The Labour Party vote share has increased from 23.5% to 30.9% in Old Bexley and Sidcup, where Tory candidate Louie French has won the by-election triggered by the death of former cabinet minister James Brokenshire.
Old Bexley and Sidcup:
CON: 11,189 (51.5%)
LAB: 6,711 (30.9%)
REFORM: 1,432 (6.6%)
GREEN: 830 (3.8%)
LDEM: 647 (3.0%)
Ballots verified: 21,787
Total eligible electorate: 64,831
French, a local councillor and former deputy leader of Bexley Council, has won with a reduced majority of 4,478. Brokenshire was re-elected to represent the constituency at the 2019 general election with a majority of almost 19,000.
Daniel Francis is a local councillor, too, and a former leader of the Labour group on the council. He is married with two primary school aged children, one of whom has cerebral palsy, and he campaigns on accessibility issues.
Keir Starmer described the candidate as a “brilliant, hard working, local champion”. But Labour was not expecting to win the by-election, with party sources stressing in the run-up to polling day that it is a safe Tory seat.
The by-election on Thursday was also contested by Simone Reynolds for the Lib Dems, who stood in the 2019 election when she secured 3,822 votes, plus Jonathan Rooks for the Greens and Richard Tice for the Reform Party.
The south-east London seat has been Conservative-held since its creation in 1983, then represented by former Prime Minister Ted Heath. Brokenshire, who died from lung cancer in October, had been the MP since 2010.