The Liberal Democrats have won all three seats in the by election in London Bridge and West Bermondsey ward.
Humaira Ali, William Houngbo and Damian Shaun O’Brien were declared as the winning candidates in the new ward today, Friday.
It means the Liberal Democrats now have a total of fourteen seats in Southwark compared to thirteen in 2014 while Labour has 49 seats.
Speaking to the News, Councillor Damian O’Brien said Southwark Liberal Democrats were “enormously pleased” to have three councillors in the ward again after it became a split Liberal Democrat/Labour ward at a previous election.
“I felt fairly positive ahead going into the count,” he said. “Our data was looking good to be fair but the total unknown – and this is why politics is so unpredictable – is the fact we didn’t know what the Labour data was so all you can do is put your best foot forward and we had some very talented key people in the campaign who volunteered their time.”
“I have to say the count this morning was a lot tighter than I expected,” he added. “At one point our agent thought we might have to go through a recount and then I started getting really worried but in the end the numbers fell our way and after all that effort we got there.
“It’s the first gain for Southwark Liberal Democrats since 2006; in 2010 we lost control of the council, in 2014 we went down to thirteen seats, and then on May 3 we had eleven seats and now fourteen.
“We’ve gone through some hard times as Liberal Democrats – some of it was self-inflicted – but hopefully we are getting back into a steady forward-moving ship and we are ready to gain again.”
The election in London Bridge and West Bermondsey had to be cancelled on May 3 after Conservative candidate Toby Eckersley sadly died unexpectedly.
Mr Eckersley was a long-serving councillor in Dulwich between 1977 and 1986 and then again from 1990 to 2014.
Full list of candidates and results in London Bridge & West Bermondsey:
Ali, Humaira (Liberal Democrat) 1,340
Batteson, John Seymour (Labour) 1,215
Creely, Bernard John (Green) 191
Eyles, Julie (Labour) 1,239
Ginnett, Hannah Elizabeth (Conservative) 221
Houngbo, William (Liberal Democrat) 1,270
McDonagh, Edward Joseph (Labour) 1,171
Newport Gay, Nathan (Conservative) 205
O’Brien, Damian Shaun (Liberal Democrat) 1,281
Packer, Richard John (Conservative) 219
Werner, Claude Rubio (Green) 215