Conservatives hold Old Bexley and Sidcup at by-election

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Bexley by-election winner Louie French. Photo: Screengrab

The Conservatives have held the London seat of Old Bexley and Sidcup in a by-election.

The Conservative candidate, Councillor Louie French, won more than half the votes, with Labour’s Daniel Francis second, Reform coming third and the Green Party and Liberal Democrats both losing their deposits.

Winning Conservative candidate Mr. French paid tribute to the area’s former MP, James Brokenshire, whose death from cancer in October triggered the contest.

Bexley is a traditionally strong area for the Conservatives and the party has held the constituency in its current form since its creation in 1983.

However, the Conservative majority has been cut from nearly 19,000 to 4,478.

Although votes at mid-term polls are usually lower than at general elections, the 34% turnout was the lowest at a by-election since 2018.

Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden told BBC Breakfast the reduced majority for his party “reflected a very low turnout”.

He described the victory as a “good solid result for us”, adding it was consistent with elections held in the middle of a Parliament.

Speaking to Sky News, he said:

“This idea that Labour have made some surge ahead is really for the birds.”

Asked whether Boris Johnson’s appeal was fading, Oliver Dowden replied:

“When I was up there with Boris he still had the same traffic stopping ability — literally.

“He tried to enter the campaign HQ at which point a load of teenage boys on the top of a red bus started shouting and screaming out of the window, people charged out from everywhere. I don’t think Boris has lost any of his star quality. But of course the government has to continue to improve its game.”

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