General Election 2015: Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell wants to show Conservatives are for everyone

Gavin Barwell is adamant that his General Election victory in Croydon Central is justification of his popularity as an MP.

Mr Barwell ran out the narrowest of winners in South West London’s hottest contested seat, triumphing over Labour’s Sarah Jones by 22,753 to 22,588 after a bundle recount.

Having previously been elected in 2010, the Ashcroft Poll in the autumn showed Mr Barwell to be six points down, but he feels the early difficulties his campaign encountered were not down to his record as an MP.

After the 6:30am declaration Mr Barwell said: “Even when we were six points down it showed I was a popular local MP and people preferred David Cameron to Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.

“The two ingredients there that you need to work on to get to this point were there in that original poll.

“One of the things my team found on the doorstep is people that like the work I’ve done as an MP but they couldn’t bring themselves to vote conservative.

“Under David Cameron’s leadership there are several million people more that are voting Conservative now than were in 2005, but that job isn’t complete.

“We have to carry on showing people that the Conservative party is a party for everybody and it’s not a party for white people, for privileged people: it’s there for everybody who shares our set of values.

“The results across London haven’t been for our party, so I think this result reflect really well on my team.”

The 2010 election saw him run against close friend and former Conservative Andrew Pelling, as well as having to contend with the death of his campaign manager.

Despite winning by a majority of just 165 – significantly less than 2010’s 2,879 – Mr Barwell insisted that the campaign was easier this time round.

He said: “It was a pretty traumatic time in 2010. I always knew this was going to be difficult, but we did know exactly what we were doing. We were a united team and didn’t have those personal difficulties of last campaign.”

“I got feedback from the count and the feedback was always that we were just ahead so I don’t think there was any point I thought we’d lost, but it was certainly never enough ahead to feel confident.”

Mr Barwell is continuing the Conservative trend during the 2015 campaign in focusing on the economy as his number one priority

“It’s most important thing because if we want this town’s regeneration to take off over the next five years you’ve got to have the national economy strong,” he added.

“If you want money for our precious NHS and school you have got to have the strong economy to pay for it.”


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