Despite claims by the Conservative candidate that he was out in front, the Lib Dem Nick Emmerson stormed to a decisive victory taking over 53 percent of the vote.
The result showed a swing to the Lib Dems of more than seven percent, and amounted to a resounding endorsement of the popular council where the party has governed for the past 26 years.
‘Stonecot Nick’, as he is known, is pictured (left) with outgoing councillor Dr Brendan Hudson who had to stand down as he has been elected chair of the Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group.
The byelection is also a blow to the Tories who genuinely hoped to win the ward. Their candidate, Graham Jarvis, polled a measly 402 votes, just 20 percent of votes cast.
The full result is:
Nick Emmerson (Lib Dem) – 1,034 votes 53.2% – Elected
Graham Jarvis (Tory) – 402 votes 20.7%
Bonnie Craven (Labour) – 289 votes 14.9%
Lt Cmr Jeremy Wraith (UKIP) – 182 votes 9.4%
Joan Hartfield (Green) – 32 votes 1.6%
The turnout was 24 percent, par for the course these days in council elections but quite good considering how freezing it was last night!
It was a great team effort by Sutton Lib Dems and allows us to go into the new year knowing support for the local party remains solidly high.
Following our comprehensive victory in the Worcester Park byelection earlier this year – another seat the Tories fancied – the Stonecot result will also be a blow to local Conservatives.
That despite the meteoric and opportunism they continue to fail to connect with local voters who can see that Sutton Lib Dems listen and act on their behalf.
By Lester Holloway