Lewisham Labour holds two bye-elections with reduced majorities

Labour have held both bye-elections staged yesterday after the resignation of sitting councillors.

Lionel Openshaw and Kim Powell were elected to Lewisham council with swings towards the LibDems – but no where near enough to breach Labour’s dominance of the borough in their wards.

Powell held Whitefoot ward with 1314 votes, or 53 per cent – 12 per cent down on last year’s vote.

Lib Dem Max Brockbank was second with 514 votes, or 21 per cent, an 11 per cent rise on their last show.

Ben Blackmore, the Conservative, garnered 313 votes, with their portion of the vote, 13 per cent, being a three percent fall on 2018.

Lewisham People Before Profit’s Gwenton Sloley bagged 218 votes, or nine per cent, despite never having fought the ward before.

Openshaw held Evelyn ward with 52 per cent, or 1,681 votes, 16 per cent down on the 2018 result.

Here second place was taken by the Greens’ candidate James Braun, with 702 votes or 22 per cent. This time Conservatives achieved just seven per cent, with 231 votes for Eleanor Reader-Moore; and the Lib Dems six per cent, with 200 votes.

Richard Day for UKIP, who did not field a candidate in Whitefoot, were beaten into sixth place by People Before Profit’s Joyce Jacca with the two getting 140 and 151 votes respectively.

Lewisham Labour group called it “a vote against Tory austerity”.

Damien Egan, Mayor of Lewisham, said “I want to thank the residents of Lewisham for continuing to put their trust in Labour as we deliver on our bold and radical manifesto in the face of Tory austerity. I look forward to working with Kim and Lionel as we fight the brutal Tory cuts to our borough.”
Kim Powell said, “Thank you to every person in Whitefoot who came out and voted for me. I will be a strong voice on the Council and will fight the £8.8m of Tory cuts to Lewisham’s schools between 2015-20.”
Lionel Openshaw said, “I am incredibly grateful to Evelyn for choosing me to represent them as a Lewisham councillor. I will work hard to help deliver Labour’s social housing programme across Lewisham as we build a Lewisham for the many, not the few.”

Lewisham Momentum tweeted: “’Democrats & Veterans’ got just 38 votes in Whitefoot. In Evelyn they also came firm last with 13. UKIP came 6th in Evelyn with just 140 votes. Maybe a milkshake will make them feel better.”

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