Labour win by landslide in St Mary’s by-election

Labour’s Gary Poole emerged victorious from last night’s by-election with almost 50 per cent of the vote.

The 45-year-old prison officer from City Road, Finsbury, attracted 1,128 of the 2,397 votes cast and will now represent St Mary’s alongside fellow Labour councillor Rhiannon Davis and Susan Buchanan of the Liberal Democrats.

The by-election was called after independent councillor Joan Coupland was booted off the council for not attending enough meetings.

Councillor Poole said: “This is a stunning result for Islington Labour and a vindication of our programme to defend people against the cuts from the coalition government.

“This by-election came about in difficult circumstances and I recognise the contribution Joan has made to the area over the years. The Liberal Democrats no longer have any ‘safe’ seats in the borough.

“Crime and public safety are issues that are very important to me - St Mary’s has the highest crime rate in the borough - so working with the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the borough commander will be a priority for me.”

Emily Fieran-Reed, the liberal Democrat candidate, got 641 votes, around 26 per cent, a poor return from the former councillor who missed out by just 30 votes in the 2010 election.

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Caroline Russell, Green Party, came 3rd with 317 votes, followed by Oriel Hutchinson, Conservative, with 282.

The BNP candidate, Walter Barfoot, got 22 votes.

The council is now made up of 35 Labour and 13 Liberal Democrat councillors.

Voter turn out in the by-election was around 23 per cent of the total 10,138 electorate.