Amna Ahmad defiant as Liberal Democrats vote drops sharply in Streatham

Streatham’s Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Amna Ahmad was upbeat despite her party’s vote collapsing to 4,491 in the south London constituency. 

Chuka Umunna held the seat comfortably, extending Labour’s votes from 20,037 in2010 to 26,474, 53% of the total, with the Conservative Party’s Kim Caddy coming second with 12,540 votes, 25.1% of the total.

The Liberal Democrats vote plummeted from 16,778 in 2010, a precipitous fall which was mirrored across the country with exit polls predicting they would return only 10 seats.

It was an emotional night for Ms Ahmad, with Mr Umunna paying tribute to her during his victory speech after the death of her sister, Saher Ahmad, during the election campaign.

Ms Ahmad said: “I think what’s going on here is there’s been a lot going on nationally and that’s had an effect across Britain not just in Streatham.

“We’ve got to third, so that’s really good. We’ve fought a good local campaign we’ve put some really good local issues up to the fore and made sure attention was paid to them when it needed to be paid.

“Because frankly we’re getting into a situation now where Lambeth is not living up to its promises to its residents. So we are here and we remain as a challenger to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

When asked if Nick Clegg’s party were paying the electoral price for their association with the Conservative Party, Ms Ahmad pointed to their influence in coalition government.

She said: “I think the Liberal Democrats haven’t reaped the benefit for what they’ve done in government.

“I think that’s a shame but as we know from the system many people across the country who voted Liberal Democrat wouldn’t necessarily have their votes taken into account because of the first past the post system.

“So I think yet again I think we’ve had a really good example of why we have to change our voting system.”

Mrs Caddy believed that the Conservatives success in pushing the Liberal Democrats into second place in Streatham was vindication of David Cameron’s Conservative Party’s economic policies.

Mrs Caddy said: “We increased our vote share and came second which was fantastic. I was really pleased and I think it’s testament to the strong campaign that my team ran.

“Talking to people on the doorstep we were talking about issues that they really cared about we had a real local focus and we had a lot of good feedback so it was not a surprise.

“I think David Cameron’s had the right policies and a strong economic recovery is going to help that.”

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