Kensington election result: Labour wins Tory safe seat for first time ever

Result is the final embarrassing result for the Prime Minister after a disastrous campaign

Caroline Mortimer
Friday 09 June 2017 22:05 BST
General Election 2017: Labour wins Kensington after second recount

Labour have won in Kensington for the first time in the constituency's history.

After multiple recounts, the result has finally been declared after Emma Dent Coad won the seat by just 20 votes.

In one of the biggest shocks of the election, Conservative Victoria Borwick saw her majority of over 7,000 overturned as the wealthy central London followed many others in rejecting Theresa May's hard Brexit vision.

Officials were forced to temporarily suspended the count on Friday morning when the result was still too close to call as tellers became visibly tired.

The count resumed at 6pm on Friday and Ms Dent Coad won 16,333 to Ms Borwick's 16,313.

In her victory speech Ms Kent Coad, who serves as a local councillor, jokingly thanked Liberal Democrat candidate Annabel Mullin for decreasing the Conservative vote and "allowing her to slip through".

She said: "Clearly this election was not all about Brexit. The people of this constituency have voted and they have voted for someone they trust to to give them a voice."

The loss of the constituency, where the average house price is £1.4m and which voted overwhelmingly for Remain during the EU referendum, is a huge blow to Ms May's credibility.

The Prime Minister called the election in April after polls showed should could win as much as a 100 seat majority over Jeremy Corbyn's Labour party but she had a disastrous campaign after being forced to U-turn over plans to reform social care.

The Conservative manifesto contained a plan to allow the elderly to pay for their care out of their estate when they die so they can remain in their homes as long as possible but they did not initially impose a cap on costs.

The campaign later hit crisis when Ms May was accused of cowardice for refusing to debate with other leaders and pulling out of interviews with journalists.

She was widely criticised for sending Home Secretary Amber Rudd to the final leaders debate in her place after Mr Corbyn announced he would attend and challenged her to join him.

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