|Seema Malhotra Increases Labour Lead to Win|
In Lowest by-election Turnout for 11 years
Seema Malhotra, a former adviser to Harriet Harman, has held the Feltham and Heston seat for Labour in yesterday's (15th December) by-election after a swing of 8.56% points from the Tories.
Winning candidate Seema Malhotra secured victory with an increased majority of 6,203 with the Conservative candidate in second place.
The Liberal Democrats held on to third place with 1,364 votes - fighting off a challenge from the UK Independence Party, who polled 1,276.
The by-election was caused by the death last month of former Labour MP Alan Keen.
The winning candidate described her victory as a "wake-up call" for the government. "This result shows that this Tory-led government is totally out of touch," she said. She added the result was a "vote of confidence in the way Labour is changing, listening harder, winning back the trust of the people we seek to serve".
Ms Malhotra grew up in Feltham, and went to school in Heston. She worked for Harriet Harman while she served as acting leader of the Labour party after Gordon Brown's resignation. A management consultant, who has worked for Accenture and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Malhotra advised Liam Byrne and Ian Austin before the election when they were regional ministers for the West Midlands.
Labour polled a total of 12,639 votes and the turnout was 28.8% which is is the lowest in a by-election for 11 years.
UKIP had been hoping to secure third place from the Lib Dems but conceded that the Tories had been boosted by PM David Cameron's decision to use the veto at the Brussels summit.
Roger Crouch, the Lib Dem candidate, said the party had defied predictions it would be beaten into fourth place and lose its deposit. "We have shown that we are still resilient and still relevant," he said.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the Lib Dems were "almost a busted flush".
Feltham and Heston was won by Tories in 1983 and 1987 during Margaret Thatcher's time as PM.
At the last general election Labour's majority in the seat was cut to 4,658 in a 4.8% swing to the Tories.
All the three main party leaders visited the constituency during campaigning for what is the sixth by-election during this Parliament.
December 16, 2011