Bexley by-election latest news : Tories' slashed majority boosts Labour who claim to be 'winning back the trust' with 10pc swing




  • In World
  • 2021-12-03 00:05:22Z
  • By The Telegraph
Louie French secured 52pc of the vote on a much reduced turnout - Jeff Gilbert
Louie French secured 52pc of the vote on a much reduced turnout - Jeff Gilbert  
  • By-election: Tories hold off Labour challenge

  • Bexley winner Louie French pays tribute to James Brokenshire

  • Snog whoever you wish at Christmas, says Sajid Javid

  • Behind the scenes of Boris and Macron's fractured double act

  • Alan Cochrane: In the great jab booster debate, Nicola Sturgeon lacks a valid point

  • Mark Francois self-publishes Brexit memoir

Labour has claimed the Conservatives' slashed majority in the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election shows party is "winning back the trust of people".

Boris Johnson has held on to his party's seat, but the Conservative majority was slashed from almost 19,000 to just 4,478. Louie French, the Tory candidate, won the election with a 51.4 per cent share of the vote, compared with Labour's 30.8 per cent.

While the Conservatives claimed the result was "almost unheard of" for a sitting Government, Labour took a different view. Ellie Reeves, shadow solicitor general, said if it was replicated at a general election "Labour would be within reach of forming a majority government".

She added: "This is a Conservative stronghold, somewhere that had a 19,000 majority at the last general election and what we've seen tonight is that majority being slashed. There's been a 10% swing over to Labour this evening...

"I think it's clear that we're winning back the trust of people and it's a remarkable result for us in a Tory stronghold."

The by-election, triggered by the death of the former MP, James Brokenshire, is the first of a series of by-election tests for the Conservatives, following a drop in the party's performance in the national polls.

​​Follow the latest updates below.

06:45 AM

Old Bexley result 'very good for Boris', says Tory MP

A Tory MP has said the result in Old Bexley and Sidcup is "a very good result for Boris", amid the party's slide in the polls on the back of allegations of sleaze and second jobs.

Nickie Aiken, vice chairman of the Conservative Party, told The Telegraph it was "a brilliant result".

She added: "If you considered what we faced in the 1990s under the Major government, this is a very good result for Boris.

"If Starmer spent more time concentrating on policies aimed at the country, rather than the Westminster bubble, voters may be more confident in supporting them."

06:29 AM

Bexley by-election winner pays tribute to mentor James Brokenshire

James Brokenshire died aged 53 in October - Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph
James Brokenshire died aged 53 in October - Geoff Pugh for the Telegraph  

The winner of the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election that was held to replace the former MP James Brokenshire has said his victory is "what he would have wanted".

Louie French, who was elected with a reduced majority in Thursday's vote, paid tribute to his friend after his death from cancer in October and wore his rosette to the count.

"He was a good friend of mine, and my mentor," Mr French told The Telegraph, after seeing off a challenge from Labour and Richard Tice, who was standing for the Reform UK party.

"He was one of the first people who encouraged me to try and become a Member of Parliament.

"The family very kindly asked me to wear his ribbon tonight in tribute to him, and I do that with great honour and pride. I'm very proud to do so," he added. "He was a fantastic man, and I'm very sad about the loss of his life. I know that this is what he would have wanted tonight."

Read more here.

06:19 AM

Labour's Old Bexley candidate 'incredibly proud' of swing result

Labour's unsuccessful candidate for Old Bexley and Sidcup has said he is "incredibly proud" to have secured a 10 per cent swing towards the party.

Daniel Francis received 6,711 votes, just over 30 per cent of the total vote.

Combined with a lower turnout, that has eroded the Conservatives' majority from 29,786 in 2019 to 11,189 ​today.

06:05 AM

'A big space to fill in the late James Brokenshire'

Greg Hands, the energy minister, has welcomed his new colleague Louie French - but said he has "a big space to fill".

The Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election was triggered by the death of James Brokenshire, a popular former secretary of state, who held multiple roles under Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

Mr French paid tribute to Mr Brokenshire, whose rosette he wore as the result was announced.

