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Turnout in Lewisham East by-election just 33%

Labour expects to hold on to the safe south-east London constituency.

Votes are being counted in Lewisham East where Janet Daby is expected to become Labour’s newest MP.

Only a third of eligible voters cast their ballot in the by-election triggered by former Labour MP Heidi Alexander’s decision to quit Westminster to take up a job with London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Ms Alexander had a massive majority of 21,213 in the south-east London constituency at the 2017 general election.

The Conservatives finished second in 2017 with the Liberal Democrats a distant third.

But Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable has campaigned in the seat and party insiders expect an improved performance in a constituency which voted heavily to Remain in the European Union.

A Liberal Democrat source said he was “relatively confident” of leapfrogging the Conservatives and securing second place.

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Ballot papers being counted during the Lewisham East by-election at Lewisham Civic Suite, in Catford, south London (Yui Mok/PA)

The official turnout has been announced by officials as 33.4% – well below the 69% who voted in the 2017 general election.

The full list of candidates is:

– Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah – Green Party

– Ross Archer – Conservative

– Charles Carey – no description

– Janet Daby – Labour

– Massimo DiMambro – Democrats and Veterans Party

– Sean Finch – Libertarian Party

– Patrick Gray – Radical Party

– Thomas Hall – Young People’s Party

– Howling Laud Hope – Monster Raving Loony Party

– David Kurten – Ukip

– Maureen Martin – Christian Peoples Alliance

– Mandu Reid – Women’s Equality Party

– Lucy Salek – Liberal Democrats

– Anne Marie Waters – For Britain Movement

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