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.
“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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