Ralph Scott has scored an excellent victory in the Kentish Town by-election in Camden, taking a Labour seat and beating the Green candidate – their newly elected principal speaker (equivalent of party leader), Sian Berry – who had told the Camden New Journal hours before the polls closed: “We are ahead”.
The result in Kentish Town was:
Ralph Scott (Lib Dem) 1,093 (38%, +2%)
Green 812 (28%, +4%)
Labour 808 (28%, -3%)
Conservative 198 (7%, -1%)
The ward elected two Liberal Democrats and one Labour in May and the by-election was for Labour’s seat.
May’s elections saw the Liberal Democrats become the largest party in Camden, and take the lead in running the council. To gain a seat in their first electoral test since gaining power is an impressive result – and a tribute not just to Ralph and his team, but also to the way Keith Moffitt has been leading the council since May.
It is bad for Labour to lose a seat, but this is also a bad result for the Greens – only barely coming second despite the party clearly put a lot of effort into the campaign and thinking they had a real chance of winning. They carefully timed various national media coverage of Sian Berry for the run-up to polling day – all to no avail.
In by-elections elsewhere the SNP failed to take Labour’s seat in Elderslie and the Lib Dems held our seat in Horsham.