There was a surprise increase in Stephen O’Connell’s majority as he was re-elected as Croydon & Sutton’s Assembly Member for a third term today.
Official figures saw Mr O’Connell’s majority increase from 9,418 to 11,614 despite early indications showing the results would be a lot closer.
The former mortgage broker was first elected in May 2008 when he succeeded Andrew Pelling with a majority of 42,665 and since then, his majority reduced in 2012 to 9,418 equating to a vote share drop of -7.3%.
The Croydon councillor spoke highly of Labour candidate Marina Ahmad as their campaigns were hotly contested.
Mr O’Connell said: “I knew it would be close.
“My opponent, Marina Ahmad, had a brilliant campaign, she did a very good job but in truth I increased my majority and I am very happy with the result.”
The Assembly Member complimented his time working with Boris Johnson for his constituency but insists there is still a long way to go.
“First of all, we want to see the new mayor, so I need to get in front of the new mayor and point out the strategic importance of Croydon and Sutton,” he said.
“We have had a good record under the previous mayor under my eight years but it is still unfinished business so I need the new mayor to make sure that he understands that Croydon and Sutton are the places to invest and we go on this from day one.”
He came to the defence of Zac Goldsmith and his campaign team despite calls from Labour candidate Ms Ahmad to denounce the Conservative London Mayor candidate campaign tactics on Sadiq Khan.
“It is a matter of opinion whether they are nasty tactics but there has been some controversy around that and I have said in truth Zac never really brought out some of his positive policies.
“Knowing Zac as I have done over the last six months he has some very strong and positive attributes in the environment.
“I just don’t think the campaign played on that.”