Islington elections 2018: Labour wins biggest share of vote since 1974
- Credit: Archant
Islington Labour retained complete control of all but one ward in the local elections, in what re-elected leader Richard Watts said was “only the second time in our borough’s history we’ve seen a repeat landslide”.
Winning 61 per cent of all votes cast in the borough – 5pc more than in 2014 – Labour maintained full control of every ward except Highbury East.
There, Green Party councillor Caroline Russell managed to retain her seat despite what she called Labour’s “election machine” in the area.
After the election Labour now presides over the first female-dominated council in Islington’s history. This was because of a number of female Labour candidates such as Roulin Khondoker, Sheila Chapman, Sara Hyde and Tricia Clarke replacing retiring male councillors.
Beyond Highbury East, Labour kept control of Barnsbury, Bunhill, Caledonian, Canonbury, Clerkenwell, Finsbury Park, Highbury West, Hillrise, Holloway, Junction, Mildmay, St George’s, St Peter’s, St Mary’s and Tollington wards.
Speaking at the vote count at the Sobell Leisure Centre today, Labour leader and MP for Islington North Jeremy Corbyn said he was “very proud of the results” and thought they were “a testament to very hard work by our Labour team, but also a rejection of government austerity policies and the housing crisis London faces.”
After the result announcement, however, Cllr Caroline Russell raised concerns about Labour’s dominance.
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She said: “In the town hall, we actually have a non-functioning democratic system, with one opposition councillor to 47 Labour councillors. It’s too much.”
Cllr Watts, however, said that his council was “committed to listening” and that: “there is no way that if the public at large thought we were not a listening council, we would have got the result we did.”
He continued: “We are absolutely committed to carry on governing in a way that does not take anything for granted, shows no complacency and puts the needs of Islington working people first.”