Victory for Labour in Putney is one of few party changes across South London

By Sian Bailey BBC Local Government Correspondent

Labour’s Fleur Anderson is the new MP for Putney, beating Conservative candidate Will Sweet by 4,774 votes on a night of virtually no changes in which party holds which seat in South London.

Her victory saw the constituency turn red after a huge campaigning effort that saw more than 700 volunteers out canvassing one night this week.

Labour won 22,780 votes compared to the Conservatives’ 18,006.

Liberal Democrat Sue Wixley came third with 8,548 votes, followed by Green candidate Fergal McEntee with 1,133 votes.

Overall turnout was 77.4 per cent, well up from 2017 which saw a turnout of 72.1 per cent.

Justine Greening had held the seat since 2005, but stepped down when the election was called after having the Conservative party whip removed for supporting an emergency motion to allow the House of Commons to take over proceedings on the EU Withdrawal Bill.

She finished her stint in parliament as an Independent.

She was a known ‘remainer’ figure in the party, and accused the Conservatives of “becoming the Brexit party.”

She had previously served as the Secretary of State for Education from 2016 to 2018.

The 2017 election was close, with just 1,554 votes between the Conservatives and runners-up, Labour.

Putney voted 72.24 per cent to remain in the EU referendum in 2016.

The Conservative candidate hoping to replace Ms Greening was Will Sweet,  a local councillor on Wandsworth Council and the borough’s cabinet member for education and children’s services. He grew up in Wandsworth, and worked for the Foreign Office for the last six years.

Also in Wandsworth, Marsha Da Cordova held on to Battersea for Labour with an increased majority – from 2,416 two years ago to 5,668.  Rosena Allin Khan retained Tooting with a fractionally reduced majority of 14,307.

The only other London changes were Tory gains in Kensington, where Felicity Buchan  took back a previously safe seat by only 150 votes, and in Carshalton & Wallington, where Elliot Colburn defeated Lib Dem MP Tom Brake, who held the seat for 22 years.

The only Lib Dem gain was in pro-remain Richmond Park. Sarah Olney, who had held the seat briefly after a 2016 by-election, regained it by defeating Tory Brexiteer Zac Goldsmith.

 


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