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Labour snatch victory in Kensington seat

Emma Dent Coad won by 20 votes on the third recount.

Labour staged a major upset to take the London seat of Kensington by a hair’s breadth to end the 2017 General Election almost 24 hours after the polls closed.

Emma Dent Coad saw off Tory incumbent Victoria Borwick, overturning the former city deputy mayor’s 7,000 majority from 2015 by just 20 votes in a large swing to the opposition.

It took a third recount to get the result on Friday evening, with a break having been taken after two early-hours counts to allow staff to rest.

The west London seat, which has had its boundaries redrawn several times, had been in the hands of the Conservatives since its establishment in 1974.

It means that the Tories end the campaign with 318 seats to Labour’s 262, eight shy of an overall majority.

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After the declaration the Labour and Tory candidates hugged each other while Labour supporters cheered and applauded their new MP.

Ms Dent Coad thanked the Lib Dem candidate Annabel Mullin for “stealing some Tory votes and letting me through”.

The Labour MP said she would focus on the area’s problems, including air pollution and housing to overcome “unforgivable inequalities”.

She said: “This constituency is a microcosm of everything that is wrong in this country after seven years of incompetent and uncaring coalition and Tory Government.

“I will do everything in my power in the next five years to make ‘One Kensington’ an example of the finest qualities of common humanity, mutual respect for all our communities and social justice to create a thoughtful, kind, co-operative and tolerant society where we can all prosper and thrive.”

In her speech after the result, Lady Borwick, said: “I wish Emma every success, but please be assured, as far as I am concerned, tomorrow I start the fight back for Kensington and the Conservatives.”

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