General Election 2019: Reactions from candidates as Labour hold Southwark despite national trouncing

Katherine Johnston (13 December, 2019)

Unite to Remain pact fails to make impact

33829Labour's Harriet Harman speaking after the result was announced at 4am

Labour may have held onto all three Southwark seats, but nationally the party was completely trounced by Boris Johnson, as its ‘red wall’ in the midlands and the north turned blue.

  • Neil Coyle kept Bermondsey and Old Southwark with more than 31,000 votes – 15,000 more than key challengers the Lib Dems
  • Harriet Harman held onto Camberwell and Peckham with more than 40,000 votes
  • Helen Hayes retained a stunning majority of 27,000 in Dulwich and West Norwood
  • Voter turnout at around 63 per cent
  • Jeremy Corbyn says he will step down as Labour leader before the next general election


Bermondsey and Old Southwark results

  • Labour – 31,723
  • Liberal Democrats – 15,597
  • Conservatives – 9,678
  • Brexit Party – 1,617


Labour held the seat with a majority of 16,126 votes and a 54.1 per cent share.

The Lib Dems share of votes went down by 4.5 per cent, and the Tories’ rose by 3.6 per cent.

Neil Coyle grew his majority by 3,154 more votes than in 2017.

Alex Matthews, the Brexit Party candidate, is the only one not to get his deposit back.


Camberwell and Peckham

  • Labour – 40,258
  • Conservatives – 6,478
  • Liberal Democrats – 5,087
  • Greens – 3,501
  • Brexit Party – 1,041
  • Workers’ Revolutionary Party – 127

Labour held the seat with 71.3 per cent of the vote and a majority of 33,780

Harman’s overwhelming majority did decrease, down by 3,536 votes compared to 2017.

The Greens and Lib Dems did increase their voting share by around 3 per cent each.

Neither the Brexit Party not Workers Revolutionary Party candidates will get their £500 deposits back after failing to secure 5 per cent of the vote.


Dulwich and West Norwood results 

  • Labour – 36,521
  • Greens – 9,211
  • Conservatives – 9,160
  • Brexit Party – 571
  • Christian People’s Alliance – 242

Helen Hayes’ voting share went down by 4.2 per cent as the Greens’ rose by 14 per cent.

She had 846 votes less than in 2017 but still posted an overwhelming majority of more than 27,000.

The Tories, second-place in 2017, went into third.

Provisional turnout was not as high as expected after images of long queues shared online at polling stations across south London.

Three candidates – the Brexit Party’s Julia Stephenson, Anthony Hodgson from the Christian Pepple’s Alliance, and UKIP’s John Plume did not achieve 5 per cent of the vote.

Across the country, out of the 649 seats declared, of a total of 650, the Conservatives took 364, with Labour of 203 (losing 42 constituencies) and the Lib Dems on 11.

In Scotland, the SNP have achieved 48 – turning nearly the entire country yellow and sparking calls for a second independence referendum.


Dulwich and West Norwood was higher, at nearly 70 per cent.

Neil Coyle struck a conciliatory tone and thanked the other candidates with what he called a ‘clean’ fight.

Although Coyle was celebrating his result, it was grim for Labour overall.

He was quick to call for Corbyn’s resignation.

The News‘ chief reporter covering the count live on our twitter feed was unable to speak to the Liberal Democrat challenger, Humaira Ali.

News readers will know Simon Hughes’ former seat was a key target for the Lib Dems.

It was a bad night for the Lib Dems after their leader Jo Swinson lost her own East Dunbartonshire constituency to the SNP.

At the count at Tooley street last night, Bermondsey and Old Southwark Brexit Party candidate Alex Matthews said the election was “the most fun thing I’ve ever done” and predicted the Brexit Party getting “some seats”.

This didn’t come to pass, though his comments that ‘Labour has completely abandoned working class voters’ may gain more traction now the full results are in.

And although the Conservatives failed to make headway in Bermondsey, candidate Andrew Baker was delighted with the party’s national performance.

In Camberwell and Peckham, Green Party candidate Claire Sheppard described the election as the “death knell of the two party system” and the exit poll as “terrifying for the country”.

Meanwhile, Peter Quentin, the Conservative candidate for Camberwell and Peckham said he was fed up of the party being described as ‘hard line’ and lacking moderates claiming their manifesto is “basically Labour’s manifesto in 2001”.


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General Election 2019