London

Croydon North by-election: Labour's Steve Reed secures win

  • 30 November 2012
  • From the section London

Labour has retained the seat of Croydon North in a parliamentary by-election.

Steve Reed secured 15,898 votes - 64.7% of those cast - with Andy Stranack of the Conservative Party in second place on 4,137 votes.

Winston McKenzie of the UK Independence Party was third with 1,400 votes and Lib Dem Marisha Ray came fourth with 860.

The contest in south London was triggered by the death of Labour MP Malcolm Wicks in September.

'Clear message'

Mr Wicks, 65, who had cancer, held a variety of ministerial briefs under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, including pensions, science and energy.

The result, announced just after 01:45 GMT, saw an overall swing of 8% from the Conservatives to Labour with Mr Reed winning by a margin of almost 12,000 votes.

In his victory speech, Mr Reed, the current leader of Lambeth Borough Council, said: "Tonight the people of Croydon North sent a clear message to David Cameron.

"He cannot be the one-nation prime minister Britain needs if he stands by doing nothing while Croydon faces one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in London.

"He cannot be the one-nation prime minister Britain needs if he is giving tax cuts to millionaires while pensioners here in Croydon are left to pay more."

Mr Stranack, who has cerebral palsy, said he was disappointed to come second but admitted winning such a safe Labour seat was a "big challenge".

He said: "I would like to challenge all of the main party leaders to look at the inspiration our Paralympians bought us over the summer and take the bold decision to select more candidates with disabilities."

The turnout was 26.4% - down from 60.6% at the 2010 general election.

A predicted challenge from the Respect party failed to materialise, as Lee Jasper - a former aide to ex-London Mayor Ken Livingstone - secured just 707 votes.

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