LOCAL ELECTIONS 2014: Labour regain power in Croydon for first time since 2006


New council leader Tony Newman said the borough now faced an exciting future.


By Jas Bahia, Rob Horgan and Carly Read

A dramatic swing in the Croydon vote saw Labour regain power for the first time since 2006 as the growing popularity of UKIP split the Tory vote.

Labour took the victory 40-30 in a fourteen seat swing which failed to see any party disturb Labour/ Conservative hold over Croydon.  

Crucial victories for Labour came in New Addington, Ashburton, Addiscombe Waddon which pushed them over the line.

In an eagerly awaited count it took until 4.24AM for the first result to be revealed.

It saw Labour reclaim their dominance over the New Addington ward, taking back the seat occupied by Conservative Tony Pearson, and set the tone for the epic journey that laid ahead for tired reporters, candidates and coffee ladies.

Newly elected Oliver Lewis said: “I think what we have seen in this result tonight is representative of a good start for Labour in Croydon and a good night for Labour across the country.

“Ultimately it was about a politics of hope. We represented a positive offer for the people of New Addington, against Tory negativity and Tory cynicism.”  

Mr Lewis’s predictions proved to be true as Labour dominated the Conservative vote, ward after ward.

The Conservative’s first success came from Kenley where they retained all three seats but their brief moments of success only intersected Labour’s onslaught. 

Before any results were announced Conservative MP for Croydon, Gavin Barwell, played down the Tory’s chances of remaining in power.

He said: “I think it is quite likely that Labour will take the council. Obviously I wanted to see a Conservative council, I think they’ve done a great job turning the town’s decline around.

“With the change in political control it will be my job as the MP to try and work with them when I think they have got it right and when I think they have got it wrong to criticise.”

Mr Barwell said the Conservative Party would be working hard to bring back voters and played down the support UKIP received throughout the country.

He said: “There is certainly anecdotal evidence today with people saying we’re going UKIP today but we’ll be back with you next year in the general election.”

On a good night for Labour the new council leader, Tony Newman, backed up Mr Lewis’s statements about Tory negativity and promised Croydoners better days to come.

“Croydon now faces a potentially exciting future,” he said. “Politics is tough at the moment – people out there are a little bit disillusioned, but we’ve made a small step tonight in getting people back involved again and I accept that we now have to deliver.

He added: “The Conservatives didn’t put down a manifesto for this election.

“If Croydon were a city I think we’d be one of the top 10 cities in the country and for a political party to not tell the people what it would have done if it had won that election, well, I find that quite extraordinary.”

“I am very proud Labour had a manifesto, and was ambitious for Croydon. Now we have to deliver on it.”

Mr Newman played down the impact that UKIP had on splitting the Conservative vote and instead focussed on his party’s initiatives.

He said: “UKIP may have had some impact, but overwhelmingly the main impact has been Labour supporters coming out to back our plans for Croydon.

“In one or two areas, UKIP have clearly had an impact, but they may have had an impact on one or two Labour supporters as well.”

The last result came in at 10.00AM and at close of play Labour took full control of New Addington, Fieldway, Bensham Manor, Waddon, South Norwood, Addiscombe, Woodside, West Thornton, Upper Norwood, Ashburton, Selhurst, Broad Green, Thornton Heath and Norbury.   

Conservatives took control of; Kenley, Fairfield, Purley, Shirley, Croham, Heathfield, Coulsden West, Heathfield, Selsdon and Ballards, Sanderstead and Coulsden East.

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