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Kensington election result: Labour candidate flooded with congratulations says she hasn't won yet

Update: Labour has won the safe Tory seat for the first time ever

Maya Oppenheim
Friday 09 June 2017 21:10 BST
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Scene from inside Kensington Town Hall where vote count was subsequently suspended

The Labour candidate for Kensington has been deluged with congratulations but insisted she hasn't won - yet.

The Tory seat has reportedly been handed to Labour for the first time in history.

The west London constituency, which voted to remain in the EU referendum, has been Conservative since it was created in 1997.

Emma Dent Coad, the Labour candidate, thanked supporters for their praise but said she had not been directly informed of the news.

"Thank you all for your congratulations, but I've not heard that the Kensington Conservatives have conceded to me. Recount at 6pm I'm told!" she tweeted.

Paul Waugh, executive politics editor of the Huffington Post, said a source in the area informed him a Labour win was expected.

"Lab gain in Kensington & Chelsea now expected, source on ground says. That's KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA, people. If only Portillo was still MP," he wrote on Twitter.

Rumours the seat would swing to Labour have circulated throughout the night. Rachel Johnson, the younger sister of Boris Johnson who recently joined the Liberal Democrats in protest against Tory support for Brexit, expressed her shock at the speculation.

"If Kensington - home of Kensington Palace, Peter Pan, Princess Diana's old house - the iconic and probably the richest borough in the country," she told CNN in the early hours of the morning. "If this goes Labour, and I feel my shivers literally running up and down my shoulders as I say this, this is not an election, it's an earthquake".

The reports follow the announcement the general election delivered a hung parliament. Although no party has an overall majority, the Conservatives remain the largest party with 318 seats so far while Labour currently have 261 - with 326 required for a majority and just this seat left to be called.

Mr Corbyn's party increased its share of the vote by 9.6 per cent, winning a larger share of the vote in last night's election than Tony Blair achieved when he took power in 2005. While the Tories were up 5.5 per cent, the Lib Democrats, Greens and SNP witnessed small loses and Ukip's vote totally collapsed.

The election count in the west London constituency was suspended with no result after counters said they were too exhausted to carry on.

In a statement, returning officer Tony Redpath said: "The provisional result of the election was known at approximately 2am. That result was very close and a recount was therefore requested.

"The result on that recount also remained very close. A request for a third count was therefore made. At this stage staff had been up all night and were becoming visibly tired.

“In order to have confidence in its accuracy, the recount has been suspended to allow staff to rest and recuperate. The count will recommence as soon as possible and details will be posted on our website and on social media."

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