Election 2017: Winners and losers on a night of drama

Catch up with the votes you missed in our full round up of last week's election results


As candidates across the country were tossed and turned on a choppy sea of electoral results, there was relative calm for Jewish MPs and voters.

While major political figures of the last decade such as Nick Clegg and Alex Salmond lost their seats in Parliament, bar a few misplaced, when the sun rose last Friday morning, the electoral outcome for British Jews was one of continuity — at least on a local level.

The new Parliament has the same number of Jewish MPs as the last — 19. The only Jewish politician to be unseated last week was Labour’s David Winnick in Walsall North. He had been the country’s oldest Jewish MP at the age of 83.

The only newcomer was Alex Sobel, who took the Leeds North West seat from the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 4,224. The Jewish Labour Movement member told his constituents: “I will not let you down”.

On a very long night at Allianz Park in Hendon, where the count took place for all three seats in the London borough of Barnet, it looked as if the Labour candidates would end up winning the seats with the largest proportions of Jews in Britain.

A senior Labour figure admitted fearing a possible “community backlash” if either Mike Katz in Hendon, or Jeremy Newmark in Finchley and Golders Green, were victorious, thereby propelling Jeremy Corbyn closer to Number 10.

But after much tension, and two recounts, the first result in the borough was declared at 4.45am.

Mike Freer was re-elected as Tory MP for Finchley, scoring a narrow victory over Mr Newmark, the Jewish Labour Movement chair, winning 24,599 votes, a majority of 1,657, down from more than 5,600 two years ago.

“I want to thank the Jewish community for sticking with me,” said a relieved Mr Freer, aware that he now had a much reduced majority. The seat has the largest proportion of Jewish voters in the country.

Mr Newmark meanwhile stressed his commitment to fighting antisemitism both outside and within his own party.

The Hendon seat result was announced around 45 minutes later,, with Conservative Matthew Offord winning a slender victory over Mike Katz, the JLM vice-chair, by 1,072 votes, down from 3,724.

Unlike his neighbour, Mr Offord, who polled 25,078 votes, made no mention of the 17 per cent of voters in the constituency who are Jewish.

But his defeated Labour rival was happy to acknowledge the community. Mr Katz said: “To get as close as we did, there must have been a sizeable number of Jews voting for Labour across the whole of Barnet.”

In Hampstead and Kilburn, a marginal seat for years, and one which was seen as a top Tory target, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq was re-elected with a majority of 15,560, up from just 1,138 two years ago.

That represented a 14.6 per cent swing to Labour and almost 60 per cent of the votes cast. It was a constituency where the expectation had been that the party’s antisemitism problem would see the incumbent MP unseated by an angry Jewish electorate.

Ms Siddiq told the JC: “We need to resolve the continued fact that many within the Jewish community still view Labour as a party that tolerates antisemitism. I despair about the fact this has still not been resolved.”

Ms Siddiq called for an independent review and inquiry into antisemitism within Labour. “There are answers we still need,” she said.

There had been similar concerns about the prospects of Wes Streeting, in Ilford North, where he was defending a majority of 589 for Labour. But he also won big — by 9,639 votes — against Lee Scott, the Jewish former Tory MP.

Mr Scott recorded 20,950 votes — 76 more than he got two years ago — but Mr Streeting increased his vote by more than 9,000, a share increase of almost 14 per cent. Doris Osen, a Jewish independent candidate who was one of the oldest women ever to stand in a general election, won 368 votes.

The Conservatives were successful in two other constituencies with sizeable Jewish communities in north London. In Harrow East, Bob Blackman held on a reduced majority of 1,757 —down by exactly 3,000 votes. Theresa Villiers retained Chipping Barnet with her majority slashed from 7,656 to just 353 votes.

But Hannah David again failed to take the Harrow West seat from Labour’s Gareth Thomas. The Jewish Tory candidate was beaten by 13,314 votes, a far heavier defeat than her 2015 loss by 2,208.

