Islington Labour won another emphatic by-election victory last night as the Lib Dem vote collapsed and the Tories slipped into fourth place.
Labour’s candidate – prison officer Gary Poole – romped to victory in the St Mary’s by-election claiming 48 per cent of the vote, nearly double the total of the Liberal Democrats who came in a poor second.
At last year’s Council elections in St Mary’s Labour beat the Lib Dem candidate, who ran again in the by-election, by just 30 votes. Last night, just 18 months later Labour’s vote share increased by 14 per cent, representing an emphatic victory for the Labour candidate.
Meanwhile, the Tories faired even worse in a ward which the Islington Tribune described as “natural territory” for the Conservatives. The Tory candidate came in a distant fourth, behind the Greens, and polled exactly a quarter as many votes as Labour.
Islington Labour fought this by-election on the issues, with Gary Poole particularly highlighting Tory police cuts and the Conservative Mayor of London’s plans to pluck a quarter of Islington’s Safer Neighbourhood Team sergeants of our streets.
Many voters used the by-election as a chance to send a message to the Tory Mayor that it is vitally important we keep community-based sergeants in the local area.
Commenting after his victory Gary said: “My victory represents a strong rejection of the coalition’s heartless cuts, and an endorsement of the hard work of Islington’s Labour Council to make our Borough more fair and more equal.
People in St Mary’s are rightfully worried that the Conservative Prime Minister and Conservative Mayor are making them less well off and less safe. I share these concerns and am on the side of local people and as a Councillor I will tirelessly fight their corner.
This election victory does not mark the end, but the beginning of my campaign to save our local sergeants and I hope the Tory Mayor hears the message people in St Mary’s have sent him.”Other news from Islington Labour