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Labour keep grip on royal borough

PUBLISHED: 14:56 13 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:56 25 August 2010

IT was a bitterly disappointing night for the Tories in Greenwich after they lost their target seat of Eltham by 1,663 votes.

IT was a bitterly disappointing night for the Tories in Greenwich after they lost their target seat of Eltham by 1,663 votes.

The expensive and long campaign fought by the Conservatives in Eltham did not pay off when the results were announced at the freezing London Soccerdrome, on Greenwich Peninsula, last Friday morning at approximately 7.15am.

Labour MP and former taxi driver Clive Efford held onto his seat which he has served since 1997, and which he held in 2005 with a 3,276 majority.

Mr Efford cried twice during his acceptance speech, when he thanked his family and talked of his love for serving a constituency where he raised his family.

He said: "It has been a very long campaign.

"I want to pay tribute to my family. I am very proud. I want to say a big thank you to the people of Eltham. It is a great honour."

David Gold, the Conservative candidate, won 15,753 and Steven Toole, of the Liberal Democrats, won 5,299 votes.

Other candidates' results were as follows: Ray Adams, UKIP, 1,011 Andrew Graham, Independent, 104, Arthur Hayles, Green, 419, Mike Tibby, English Democrats, 217 and Roberta Woods, BNP, 1745. The count took place on a plastic covered pitch in the former David Beckham Academy, where council staff were reduced to wearing fingerless gloves and headscarves to beat off the biting cold as they went through the votes.

Afterwards Mr Efford said: "The staff here deserve medals. I am sure if they had walked out on health and safety grounds, they would have been justified.

"I never thought I was going to lose. I don't know why that was but people kept being kind to me on the doorstep."

In his speech, Mr Gold thanked his partner Mark for "putting up" with a spouse on the campaign trail. He said: "I am very proud of the campaign that we fought. We fought a positive campaign.

"We did not resort to negativity or lies. Ultimately democracy is the winner.

"We weren't sure if apathy would be the winner in this campaign but that was not the case."

It was a double whammy for Labour as they held onto the safe seat of Greenwich and Woolwich with 49.2 per cent of the vote, boasting a 10,153 majority.

Winner Nick Raynsford gave a brief speech as he said he did not want to keep people out in the cold any longer. He said: "I very much dedicate myself to looking after the interests of this magnificent constituency."

Spencer Drury, the Conservative candidate, received 10,109 votes and Joseph Lee, the Liberal Democrat candidate received 7,498 votes.

Other candidates' results were as follows Andy Hewett, Green Party, 1,054 Tammy Alingham, Independent, 65, Topo Wresniwiro, English Democrats, 339 Onay Kasab, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, 267, and Edward Adeleye, Christian Party with 443 votes.

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