Ed Miliband hails Labour poll triumph

 

Labour's by-election victory was a "verdict on the Government's failed economic plan", Ed Miliband said today.

The party held Feltham and Heston with an increased majority over the Conservatives.

Addressing supporters in Feltham town centre, Mr Miliband called on the Tories to "listen" to voters.

He said: "I think it is pretty offensive that the Conservatives are saying this morning 'well, what do you expect? It's a traditional Labour area'.

"They shouldn't be denying the people's choice, they should be listening to the people's verdict.

"I think that is one of the things people really don't like about this government - that they don't listen. They really need to start listening."

Labour's candidate Seema Malhotra was returned with majority of 6,203 - a net swing of 8.6% from the Conservatives.

On a night which saw a turnout of less than 29% - the lowest in a by-election for 11 years - the Liberal Democrats managed to see off a challenge from the UK Independence Party to hold on to third place.

Mr Miliband said Labour still had more to do to "rebuild trust" in politics.

He has come under increasing pressure over his leadership after a string of poor poll ratings.

Pressed on whether there was a question over his performance, he replied: "The most important thing about this result is what people here are saying in our country.

"Because this is a result about young people looking for a job, it's about families and their living standards and it's about businesses that are really struggling. What we are going to do as a party is focus on those people and fight for those people."

Ms Malhotra said the message on the doorstep was that the Government has failed the people of Britain.

She added: "This is a time when Britain needs to know that there is a Government investing in Britain, not a Government that is turning its back on what British families and businesses need."

The Conservatives said Labour should have extended their majority even further if they were looking to be on course for victory at the next general election, set for 2015.

The defeated Tory candidate Mark Bowen insisted that he was "proud" of the result, despite seeing his party's share of the vote fall.

"We have done a lot better than the pollsters and bookmakers suggested we would do," he said.

For the Lib Dems there was relief that they avoided the humiliation of being beaten into fourth place, despite a sharp fall in their share of the vote.

Lib Dem candidate Roger Crouch said: "We have shown that we are still resilient and still relevant."

However Ukip leader Nigel Farage said the Lib Dems were "almost a busted flush".

"People are turning to Ukip as they realise we are serious when it comes to putting Britain first," he said.

Ukip had been hoping to overhaul the Lib Dems but admitted their chances had been damaged by David Cameron's decision to wield the veto at the Brussels summit, which gave the Tories a fillip in the final week of the campaign.

Labour increased their share of the vote from 43% at the general election to 54% with a net swing of 8.6% from the Tories.

The Conservative vote share was down from 34% to 28%, while the Lib Dems dropped from nearly 14% to under 6%.

In contrast, Ukip saw its vote share more than double from 2% to over 5%.

The parliamentary by-election was sparked by the death last month of veteran Labour MP Alan Keen after he lost his battle with cancer.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee