Lib Dem candidate Sir Simon Hughes has issued a statement after Labour’s success in holding on to Bermondsey and Old Southwark, and suggested he may seek re-election again in future.
Labour’s Neil Coyle took the seat off Mr Hughes in the 2015 general election, after he had been the area’s MP for 32 years.
There was speculation leading up to Thursday’s vote that it would be closely-fought battle between the Lib Dems and Labour. But the result came through at about 4:30am on June 9 that Mr Coyle had increased his majority to 12,972, from 4,489 in 2015.
In the final paragraph, Mr Hughes said: “Our supporters can be confident that I and all other Southwark Liberal Democrats fully intend to get back to winning ways here and around the country as soon as possible.”
The statement in full reads: “I congratulate the Labour Party for winning the Bermondsey and Old Southwark constituency in this month’s general election. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party clearly did well in England, Scotland and Wales, but above all they did very well in many London seats including this one. Liberal Democrats were not able this time to hold back the Labour tide.
“To the thousands of people who voted for us, campaigned with us, supported us, worked for us, prayed for us, and shared our vision of liberalism, we are profoundly grateful.
“To all the hundreds of Liberal Democrat members who chose me as their candidate and worked tirelessly for our success, I am profoundly grateful.
“And to all my family and friends who encouraged me from around London and much further afield, I also give my grateful thanks.
“Liberalism and liberal democracy in Bermondsey and the rest of Southwark is strong and resilient. Liberals are proud of the ways in which we have served and will continue to serve our borough, which is one of the most challenging, diverse and wonderful places in the country.
“I invite all who supported us in our campaign to join us as members and activists – to join us in challenging the Conservative government nationally and the Labour council locally.
“We have won eight out of the last ten parliamentary elections in this seat. And in Bermondsey and Old Southwark in this election, as in other places, Liberal Democrats did not go backwards but forwards. In this seat we increased our vote this year to 18,189 – more Liberal Democrat voters here than in five of the previous nine elections.
“Our supporters can be confident that I and all other Southwark Liberal Democrats fully intend to get back to winning ways here and around the country as soon as possible.”
Bermondsey and Old Southwark (67% turnout)
- Neil Coyle (Labour) 31,161
- Simon Hughes (Lib Dems) 18,189
- Siobhan Baillie (Conservative) 7,581
- Elizabeth Jones (UKIP) 838
- James Clarke (Independent) 113
- John Tyson (Green) 639
Majority = 12,972 (+8,483 votes/+189%)