05:59 AM

Conservative result in Old Bexley 'almost unheard of'

Louie French's share of more than 50 per cent of the vote in Old Bexley and Sidcup is "almost unheard of", the Conservative deputy chairman has said.

Justin Tomlinson told the PA news agency: "We're absolutely thrilled. For a Government to get over 50 per cent of the vote in a parliamentary by-election is almost unheard of, and with a majority of over 20 per cent.

"A fantastic local candidate, positive campaign, focused on the tangible difference we're making to people's lives, having navigated the unprecedented challenges of Covid."

He added that the result was an "absolute disaster" for the Labour Party, saying: "They do not look like a Government in waiting."

See the full results breakdown at 5:26am

05:56 AM

Tory Party co-chair hails 'positive campaign' fought by Louie French

Oliver Dowden, the Conservative Party co-chairman, is one of the first Cabinet ministers to hail the result in Old Bexley and Sidcup this morning.

He praised Louie French, Parliament's newest MP, as having "fought a positive campaign, focused on delivering for the area he has called home all of his life".

05:34 AM

Reform's Richard Tice is upbeat

Richard Tice secured 6.6 per cent of the vote, and kept his deposit. He told the Telegraph that the result showed a collapse in support for the Government ahead of another by-election in two weeks' time.

05:26 AM

The results broken down

Louie French (Con) 11,189 (51.48%, -13.06%)

Daniel Francis (Lab) 6,711 (30.88%, +7.40%)

Richard Tice (Reform) 1,432 (6.59%)

Jonathan Rooks (Green) 830 (3.82%, +0.62%)

Simone Reynolds (LD) 647 (2.98%, -5.31%)

Elaine Cheeseman (Eng Dem) 271 (1.25%)

John Poynton (UKIP) 184 (0.85%)

Richard Hewison (Rejoin) 151 (0.69%)

David Kurten (Heritage) 116 (0.53%)

Carol Valinejad (CPA) 108 (0.50%)

Mad Mike Young (Loony) 94 (0.43%)

The Conservative majority was 4,478 (20.60%)

Turnout was low at 21,733 (33.52%, -36.28%), with by-elections usually expected to produce a turnout around 50 per cent. The majority was cut from almost 19,000 to 4,400, and the Tory vote share was cut from 64 per cent to 51 per cent.

05:21 AM

Good morning from Westminster - and Bexley

Good morning, and we start the day with the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election results. Boris Johnson has held on to his party's seat, but the Conservative majority was slashed from almost 19,000 to just 4,478.

Louie French, the Tory candidate, won the election with a 51.4 per cent share of the vote, compared with Labour's 30.8 per cent.

The by-election, triggered by the death of the former MP, James Brokenshire, is the first of a series of by-election tests for the Conservatives, following a drop in the party's performance in the national polls.

Our political correspondent, Tony Diver, was at the count and you can read his full story here.

COMMENTS

More Related News

WorldView: Boris Johnson braces for report on lockdown parties
WorldView: Boris Johnson braces for report on lockdown parties

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is bracing for the conclusions of an investigation into parties that violated his own lockdown policies. And a Mexican...

Boris Johnson attacks EU for
Boris Johnson attacks EU for 'insane' stance on Northern Ireland as he defends himself from calls to resign
  • World
  • 2022-01-26 13:10:00Z

Johnson told PMQs the EU was "insane and pettifogging" over post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland. He also said he won't be resigning.

UK government holds breath as it awaits
UK government holds breath as it awaits 'partygate' report
  • World
  • 2022-01-26 08:12:28Z

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was braced for the conclusions of an investigation into allegations of lockdown-breaching parties, a document that could help...

Britain will deploy army to defend Europe if Russia invades Ukraine, says Boris Johnson
Britain will deploy army to defend Europe if Russia invades Ukraine, says Boris Johnson
  • World
  • 2022-01-25 15:49:45Z

Britain will deploy troops to protect its allies in Europe if Russia invades Ukraine, Boris Johnson said on Tuesday as he predicted Vladimir Putin's army would face "ferocious resistance" from Ukrainian freedom fighters.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World