Election result: Epping Forest

By Jessica Elgot, May 7, 2010
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Pat Richardson

Pat Richardson

The Jewish BNP candidate for Epping Forest has polled under 2,000 votes.

Patricia Richardson increased the BNP’s share of the vote by just 254 to 1,982.

Ms Richardson told the JC that the party is neither antisemitic nor racist. She described the mainstream Jewish community's hostility towards her party as "blinkered" and accuses it of "demonising" BNP policies.

The seat was held by Conservative Eleanor Laing, who was re-elected with an increased majority, while the Labour vote dropped by nearly 3,000.

Liberal Democrat Anne Haigh’s 10,017 votes beat Labour into second place.

Ms Laing’s majority of 15, 131 meant a swing of 6.8 per cent from Labour to Conservative in the suburban Essex seat, which has a strong Jewish community in Loughton and Chigwell.

Ms Laing said she was pleased to have defied the critics, who said it would be a close race for the seat. She said: “There are some prominent people in Epping Forest who said in the current political atmosphere I would have a massively reduced majority and would just hold on. They were wrong.”

The vote for UKIP in the constituency almost doubled, to 1,852.

Other candidates included the Green Party and the English Democrats.

Last updated: 11:15am, May 7 2010