Labour eye general election glory after Croydon Central gains

Labour's Sarah Jones will challenge incumbent Conservative MP Gavin Barwell for the Croydon Central seat

Labour's Sarah Jones will challenge incumbent Conservative MP Gavin Barwell for the Croydon Central seat

First published in News
Last updated
Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Pivotal gains made by Labour on polling day look to have placed the party's candidate for Croydon Central in the driving seat ahead of next year's general election.

Four of the seven new seats seized by Labour on Thursday were in the closely-contested Parliamentary constituency, where the party edged out the Conservatives in both seats and voter numbers.

It means Gavin Barwell, current Croydon Central MP, faces a battle to retain the seat he won by 2,879 votes in 2010.

Sarah Jones, Labour's candidate for Croydon Central in the election next May, said: "I think it's a great platform that we can build on but I wouldn't take anything for granted at all.

"The fact that we went into previously Conservative wards and managed to switch them to Labour is great sign and I think it shows that we have the bodies on the ground, that we were going and talking to more people, that we were listening to arguments and were reflecting what people wanted in our manifesto.

"That bodes well but I wouldn't take anything for granted because the general election is a very different kind of election and there will be plenty of challenges."

Mr Barwell admitted he faced a challenge to retain his seat but pointed out the popularity of Coun Mike Fisher's Conservative council did not necessarily match his own. 

He said: "If you add up the votes across Croydon Central Labour would have just won the seat last Thursday, so really that doesn't tell me anything new because I already knew it was going to be a close fight next year.

"I think it's one we are perfectly capable of winning but it's by no means a foregone conclusion and we are going to have to work very hard over the next 12 months.

"It will remain to be seen the extent to which I am more or less popular than the Conservative council was."

At the start of Thursday night's local election count the MP, formerly councillor for Coulsdon West, predicted Labour would reclaim Croydon Council.

Comments (3)

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9:28am Wed 28 May 14

christhegoth says...

Considering what Gavin has voted in favour of, and how it harms so many innocents, his own actions will hang him like Fisher's did. Of that I am confident.
Considering what Gavin has voted in favour of, and how it harms so many innocents, his own actions will hang him like Fisher's did. Of that I am confident. christhegoth
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Wed 28 May 14

John S Cartwright says...

Your figures of 37.1% and 32.3% are inaccurate. The correct figures are 35.3% for Labour and 33.5% for Conservative. You can only get 37.1% and 32.3% by calculating the eight individual wards separately, and then averaging those percentages, thereby overweighting the wards with lower turnouts (New Addington, Fieldway and Woodside, which happen to be Labour's strongest wards).
Your figures of 37.1% and 32.3% are inaccurate. The correct figures are 35.3% for Labour and 33.5% for Conservative. You can only get 37.1% and 32.3% by calculating the eight individual wards separately, and then averaging those percentages, thereby overweighting the wards with lower turnouts (New Addington, Fieldway and Woodside, which happen to be Labour's strongest wards). John S Cartwright
  • Score: 4

1:37pm Wed 28 May 14

John S Cartwright says...

Also, Gavin Barwell won Croydon Central in 2010 by a margin of 2,969 not 2,879. The number of votes he got was 19,657, not 19,567 as is erroneously given by some sources.
Also, Gavin Barwell won Croydon Central in 2010 by a margin of 2,969 not 2,879. The number of votes he got was 19,657, not 19,567 as is erroneously given by some sources. John S Cartwright
  • Score: 4

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