Catherine West storms to victory in Hornsey and Wood Green
PUBLISHED: 04:41 08 May 2015 | UPDATED: 14:25 08 May 2015
Hornsey and Wood Green’s former MP Lynne Featherstone fell victim to a national swing against the Lib Dems tonight, losing the seat she held for ten years.
Ms Featherstone took the seat from Labour MP Barbara Roche in 2005, overturning a majority of more than 10,000.
But the seat swung back to Labour again tonight, after former Islington Council leader Catherine West stormed to victory, with a huge 11,058 majority.
Her 50.9 per cent share of the vote – or 29,417 votes - increased from Labour’s 34 per cent at the last election, when Labour candidate Karen Jennings picked up 18,720 votes.
More than 73 per cent of the electorate – an increase of more than 4 per cent since 2010, cast their votes in the battleground seat, which was a key target for Labour, and was the subject of national attention, as it would signal the fate of the Lib Dems.
Ms West fought a strong campaign, with a host of celebrity backers, including comedians Eddie Izzard and Steve Coogan, and a visit to Crouch End from Labour leader Ed Miliband.
Ms Featherstone had been defending a majority of 6,875, but that relatively large cushion was not enough to save her in the wake of anti-Liberal Democrat feeling, as a result of their decision to go into coalition with David Cameron’s Conservative Party – an unpopular move among many traditional Liberal Democrat supporters.
Featherstone picked up 18,359 votes, or 31.7 per cent of the vote, down from 25,595 votes and 46.5 per cent of the votes in 2010.
Ms Featherstone is also likely to have lost out on votes following a swing towards the Green Party.
Candidate Gordon Peters increased the Greens’ share of the vote from 2.3, or 1,261 votes, in 2010 to 5.4 per cent or 3,146 votes, putting him in fourth place.
He said: “I think Catherine’s win is pretty resounding, and I do wish her well.
“I hope she really can help defend rights and services for the most vulnerable. We’ll hold her to that.
“My own view is that now Ed Balls has gone, it would be great if Labour re-thought their ‘austerity’ approach.
“I wish Lynne, and the other candidates well as I enjoyed their company.
“And as Greens we’ve demonstrated we are a force to be reckoned with in Haringey, much more to do as there is.”
Suhail Rahuja, the Conservative Party candidate picked up 5,347 votes in third place down from 9,174 in 2010, and Clive Morrison was the first Ukip candidate ever to stand in the seat, receiving 1,271 votes or 2.2 per cent in fifth place.
Frank Sweeney for the Workers’ Revolutionary Party picked up 82 votes, 118 people voted for Helen Spiby-Vann of the Christian People’s Party, and Geoff Moseley, who set up his own party, Hoi Polloi, received 45 votes.
Speaking excusively to the Broadway and Tottenham Journal before making a swift exit, Lynne Featherstone said: “The people of Hornsey and Wood Green have always been my priority.
“I thank them for giving me the opportunity to change the world, it’s very rare to be in that position.”
Catherine West said she was “delighted” with the result, but that her victory was tempered by Labour’s losses elsewhere in the country.
She said: “I’m absolutely delighted.
“I did think it was going to be closer.
“But it does feel awkward with some of the results we’ve had tonight, some really difficult ones.”
Labour - 29,417 (50.9 per cent)
Liberal Democrat - 18,359 (31.7 per cent)
Conservative - 5,347 (9.2 per cent)
Green - 3,146 (5.4 per cent)
Ukip - 1,271 (2.2 per cent)
Christian People’s Alliance - 118 (0.2 per cent)
Workers’ Revolutionary Party - 82 (0.1 per cent)
Hoi Polloi - 45 (0.07 per cent)