#ELLGE2015: Labour grabs both seats in Hackney

Labour's Meg Hillier (left) secured a third term in Hackney South and Shoreditch. Pic: Joshua Poncil

Labour’s Meg Hillier (left) secured a third term in Hackney South and Shoreditch. Pic: Joshua Poncil

Hackney was the earliest to declare its winners among the East London boroughs, welcoming back incumbents Diane Abbott and Meg Hillier with open arms.

Both kept their seats with more-than-comfortable leads, with Abbott taking 63 per cent of votes in her Hackney North and Stoke Newington, and Hillier garnering 64 per cent in Hackney South and Shoreditch.

Both did much better than the last election, when they received 55 and 55.7 per cent of the votes in their wards respectively.

In  Hackney South and Shoreditch, the Liberal Democrat vote collapsed from 22 to 5 per cent.  The Greens did well, their vote increased to 12 per cent from just 3.5 per cent.

In Hackney North the pattern was much the same: the Greens scooped up many Liberal Democrat votes with a rise to 15 per cent, level pegging with the Conservatives, The Liberal Democrats collapsed to 5 per cent. UKIP picked up a mere 2 per cent.

Abbott’s stronghold, where she has been the incumbent since 1987, has been served by a succession of Labour MPs since 1950. Despite substantial demographic change in the area she has kept the loyalty of her voters demonstrating that an outspoken, left wing position, doesn’t lose votes in London.

In her acceptance speech, Abbott described her tenure in her ward as “humbling” and promised to “continue to fight austerity”.

Hillier’s Hackney South and Shoreditch seat – one of the most ethnically diverse constituencies in the United Kingdom – has traditionally favoured Labour. Hillier was first elected in 2005.

She has made housing her priority in an area where homes have become increasing unaffordable. That could be the reason her constituents gave her a vote of confidence.

By Lindsay Crocket and Joshua Poncil

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