Conservative Keith Prince holds Havering and Redbridge GLA seat
PUBLISHED: 16:37 06 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:29 06 May 2016
The Conservatives have retained the Havering and Redbridge seat of the Greater London Assembly (GLA) with a majority of less than one per cent.
Redbridge councillor Keith Prince beat Labour’s Ivana Bartoletti into second place by 1,438 votes.
Ukip’s Lawrence Webb came third with a nine per cent vote increase on the 2012 election.
The victor told the Recorder: “I’m very pleased of all the hard work, at the end of the day I thank God for giving me this victory.”
Despite Mr Prince’s triumph, other London results do not look good for the Tories with Labour’s Sadiq Khan expected to win Mayoralty.
He added: “That’s unfortunate, Zac’s a really nice and genuine guy. It’s a great shame I looked forward to working with him.
“I will look to increase the housing stock and protect the green belt, that is really important to me.
“I look forward to working with a Conservative government to get the best for Havering and Redbridge.”
Mr Prince replaces Deputy Mayor Roger Evans who had represented the boroughs for 16 years.
The race was one of the closest in London, with the two rivals neck and neck as 90pc of the votes were declared.
Ms Bartoletti said: “It feels ok, we have won two by-elections and lost by less than one per cent, a very difficult feat.
“I’m extremely proud with the campaign that we ran.”
The Labour candidate, who gave birth during the campaign, added: “We have won Roding and Heaton and reduced the gap by less than one per cent.
“Of course I would have liked to have represented the people of Havering and Redbridge.”
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting said “undoubtedly” former Mayor Ken Livingstone’s comments about Hitler and Zionism cost Labour this seat.
“Out on the doorstep on polling day I did not meet a single Jewish person who would vote for Labour after Ken Livingstone’s despicable Hitler rant.
“Havering and Redbridge was a seat we should have been winning and that is through no fault of Ivana’s.”
Keith Prince (Conservative) 64,483
Ivana Bartoletti (Labour) 63,045
Lawrence Webb (Ukip) 26,788
Lee Burkwood (Green Party) 9,617
Ian Sanderson (Liberal Democrats) 7,105
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