In Hertsmere, Oliver Dowden held the constituency for the Conservatives by 16,951 votes. The area has the fastest-growing Jewish community in the country, and Jewish voters account for 14.3 per cent of the electorate.

Tottenham, the seat with the ninth-biggest proportion of Jewish voters, was held by David Lammy for Labour with a majority of 34,584.

In Manchester, Ivan Lewis, the veteran Jewish Labour figure who was so fearful of the “Corbyn effect” that he asked voters to back him on a personal basis, claiming his party would not win the election, found himself re-elected in Bury South with a slightly increased majority of 5,965.

Mr Lewis said the electorate had shown him “tremendous loyalty and support”, giving him a “great sense of humility and pride”.

There were even bigger Labour wins for Jewish candidates in Liverpool, where Luciana Berger, Britain’s youngest Jewish MP, increased her majority in the Wavertree constituency by more than 5,000 votes to 29,466. She said she was “humbled and delighted” by the win.

In neighbouring Liverpool Riverside, long-serving Jewish MP Louise Ellman won for Labour with another comfortable majority — 35,947. Pro-Corbyn activists had attempted to deselect Mrs Ellman following an antisemitic campaign against her. She increased her vote share by more than 17 per cent and won more than 40,000 votes, a remarkable 84.5 per cent of those cast.

Ruth Smeeth, who won the Stoke-on-Trent North seat two years ago, had been believed to be in danger of losing the constituency, but won with a majority of 2,359 despite a swing to the Tories of almost 18 per cent.

In West Yorkshire, another Labour veteran, Fabian Hamilton, was re-elected in Leeds North East, a constituency where around five per cent of voters are Jewish. Mr Hamilton more than doubled his majority to 16,991, taking 33,436 votes.

There was success for the Tories across Scotland, including in Renfrewshire East, the constituency which is home to a large section of the country’s Jewish community in Glasgow. Paul Masterton, a solicitor in the city, ousted the SNP’s Kirsten Oswald, securing a 4,712 vote majority.

On the other side of Scotland, Rhea Wolfson, a rising star of Labour’s left and another JLM member, failed to beat SNP incumbent Hannah Bardell in Livingston, losing by 3,878 votes.

There were a number of Jewish winners for the Tories. Andrew Percy, who recently converted to Judaism, held the Brigg and Goole seat and Jonathan Djanogly, the son of textile manufacturer Sir Harry Djanogly, was re-elected in Huntingdon.

John Bercow, the House of Commons Speaker, ran unopposed by the main parties and won the Buckingham seat he has held since 1997, while Grant Shapps won a 7,000 majority in Welwyn Hatfield.

Conservative Michael Ellis, MP in Northampton North since 2010, won again, as did Lucy Frazer in Cambridgeshire South East. Michael Fabricant will once again represent the Staffordshire constituency of Lichfield, while Dorset West returned Oliver Letwin.

Labour’s Margaret Hodge, born in Egypt to a Jewish refugee family, won comfortably in Barking.

Ian Austin held on to Dudley North by the skin of his teeth. The Labour MP, who is the son of a Holocaust survivor, won by just 22 votes over the Tory candidate after a recount.

No nail-biting needed for Ed Miliband however. The former Labour leader was re-elected in Doncaster North with a comfortable 14,024 majority.

Daniel Zeichner, for Labour, and Julian Huppert, for the Liberal Democrats, faced off in Cambridge. It was Mr Zeichner who prevailed, with a majority of 12,661, vastly increased on 2015, when he beat his Jewish challenger by only 599 votes.

Elsewhere, candidates with questionable records on antisemitism were heavily beaten.

Paul Monaghan, who had been SNP MP for Caithness, lost his seat to the Lib Dems. In 2015 he was forced to apologise for posting an antisemitic tweet relating to Israel’s military action in Gaza.

And David Ward, who was sacked as a Lib Dem candidate earlier in the election campaign, was trounced in the Bradford East seat that he lost two years ago. Standing as an independent, Mr Ward, who accused “the Jews” of inflicting atrocities on Palestinians, won 3,576 votes, more than 26,000 behind the elected Labour candidate.

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