Sarah Jones: ‘We’ll come back fighting for people of Croydon’

Full of hope: Sarah Jones missed out on being elected Croydon's first woman MP by 165 votes. Pictured here outside her election HQ with Streatham MP Chuka Umunna, who might soon be contesting another election

Full of hope: Sarah Jones missed out on being elected Croydon’s first woman MP by 165 votes. She is pictured here outside her election HQ with Streatham MP Chuka Umunna, who might soon be contesting another election

Sarah Jones has pledged to “come back even stronger next time”, after losing out on her bid to win the Croydon Central seat from Gavin Barwell by just 165 votes in the General Election on Thursday.

Jones polled 5,900 votes more than Labour managed at the 2010 General Election, and her 22,588 tally would have been enough to win six of the previous seven parliamentary elections held in the constituency, going back to 1983.  With the important exception, of course, of Gavin “Don’t Mention the Tories” Barwell, the only time when anyone has polled more votes than Jones did this time round was Geraint Davies when Labour won Croydon Central for the first time in the 1997 landslide.

But speaking exclusively to Inside Croydon yesterday afternoon, after getting a few hours’ rest following the long night at the count in Fairfield Halls, including a 4.30am recount because the vote was so close, Jones said: “It was an incredibly hard-fought campaign and emphasises the important of every single vote.

Getting their message across: Sarah Jones addresses her Labour rally yesterday, watched by Steve Coogan

Steve Coogan (left) was one of a number of celebs who turned out to support Sarah Jones’s campaign

“I am incredibly proud of my team who worked so hard, knocking on 5,000 doors a week in the campaign. Although we lost, the fact that it was so close and we got 22,500 votes given the national backdrop is a credit to them.

“We raised some really important issues and listened to Croydon.

“We lost, so there is always going to be questions about what was the right thing to do, but I think running a positive campaign was the right thing to do.

“Gaining 6,000 votes in a seat is great and we knew we were doing that as we went along, which is why we thought we were just ahead. But it turned out to be just not quite enough.

“We’ll come back even stronger next time.”

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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11 Responses to Sarah Jones: ‘We’ll come back fighting for people of Croydon’

  1. davidcallam says:

    Congratulations to Sarah Jones. Despite being hampered by a party leader with a charisma bypass and a Labour council determined to undermine her candidacy, she has turned Croydon Central into one of the most marginal seats in the country.

    After another five years of Tory government, this time unmodified by any second party, I have no doubt Ms Jones will have a very strong claim to the seat. In the meantime, she could do worse than follow developments in the constituency closely and become a genuine voice of common sense opposition to the sycophantic utterances of the sitting member.

    Incidentally, might your main picture (above) show Ms Jones with the next leader of the Labour Party? Chuka Umunna would make a very credible alternative to Ed Miliband, albeit that his centre left views might not chime well with diehard socialist head-bangers.

  2. There will be no UKIP in 2020 as we will have had the EU referendum, plus the long overdue English boundary changes will give the Conservatives an extra 30 seats. You are going to be waiting a long time in exile Sarah. Why don’t you help Labour sort out the mess in the Labour NHS where half your patience are totally dissatisfied with Labour in the mean time ? .

  3. It says much for Sarah’s strength of character that she can come out after such a narrow and disappointing defeat with this message of hope for the future.

    Sarah was an excellent candidate. She united all strands of opinion in the local Labour Party and was able to reach out to people of other political persuasions and those who were disillusioned with party politics.

    Her work rate was prodigious. She met thousands of people on the doorstep and at hustings meetings, at school gates and railway stations. She answered emails comprehensively and courteously and, above all, was always prepared to listen. I really hope she has a chance to become an MP before too long.

  4. Labour members had the opportunity to select a female MP for a safe Labour seat in Croydon North. They selected an MP for Lambeth South instead. Now they want a female MP for Croydon and have a female only list. “a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess”

    Sorry I don’t know English as I am an immigrant. What’s that word in English?

  5. Perhaps Sarah Jones just doesen,t get it. People still don,t trust Labour, after they nearly destroyed the country last time.

    • Nick Davies says:

      One day I’ll figure out why the last Labour government in general and Gordon Brown in particular are held solely responsible for the US sub-prime lending fiasco and the collapse of resultant housing bubble which precipitated the worldwide financial crash.

      • pbell2754 says:

        When you do figure it out – please let me know, and the rest of country, because i do not understand it either. It is not only the undereducated who hold this view, some as should know better were still quoting this as a reason to vote UKIP and not labour as they had done traditionally. I suppose it is because some politicians & wealthy media moguls (I wonder which ones) quote this in their literature and “on the telly” as a reason NOT to vote labour, because they know the great british publuc is not as cynical as myself & the other reader of this particula media outlet, and also too lazy (or possibly too disinterested) to go and find out. Maybe Sarah & our previous leader should have shouted louder & more vociferously that it really wasn’t their fault. Honest.

  6. Bob Hewlett says:

    Sarah Jones ran an excellent campaign that was based on policy and not on personality which was very fortunate as Barwell has neither. Her campaign was tireless and energetic and the electorate responded in their numbers. If one takes Andrew Pelling’s supporters in 2010 and Barwell’s majority in the same election, Sarah was fighting against a combined majority of some 6,000 and through Sarah, Croydon Labour slashed that number to 165. The election result was a rejection of Tory cuts and an endorsement of Labour values. A battle was lost but the war goes on.

  7. 165 votes short but only 2/3 of the electorate bothered voting – how pathetic – so how would this race have turned had more people made the effort? If only voting was required by law, like jury service, which would still leave the option of spoiling the ballot for those opposed to the system

  8. sed30 says:

    Reblogged this on sed30's Blog and commented:
    The only one who came knocking – better luck next time

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