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Largest majority drop for Croydon North Labour in more than a decade

By Georgia Simcox
December 13 2019, 10.30

Croydon North is regarded as one of Labour’s safest seats but on a night where Labour suffered a devastating defeat and its biggest negative vote change.

While remaining a safe Labour seat, it is not as safe as it once was. In the 2017 election, Steve Reed won with 74.2% of the vote, this time only receiving 65.6%.

The biggest negative vote change was in the 2005 General Election which was 9.8%.

It is the largest majority drop in the seat’s history.

Following his win, Mr Reed said: “We absolutely gave it our all but the results nationally for the Labour party are devastating and I know that this morning we are all hurting very, very much.

“I do feel for what this re-elected government will mean for our community in Croydon North, for our schools, for our NHS, for homeless people, for older people who need care, for children – far too many of whom are living in poverty.

“They all deserve better than they’ve had these last nine years and I hope they will see better over the years to come.”

Croydon North has been under Labour since it was re-created in 1997, gaining the fourth largest Labour majority in Greater London.

Labour’s Croydon North MP Steve Reed has held the seat since a 2012 by-election. He took over after the former MP Malcolm Wicks died, who had been in office since the 1997 election.

He was re-elected in general elections of 2015 and 2017 with a dramatically increased majority.

Shortly after the result was declared, Mr Reed added on Twitter: “Thank you #CroydonNorth for re-electing me to serve as your MP. I’m honoured and humbled more than I can say, but I’m gutted by the results nationally. Whatever happens next I’ll always do my best to speak up for you in Parliament.”

Labour lost votes in both Leave and Remain areas while the Conservatives gained seats in many constituencies which voted Leave in the 2016 referendum.

Mr Reed said: “I will always stand on your side. I will hold this government to account for you and I will work flat out to represent you and be your voice in parliament.”

The Conservatives ended up with 26 fewer votes than the 2017 election with 11,822 this year but increased their vote share by 1.4%.

Leader of Croydon’s Labour Council Tony Newman said: “Following @LabourSJ [Sarah Jones, Labour MP for Croydon Central] win, fantastic to see @SteveReedMP back with another big majority and determined to hold the new Govt to account.”

While Mr Reed’s majority decreased, neighbouring constituency MP Ms Jones increased her majority.

After the polling stations closed last night, an exit poll was published revealing the Conservatives were on course for a 68-seat majority. Mr Reed reacted to this news on Twitter: “If the exit poll is right, this is a catastrophe for our community in Croydon North – absolutely gutted.”  

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn resigned after the “very disappointing night” for the party.

There were 24 constituencies who voted Tory for the first time in decades, including Dudley North, Bassetlaw and Great Grimsby who saw a swing of 20 percentage points.   

In the previous Cabinet, Mr Reed was the Shadow Minister for Education, Children and Families.

Croydon North voted 58.83% to remain in the Brexit referendum.

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