Election 2017: Re-elected Poplar & Limehouse MP says Corbyn and Labour campaign 'exceeded all expectations'
PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:00 09 June 2017
The returning Labour MP was greeted with thunderous applause as he confessed himself "honoured and humbled" to return to Westminster for the sixth term.
Jim Fitzpatrick increased his majority easily, coming away with 39,558 votes in Poplar and Limehouse (67.3pc), followed by the Conservatives’ Christopher Wilford, who trailed behind with less than a third of the share at 20.1pc (11,846 votes).
Voters came out in force this year, with turnout up about five per cent to 67.68pc from the 2015 general election.
The Scot insisted the “electorate had spoken”.
“What is clear is that the Prime Minister’s negative campaign crashed, while Jeremy Corbyn and Labour’s reached heights that six weeks ago were unimaginable,” he told supporters after the result was declared at 5am.
In a sign that Labour MPs are uniting behind their leader, he added: “Everybody knows I’ve not been Jeremy’s biggest fan, but he has exceeded all expectations and I commend and congratulate him on that.”
Traditionally a safe seat for Labour, support has soared in both Tower Hamlets constituencies this year, with Fitzpatrick’s share up nine per cent from 2015, and Ms Ali’s nearly 11pc.
“I will continue to focus on what’s important for Poplar and Limehouse: housing, NHS, education, and child poverty, and I look forward to working again with my friend and colleague Rushanara Ali.”
He added: “I’m honoured and humbled again to be elected again. I will do my best and I hope I won’t disappoint you.”
Former London mayoral candidate Elaine Bagshaw of the Liberal Democrats came third with 3,959 of the votes (6.7pc). Speaking to the Advertiser at the Excel Centre before the result was declared, she said: “I’m feeling good, it looks like we’re back in third.
She added: “It’s been an amazing [campaign], we’ve let in far more people than ever before, there’s been some real enthusiasm on the doorstep.”
Overall the Lib Dems gained four seats, Labour won 29 and the Conservatives lost 12. The Tories are now in the process of trying to form a government with the DUP, amid calls for the Prime Minister to resign.
Mr Wilford admitted it had been a “disappointing evening for the party”.
“What is clear about this evening is that it shows the complexity of the electorate,” he reflected. He would not be drawn on the future of May’s premiership, noting only: “She obviously called this election to strengthen her hand in Brexit; readers can make their own minds up on how that’s gone.”
Bagshaw was trailed by by Oliur Rahman (independent) with 1,477 votes (2.5pc), Bethan Lant (Green Party) with 989 (1.7pc), Nicholas McQueen (Ukip) on 849 (1.4pc) and David Barker, (independent) with 136 votes (0.2pc).