Labour candidate praises supporters after overhauling Conservative majority to take Kensington

Labour candidate Emma Dent Coad has won Kensington after a dramatic triple-recount gave her a 20 vote majority in the final constituency to declare its results from yesterday’s election.

Conservative candidate Victoria Borwick lost the usually safe Conservative seat after a knife-edge battle, following a series of recounts set in motion by a marginal Labour lead.

After a long awaited result, Dent Coad was met with a jubilant crowd of supporters outside Kensington Town Hall.

She said: “I knew there would be people down here but I did not know it would be that ecstatic.

The vote was postponed after the third count last night as staff had to be sent home to rest and recuperate.

Returning officer Tony Redpath said: “At this stage staff had been up all night and were becoming visibly tired.”

Dent Coad said: “So that’s three elections I’ve won, over the last 36 hours.”

In a constituency that normally has one of the lowest turnout rates in the country, it increased to 64%, up from 57% in 2015.

Lady Borwick said: “I wish Emma every success, but as far as I’m concerned, tomorrow we start the fight back to win Kensington for the Conservatives.”

Under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour have now gained 30 seats over their 2015 result, and Dent Coad has expressed support for his leadership.

“I’m standing now because I can agree with national policy for the first time in many, many years,” she said.

The Kensington and Chelsea constituency, which was replaced by Kensington and Fulham & Chelsea in 2010, has been a conservative seat since 1997.

The Labour win is a huge upset in what was considered one of the safest Conservative seats in the country.

Labour’s vote share rose by 11.1% while the Conservative’s fell by 10.1%.

Liberal Democrat candidate Annabel Mullin came in a distant third, however the party vote share increased from 2015 by almost 7%, up from 5.6% to 12.2%.

She congratulated Dent Coad but now says that she must tackle the thorny issue of Brexit in a constituency which voted 69% remain in the referendum last year.

“Democracy did not stop Brexit, and now Emma is to become accountable,” she said.

“Leaving the single market will damage us, the NHS is suffering, entrepreneurs and businessmen tell me they cannot hire.”

Green Party candidate Jennifer Dunham Nadel said: “This is a tremendous victory for the people of Kensington, and it isn’t just a no to hard Brexit, it is also a no to the privatisation of our NHS.”

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