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Analysis: Increased turnout helps Labour hold Ilford North with healthy majority

PUBLISHED: 11:54 12 June 2017 | UPDATED: 11:54 12 June 2017

Labour supporters celebrate Wes Streeting's victory in Ilford North. Picture: Ralph Blackburn

Labour supporters celebrate Wes Streeting's victory in Ilford North. Picture: Ralph Blackburn

Archant

In an election billed as the coronation of Theresa May, Labour upset the odds and increased their seats to 262 leading to a hung Parliament.

In Redbridge’s marginal Ilford North, Labour’s Wes Streeting comfortably held the constituency beating the odds on favourite Tory Lee Scott.

Mr Streeting, who was the 7/1 underdog at one point, increased his majority from 589 in 2015 to 9,639 with a 13.9pc swing to Labour.

Interestingly Mr Scott received 76 more votes than he did in 2015 – which shows two important aspects about this election.

Firstly the migration of Ukip voters to the Conservatives does not appeared to have happened.

In April the Recorder broke the news that the anti EU party would not be standing in Ilford North to help Mr Scott get elected and try and aid “pro Brexit MPs”.

In 2015 Ukip candidate Philip Hyde received 4,355 votes, and it was widely expected these would move to the Tories.

At the time Labour were concerned, with one source telling me: “We didn’t see that coming.”

However it appears these people either didn’t turn out, or were attracted to Labour.

Secondly what is apparent is that Labour benefitted from the significant increase in turnout.

More than 53,000 votes were cast in Ilford North this year – 74pc of the electorate – and as Mr Scott got virtually the same number as in 2015, it’s clear a lot of new votes went to Labour.

In Ilford North the party benefitted from having a far larger ground operation than the Conservatives – well run by Matt Goddin.

With a lot of safe Labour seats nearby they were able to bring in lots of activists to get out the vote, which can be seen in the high turnout.

One person close to the Wes Streeting campaign told me they had got almost 70pc turnout in the Orchard Estate, in Woodford Green.

So what happened to the Conservatives?

They ran a well organised campaign, with lots of high profile cabinet minister visits – including the chancellor Philip Hammond and education secretary Justine Greening.

But the social care policy, or “dementia tax”, appeared to cut through on the door step in the wrong way.

One Conservative source told me that “this is what happens” when you attack your core voters.

If there is another election later this year, will Ilford North still be considered a marginal?

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