Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election result: ULEZ debate helps Tories hold Boris Johnson’s former seat

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Steve Tuckwell won the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election by just 495 votes.

The Conservative Party held on to the Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat at yesterday’s by-election by a slim majority, with the party’s candidate citing the mayor’s “damaging and costly ULEZ policy” as the reason for his success.

The Tories lost seats in two other by-elections in the South West and Yorkshire, but in west London, Tory Councillor Steve Tuckwell beat Labour’s Danny Beales by just 495 votes to become the MP succeeding Boris Johnson.

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Labour achieved a 6.7 percentage point swing in the share of the vote, but needed a 7.6 point swing for Keir Starmer's party to take the seat.

The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has been a focus of Tuckwell’s campaign..

He said: "[Mayor] Sadiq Khan has lost Labour this election. It was his damaging and costly ULEZ policy that lost them this election. This wasn’t the campaign Labour expected and Keir Starmer and his mayor, Sadiq Khan, need to sit up and listen to the Uxbridge and South Ruislip residents.”

Labour’s Danny Beales congratulates the Conservative Party’s Steve Tuckwell on his win. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)Labour’s Danny Beales congratulates the Conservative Party’s Steve Tuckwell on his win. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
Labour’s Danny Beales congratulates the Conservative Party’s Steve Tuckwell on his win. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The London count was first to declare on the night, following a recount. Despite losses elsewhere, it will be seen as a major success for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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Keir Starmer will be concerned at the impact of ULEZ on the campaign.

Uxbridge and South Ruislip results

  • Steve Tuckwell (Con) 13,965 (45.16%)
  • Danny Beales (Lab) 13,470 (43.56%)
  • Sarah Green (Green) 893 (2.89%)
  • Laurence Fox (Reclaim) 714 (2.31%)
  • Blaise Baquiche (LD) 526 (1.70%)
  • Steve Gardner (Soc Dem) 248 (0.80%)
  • Kingsley Anti Ulez (Ind) 208 (0.67%)
  • Count Binface (Binface) 190 (0.61%)
  • No Ulez Leo Phaure (Ind) 186 (0.60%)
  • Richard Hewison (Rejoin) 105 (0.34%)
  • Piers Corbyn (LLL) 101 (0.33%)
  • Cameron Bell (Ind) 91 (0.29%)
  • Enomfon Ntefon (CPA) 78 (0.25%)
  • Rebecca Jane (UKIP) 61 (0.20%)
  • Ed Gemmell (Climate) 49 (0.16%)
  • Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 32 (0.10%)
  • Seventy-seven Joseph (Ind) 8 (0.03%)

Selby and Ainsty

Labour had better news from North Yorkshire, with the party overturning the biggest Tory majority in its history to win Selby and Ainsty. Former Conservative MP Nigel Adams, who resigned after his ally Boris Johnson did, previously had a majority of 20,137 in the rural seat. However, Labour's 25-year-old candidate Keir Mather, who will become the youngest MP in Parliament, overturned that with 16,456 votes. Tory Claire Holmes received 12,295 votes.

Starmer described this victory as a "historic result". He said this shows "that people are looking at Labour and seeing a changed party that is focused entirely on the priorities of working people with an ambitious, practical plan to deliver".

Keir Mather and Keir StarmerKeir Mather and Keir Starmer
Keir Mather and Keir Starmer | Getty Images

“Keir Mather will be a fantastic MP who will deliver the fresh start Selby and Ainsty deserves," Starmer said. “It is clear just how powerful the demand for change is. Voters put their trust in us — many for the first time."

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There was a 23.7 percentage point swing in the share of the vote from the Conservatives to Labour.

Selby and Ainsty result

  • Keir Mather (Lab) 16,456 (45.96%)
  • Claire Holmes (C) 12,295 (34.34%)
  • Arnold Warneken (Green) 1,838 (5.13%)
  • Mike Jordan (ND) 1,503 (4.20%)
  • Dave Kent (Reform) 1,332 (3.72%)
  • Matt Walker (LD) 1,188 (3.32%)
  • Nick Palmer (Ind) 342 (0.96%)
  • John Waterston (Soc Dem) 314 (0.88%)
  • Sir Archibald Stanton (Loony) 172 (0.48%)
  • Guy Phoenix (Heritage) 162 (0.45%)
  • Andrew Gray (ND) 99 (0.28%)
  • Tyler Wilson-Kerr (Ind) 67 (0.19%)
  • Luke Wellock (Climate) 39 (0.11%)

Despite the loss in west London, winning a traditionally safe Tory seat in North Yorkshire is a huge boost for Labour - who would not even have had Selby and Ainsty on their target list to win the next election.

New Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Dyke. Credit: PANew Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Dyke. Credit: PA
New Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Dyke. Credit: PA | PA

Somerton and Frome

The Liberal Democrats claimed another scalp of the Conservatives in the South West, as candidate Sarah Dyke overturned a majority of more than 19,000 to win in Somerton and Frome. Former Tory MP David Warburton resigned after admitting cocaine use amid allegations of sexual harassment.

Somerton and Frome results

  • Sarah Dyke (LD) 21,187 (54.62%)
  • Faye Purbrick (Con) 10,179 (26.24%)
  • Martin Dimery (Green) 3,944 (10.17%)
  • Bruce Evans (Reform) 1,303 (3.36%)
  • Neil Guild (Lab) 1,009 (2.60%)
  • Rosie Mitchell (Ind) 635 (1.64%)
  • Peter Richardson (UKIP) 275 (0.71%)
  • Lorna Corke (CPA) 256 (0.66%)

The 29.0 point swing at Somerton is larger than the one achieved by the Lib Dems when they defeated the Tories at the by-election in Chesham and Amersham in June 2021 (25.2 points) and just below the swing when they beat the Tories at Tiverton and Honiton in June 2022 (29.9 points).

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Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Ed Davey said the “stunning victory” showed his party is “firmly back” in its former West Country stronghold.

“Sarah Dyke will be an incredible local champion for the people of Somerset who have been neglected for far too long,” he said.

“She will fight for stronger local health services, better access to GPs and a fair deal for rural communities during this cost of living crisis. The people of Somerton and Frome have spoken for the rest of the country who are fed up with Rishi Sunak’s out-of-touch Conservative government.”

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