Last night’s election results held many unpleasant surprises for Labour.
None occurred in Lambeth, however, where the party safely held on to all three constituencies there.
Indeed, the Labour candidates in Streatham, Vauxhall and Dulwich and West Norwood all managed to increase their share of the vote.
In Streatham, Chuka Umunna’s share went up by ten per cent. Kate Hoey, who has been MP for Vauxhall since 1989, upped hers by 0.4% and Tessa Jowell’s successor Helen Hayes increased Labour’s share by 7.5% in Dulwich and West Norwood.
These results ran counter to most others for Labour across Britain.
By contrast, the fate of the Lib Dems locally did reflect the national trend – for they suffered a huge loss of support both in Britain and in the constituencies that cover the Brixton area.
In the last general election, the Lib Dem candidates came second in each constituency. This year they were pushed into third by the Conservatives and in Vauxhall their candidate Adrian Hyyryläinen-Trett came fourth to the Greens.
The latter party has clearly become a much stronger force in Lambeth: in Streatham the Greens went from 861 votes (1.8%) at the last election to 4,421 (8.9%).
Other smaller parties echoed Bartley’s optimism. Steve Nally, TUSC candidate for Dulwich and West Norwood, said: “We [didn’t] expect a huge amount of votes tonight but we’ve had a good reception and we’re here to stay.”
“We’re one step down the road to building the forces for a new workers party, We think somewhere like Lambeth is a good place to start because there is a very strong working community.”
And when it came to the overall turn-out, in Streatham and in Dulwich and West Norwood it was relatively high, 63 per cent and 67% respectively – close to the national average of 66.1% – while Vauxhall’s was a little lower with a turnout of 58%.