2023 by-elections: Conservatives hold Boris Johnson

The Conservatives have won Boris Johnson’s old seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip following a by-election.

The vote was triggered after the former prime minister stood down as an MP last month. Mr Johnson’s decision to leave the Commons shortly before it was recommended he be suspended for 90 days was enough to have potentially triggered a vote anyway.

Conservative Steve Tuckwell, a local councillor, has now been elected as the MP for the West London constituency – seeing off Labour’s Danny Beales.

Follow by-election coverage live: Tories hang on in Uxbridge after ULEZ backlash

The Uxbridge and South Ruislip results in full

  • Danny Beales – Labour Party – 13,470
  • Steve Tuckwell – Conservative Party – 13,965
  • Blaise Baquiche – Liberal Democrats – 526
  • Sarah Green – Green party – 893
  • Laurence Fox – Reclaim Party – 714
  • Piers Corbyn – Let London Live – 101
  • Cameron Bell – Independent – 91
  • Count Binface – Count Binface Party – 190
  • Richard Hewison – Rejoin EU – 105
  • Rebecca Jane – UKIP – 61
  • Enomfon Ntefon – Christian People’s Alliance – 78
  • Leo Phaure – Independent – 186
  • 77 Joseph – Independent – 8
  • Kingsley Hamilton – Independent – 208
  • Ed Gemmell – Climate Party – 49
  • Steve Gardner – Social Democratic Party – 248
  • Howling Hope – Official Monster Raving Loony Party – 32

The Conservatives won 13,965 votes, Labour 13,470 and the Liberal Democrats 526 – meaning the majority is 495.

The swing was 6.7 from Conservative to Labour – but not enough to change the party in charge.

The race was understandably overshadowed by Mr Johnson, although the Tories wanted to focus on the expansion of London’s Ultra-low Emission Zone (ULEZ), being championed by Labour mayor Sadiq Khan.

Sources within the Labour Party admitted after polls closed that the controversial measure played a sizeable role in the election and came up frequently on the doorstep.

Speaking after his victory was announced, Mr Tuckwell said that Mr Khan “lost Labour this election”, and called for the mayor and Sir Keir to “sit up and listen” and change tack on the ULEZ.

This is a seat the Labour Party would have expected to win, given the circumstances.

It means Rishi Sunak has avoided a by-election clean sweep on a night where he faced three votes – Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London, Somerton and Frome in Somerset and Selby and Ainsty in North Yorkshire.

Mr Tuckwell is a lifelong resident of the area, and has been a councillor since 2018.

Ahead of the election, Camden councillor Mr Beales held an eight-point lead in the polls over his Conservative opposition.

He had campaigned on the government’s record in office, including rising mortgage rates and the cost of living crisis, as well as local issues like the state of local hospitals.

Mr Beales had also criticised the expansion of the ULEZ, saying it’s “not the right time” to enlarge the zone – but this seems to have been futile.

Thangam Debbonaire, Labour’s shadow leader of the House of Commons, told Sky News that the swing they achieved in Uxbridge and South Ruislip was enough to be the largest party of government across a general election – although this would not secure them an overall majority.

A Labour spokesperson said: “This was always going to be a difficult battle in a seat that has never had a Labour MP, and we didn’t even win in 1997.

“We know that the Conservatives crashing the economy has hit working people hard, so it’s unsurprising that the ULEZ expansion was a concern for voters here in a by-election.”

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Khan denies ‘war on motorists’

There was a long list of 17 candidates in the election, which is not uncommon in a former prime minister’s seat.

South Ruislip is the Tory heartland within the constituency, and a growing Asian community has also been more willing to vote Conservative.

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