Cleverly does it!
PUBLISHED: 16:54 07 May 2008 | UPDATED: 14:46 25 August 2010
THE MAYORAL finale may have reached a nail-biting finish but there weren t many surprises in store for the London Assembly members.
THE MAYORAL finale may have reached a nail-biting finish but there weren't many surprises in store for the London Assembly members.
Most candidates had been at the Excel Centre from the morning and their hopes of an early night were dashed after the results were delayed by the massive 45 per cent turn out rate across London.
The Conservative winner for London Assembly member for Bexley and Bromley James Cleverly had been at the count centre since 9.30am admitting it felt like the count 'was going on forever'.
But he said he was going to celebrate his colossal win 'through the medium of sleep.'
However, he needn't have worried.
It turns out he had one of the safest Tory seats and won it by the second biggest majority of any of the constituency members with a whopping 51.83 per cent of the vote and a 75,237 vote margin between him and the Labour runner-up Alex Heslop.
Mr Cleverly said: "I feel fantastic. I am exhausted but I am running on adrenaline."
The National Front came fourth in the borough with 11,288 votes and across London the BNP gained an assembly seat for their Mayoral candidate Richard Barnbrook.
In his speech Cleverly thanked all the 'people of Bexley and Bromley who voted in such numbers'.
He thanked his predecessor Bob Neill MP adding: "He proves nice guys do get on in politics."
Runner-up Mr Heslop said: "I am not surprised by the results but I am very pleased that Labour has gone from fourth to second."
But he admitted Labour Mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone should have 'ventured into the area'.
John Hemming-Clark from Independents to Save Queen Mary's Hospital managed to get a respectable 6,684 votes but only got 3.29 per cent and not the five per cent needed to get his £1,000 deposit back.
One of the few pieces of good news for the Labour party was Greenwich and Lewisham winner Len Duvall who held onto his seat, increasing his majority from 33.3 to 35.63 per cent.
He said: "I am quite positive about the results.
"It in an interesting area and I am not complacent."
In the most candid acceptance speech of the evening Duvall thanked all the candidates he ran against, 'apart from the Nazis'.
Ending his acceptance speech, he added: "Labour are not going out in London".