings red as Labour retake wealthiest London borough

The wealthiest borough in London has swung back to Labour in an unusual break from its Conservative tradition.

Labour MP Joe Powell won 40.5% of the Kensington and Bayswater vote with 17,025 votes, gaining the seat from incumbent Conservative MP Felicity Buchan by a margin of 2,903.

Powell said: “We’ve run a really positive, professional, dedicated campaign focused on the things that people told us on their doorstep.

“They really wanted to see change in our community and change nationally, so we’re obviously delighted that residents of Kensington and Bayswater have decided to put their trust in us.

“I’m very aware that trust in politics is low in this country at the moment, and that’s because we’ve had too many people who have over-promised and under-delivered.”

Powell is not only the newly-elected MP for Kensington and Bayswater but five weeks ago became a father to twins.

He said: “There’s been a lot of juggling and a lot of support from family and friends.

“I’m quite relieved now to at least have the campaign out of the way.”

It was a hard-fought battle previously with Buchan winning the then Kensington constituency by just 150 votes in 2019.

Labour’s Emma Dent Coad, who ran as an independent in this election, won by even less, 20 votes, in 2017, becoming the first Labour MP in the constituency.

After boundary changes last year, Kensington now includes Bayswater and Lancaster Gate to form the new constituency of Kensington and Bayswater.

If the new boundaries had been in place in 2019, then Labour would have won the seat.

Home to Kensington Palace, the Royal Albert Hall and the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington and Chelsea ranked as the richest borough in London in 2022 according to ONS average yearly wage data.

The turnout for the constituency was 54.5%, a notable drop from its 67.7% turnout at the 2019 General Election.

Liberal Democrat candidate William Houngbo, who received 2,910 votes, said: “What didn’t go well for me tonight was that the public wanted Labour to get rid of the Conservatives, so their priority was to vote tactically.

“I would tell Powell that communities are our core values and you cannot have a top-down approach.

“You need to be embedded in the community and you need to listen.

“Bring them around the table and make them part of the decision making process so that you can find solutions together.”

Powell said: “I want to be supporting a Labour government that delivers on the very specific pledges that we’ve made – the things that will make a real difference in Kensington and Bayswater.

“I think people want to see a government that’s on their side and delivering on the things that they really care about.”

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