First Labour councillor elected in Chiswick for 30 years

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Image above: returning officer and Hounslow CEO Niall Bolger

Amy Croft is the first Labour councillor to be elected in Chiswick for 30 years.

Amy was elected in Chiswick Riverside in a very close contest, with three recounts. In the end there were just nine votes in it. She was elected with 1,064 votes. Conservative Sebastian Wallace came fourth in the three seat ward, with 1,055 votes.

By the time the result was announced she had left the building.

Conservatives Gabriella Giles and Peter Thompson were also elected. In the two other Chiswick wards belonging to LB Hounslow, Conservatives were returned.

The last time Chiswick had a Labour councillor was in the mid 1990s.

At the beginning of the night council officers thought maybe the results would be through by 3am or 3.30.

“We’ll be last because we’re the biggest ward with the biggest electorate and the most candidates” said Chiswick Homefields candidate Jack Emsley.

In theory that should have been the case, but the night dragged on.

With Labour already in charge of the council with a large majority and Conservative voters registering a protest at Boris Johnson’s behaviour, Labour wins were never in doubt except in Chiswick, where there has not been a Labour councillor elected for 30 years.

Chiswick Gunnersbury was the first of the three Hounslow wards to be called. That was pretty close, with just 23 votes between Labour’s Emma Yates and Conservative Ranjit Gill.

All three Conservative councillors – Joanna Biddolph, Ron Mushiso and Ranjit Gill were re-elected. Labour candidate Hanif Khan, former Hounslow Cabinet Member for Transport, was punished for introducing the cycle lane to Chiswick.

Then shortly before 6am Chiswick Homefields was announced. Conservative first time candidate Jack Emsley was elected and his two colleagues John Todd and Gerald McGregor re-elected.

By now Chiswick Riverside was on its second recount. At issue, we were told, were just eight votes.

The counting room at Twickenham rugby stadium emptied out. The sun came up. And still they counted.

Image above: Gabriella Giles – the only remaining winning candidate at the declaration

Nobody expected Riverside to be so close. The Labour Party put all its effort into Chiswick Gunnersbury. The three Labour candidates were unknown, announced late, long after the Conservatives had started campaigning and did not expect to do nearly as well as they did.

Mel Collins, long time councillor for Brentford, only standing in Chiswick because he was deselected in favour of a younger model, did not expect to get anywhere near his 936 votes.

Now Riverside councillors will be in the novel position of having to share the work of representing Chiswick residents across the political divide.

The Labour Party remains in overall control of Hounslow council, with  52 Councillors, out of a total of 62 seats in 22 wards.  The Conservative party won 10 seats.

The turnout for the election was 33.6%. The full results and turnout for each ward are available on the Council’s website.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Conservatives win Chiswick Gunnersbury

See also: Conservatives win in Chiswick Homefields

See also: Liberal Democrats re-elected in Southfield

See all the latest stories: Chiswick Calendar News & Features

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