Jubilation as Tories retain true-blue Old Bexley and Sidcup
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Rejoicing. In a word, the reaction of the Conservatives following the win in Old Bexley and Sidcup.
Tory blue since the days of Ted Heath, Bexley is not an area where you would expect to see widespread support for Labour.
Wealthier wards in the constituency were described by a local councillor as lands of “semi-detached houses and Range Rovers in the drives”.
Keir Starmer’s party managed expectations in the run up to the night, triggered by the death of beloved MP and ex-cabinet minister James Brokenshire to lung cancer, aged just 53.
But a campaign was fought nonetheless, with shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves and sister, shadow solicitor general Ellie Reeves, fronting up for the party.
While we’re told loyal doorknockers travelled from as far afield as Birmingham to get out the vote.
However, despite what both parties may have quietly expected, there was some upset.
The Conservatives took the seat with 11,189 votes, or just over a 50% share, and a majority of 4,478 - a significant drop from their previous 19,000.
And Labour took home 6,711, or just above a 30% share, slicing into their opponent’s majority.
With turnout of just 34%, which may be down to factors from the weather, to risk from Covid-19, and the long, dark, wintery evenings, it’s difficult to compare to previous years.
Results have been welcomed by both parties, and with another closely watched by-election upcoming in the seat vacated by former MP Owen Paterson, it’s all eyes on North Shropshire.
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