In the end it all seemed a little easy for Southwark Labour. While the party struggled outside the capital, they swept all three parliamentary seats in the borough with a combined majority of some 46,435 votes.
Surely their most satisfying Southwark victory was Neil Coyle’s toppling of 32-year Westminster veteran Simon Hughes in Bermondsey and Old Southwark. While his majority was dwarfed by those of his Labour colleagues Harriet Harman and Helen Hayes further south, the 4,489 lead was still a stunning victory – especially considering some exit polls had described the seat as ‘too close to call.’
In the end, however, Simon Hughes’ support collapsed. While turnout across the seat was up 6.5%, the Lib-Dem lost nearly 4,000 votes compared to the last election. Contrastingly, Neil Coyle gained an incredible 9,000 votes on the previous Labour candidate.
This was a pattern reflected across the borough. In every seat, Labour received a higher percentage of the vote compared to the last election, while support for Lib Dems plummeted. In 2010 the party had one MP in Simon Hughes and two strong runner-ups. This time around, Mr Hughes dropped to second place, James Barber scraped third in Dulwich and West Norwood and Yahaya Kiyingi came fourth in Camberwell and Peckham.
It was a bitter-sweet night for UKIP. Andrew Beadle kept his deposit in Bermondsey and Old Southwark with a 6.4% share of the vote, but David Kurten (4.7%) and Rathy Alagaratnam (3.1%) failed to come close to achieving their aims of achieving a ‘strong third or fourth place.’
For the All People’s Party, however, it was less bitter-sweet and more full-blown toxic. Prem Goyal, who founded the party when he was pipped by Neil Coyle in the Labour candidacy selection for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, received 1.6% of the vote, while the party’s other two candidates received just 121 votes between them.