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Same again at the Town Hall as Labour win all but one seat in council elections

Greens' Caroline Russell keeps her seat in Highbury East as Labour claim the rest

04 May, 2018 — By Samantha Booth

LABOUR has won another landslide at the Town Hall – winning every seat bar one at yesterday’s (Thursday’s) boroughwide council elections.

In a repeat result of the vote in 2014, the Greens were the only party to stop a complete wipeout as Caroline Russell held her ground in Highbury East. She only won by eight votes in 2014, but topped the polls this time with 2,307 votes. Osh Gantly and Sue Lukes for Labour were elected alongside her.

The Green Party also performed well in the St George’s ward with all three candidates receiving more than 1,000 votes each, but not enough to gain seats in the chamber. Overall, the party’s boroughwide vote decreased.

The Liberal Democrats, who controlled the council before 2010, saw their vote fall by 2 per cent since 2014, with Labour council leader Richard Watts coining another failure to get a councillor elected as the  “death of the Lib Dems”.

Labour, who still control 47 out of the 48 seats, say this was the best result for the party in Islington since 1974 when they won all of the seats. They received 7,793 more votes overall than 2014.

Cllr Watts, who won back his Tollington ward seat, said: “It’s a massive endorsement for Islington Labour and congratulations to Caroline.”

He also admitted having the Labour Party’s national leader Jeremy Corbyn as the local MP in Islington North helped Labour. “Jeremy is massively popular in Islington,” Cllr Watts said. “There’s no doubt his personal popularity has played into this result.”

Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Russell in conversation after the results 

Mr Corbyn, who was at the count this afternoon (Friday) at the Sobell Centre, said: “I’m very proud of the results we’ve seen. I was very confident coming here today. We had the best results in London since 1971 which was a seminal year for Labour and we didn’t gain places that it was very unlikely of a gain, however we’ve won wards that have never been Labour before.

“We’ve achieved a lot but we’ve got a lot more to achieve and I will be working with Islington Labour to make the borough the best it possibly can be.”

Kate Pothalingam, a Liberal Democrat candidate in Highbury East, said in her closing speech: “While the vote as not what we had hoped for, we will continue to speak out on liberal issues in Islington and ensure your voices are heard.”

The Women’s Equality Party, came fourth in the Hillrise ward. Nikki Uppal received more than 800 votes – behind Labour but above the Lib Dems, Conservatives and Greens.

Ms Uppal, a school governor, said: “I think people are really getting what the party is about and feel like it’s time we did something about equality.”

The Conservatives, who ran a full slate of candidates despite not having council control since 1968, saw their votes increase by 337.

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