While local Liberal Democrats were celebrating the big increase in Lynne Featherstone’s majority in the General Election, there was disappointment that the party did not manage to take control of Haringey Council, which remains under Labour rule.
Lib Dem local candidates in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency polled even higher than Ms Featherstone overall, but it wasn’t enough to make the crucial handful of gains that would have put an end to 40 years of Labour control of Haringey Council, dubbed the worst council in London.
Ms Featherstone’s majority over Labour almost trebled, as voters endorsed her five years as MP. Lib Dem council candidates in 21 seats romped to victory, and there was delight as the party held its two seats in Harringay ward, that were recounted on Friday afternoon.
Lib Dems also expressed satisfaction that hard working candidate David Schmitz easily retained second place in the Tottenham constituency – and secured a seat on Haringey Council. However, the results were not enough to secure the extra seats needed in the Wood Green area, where the party narrowly lost out to Labour.
There was also delight among local Lib Dems that two of their former friends and colleagues, Stephen Gilbert (former Fortis Green councillor) and Duncan Hames (former Tottenham candidate) were both elected to Parliament in the West Country.
Lib Dem Leader Robert Gorrie comments:
“While there is disappointment in not winning control of Haringey Council, I’d like to thank local people for the largest ever Lib Dem vote in the borough. And I’m delighted that Lynne Featherstone has won such a ringing endorsement from local voters.
“With no other parties coming close to wining any seats on the Council it again falls to the Lib Dems to provide the opposition that is the real force pushing this council to improve. With Labour winning with just 39 per cent of the votes, they will certainly have to listen.”