Party gains Labour-held seat to take their councillor tally to seven
Liberal Democrat Jenifer Gould was elected Merton's new ward councillor for Cannon Hill in the early hours of today (June 21) - seizing a seat previously held by Labour.
She had 35% of all votes cast in a 42% turnout, with the full vote breakdown detailed below:
Ryan Barnett, Labour Party (875 votes)
Jenifer Gould, Liberal Democrat (1,060 votes)
Andrew Mills, UK Independence Party (68 votes)
Susie O’Connor, Green Party (158 votes)
Michael Paterson, Conservative Party (867 votes).
Her vote represented a 24.3% swing to the Lib Dems from Labour compared with the 2018 full council election, with Labour's 28.9% of the vote representing a -13.6% swing. The Conservatives also lost ground with their 28.6% of the vote (-14.2% from 2018).
The three-member Cannon Hill ward now has Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem representatives.
The by election followed the resigation of Labour's Mark Kenny (pictured left) who stepped down from his Merton Council position on May 15, saying the job had taken a toll on his health.
The Lib Dems now have seven seats on Labour-run Merton council, while there are 33 Labour members, 17 Conservatives and three Merton Park Ward Independents.
@MertonLibDems tweeted: "A massive thank from Jenifer and the rest of the Merton Lib Dems team to everyone who put their faith in us. We look forward to repaying that faith by working hard for a
Councillor Jenifer Gould said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the support I have received from the local community. I would like to thank everyone who put their faith in me, and I look forward to repaying that faith by becoming a councillor they can trust to work hard for them.
“This incredible victory shows clearly that the Lib Dems are now the most popular party in Wimbledon, and the party local people can trust to be on their side. Just as they did at the European elections in May, Merton residents are backing us ahead over both Labour and the Conservatives because we are the party fighting nationally to stop Brexit and locally to secure a fresh start for Merton.
“The real work starts now. I am ready to start working with my Lib Dem colleagues on Merton Council right away to give our area the fresh start it deserves.”
Last month the Lib Dems topped the local European Parliamentary election poll with 20,221 votes in the borough, which represented 32.7% of the votes cast.
June 21, 2019