Liberal Democrat poll-toppers have been celebrating this morning after their best night ever in Haringey elections. The party made an astonishing 11 gains from Labour, and were just a handful of votes away from winning control of Haringey Council.
With several key results on a knife edge all night, the Lib Dems become the biggest party in terms of the popular vote, outpolling Labour by 116 votes across the borough. Lib Dem candidates narrowly lost some very tight races, where a tiny swing would have given them overall control.
In Labour’s night of disaster, the party lost four of its cabinet members – for finance, environment, social services and performance, all areas where Labour’s controversial policies have brought unpopularity with Haringey voters.
Lib Dems made a sensational breakthrough in Wood Green, with four new councillors, and in Tottenham where Lib Dems Karen Alexander and Carolyn Baker became the party’s first councillors in the Tottenham parliamentary constituency. In the west of the borough it was a clean sweep for the party, with Labour majorities in Stroud Green and Hornsey demolished, to add to the five wards already held by the party – all of which were held with greatly increased majorities.
For the Tories, it was once a gain a disastrous duck, with the complete failure to capture Highgate ward, where Lib Dem Leader Neil Williams and colleagues Bob Hare and Justin Portess won with an increased majority. In terms of votes, the Tories slipped into third place in the Tottenham constituency and a dismal fourth across Hornsey and Wood Green.
Lib Dem Leader Neil Williams comments:
“This is a brilliant local election result for the Lib Dems. I am so proud of the whole team for what they have achieved. As we always suspected, just a handful of votes decided the election in the end, and Labour’s majority of just three seats may well not last a full four years. With this terrible result for Labour, you can guarantee there will be more Labour infighting and chaos while the concerns of local residents are ignored. However, we now have a very large Lib Dem group which is ready to take over at the first opportunity.”
Key election facts:
- The Lib Dems became Haringey’s most popular party, winning 20,347 votes to Labour’s 20,235.
- Just 77 Labour switchers – 29 in Bounds Green and 47 in Woodside ward – would have given the Lib Dems control of Haringey Council.
- The Lib Dem vote rose 9% while Labour’s share dropped by 5% – a 7% swing to the party.
- In Lynne Featherstone’s Hornsey and Wood Green parliamentary constituency, the party polled a massive 48% to Labour’s 26%. The Tories finished fourth.
- In Tottenham, the party won its first council seats, and pushed the Tories into third place across the Parliamentary seat.
- In Muswell Hill, Lib Dem candidates Jonathan Bloch and Gail Engert became the first candidates since before the mid-1980s to poll over 2,000 votes.
- In four wards, the Lib Dems won by over 1,000 votes – Alexandra, Fortis Green, Muswell Hill and Crouch End.