Residents Association candidate wins Cranham by-election with clear majority
PUBLISHED: 01:57 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 01:57 10 May 2019
With more than 2,000 votes separating her from the next candidate, Linda van den Hende from the Residents Association group has won the Cranham by-election.
Chief executive of Havering Council, Andrew Blake-Herbert, announced on Friday, May 10 that Linda van den Hende has been selected as the next Cranham councillor.
The Upminster and Cranham Residents Association candidate won with 2,421, while the candidate with the next highest majority - Peter Caton from the Green Party - received just 312 votes.
Linda van den Hende is no stranger to Havering's town hall as she served as a councillor from 2006 to 2018.
She decided to come out of retirement after Clarence Barrett, who previously held the position, sadly died earlier this year.
Speaking about her campaign, the newly-elected candidate said: "It's been a busy campaign. It's the Residents Associations' area so it is an area that's well known to us. We've used local people and we've had help from other residents associations across the borough.
"I think we have had a very positive response from people on the doorstep.
"It's a very difficult background [to the by-election] because of Clarence Barrett's death. It's been tinged with a degree of sadness."
With 3,548 verifiable ballots against an electorate of 9,950 people, voter turnout for the by-election was around 35.7 per cent.
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Cllr Graham Williamson, chairman of the cross-group Resident Association Movement, added: "This is a stunning result and must be one of the greatest % victories in Havering electoral history, especially in a crowded field. A winning margin of 60% is also a rare event.
All the parties delivered more material than usual but clearly the voters want to punish this council and back the local RA's as the group that can best represent their interests in difficult times.
"The RA's are well and truly back on the back on the march."
The full results of the by-election are as follows:
Linda van den Hende, Upminster and Cranham Residents Association: 2,421 votes
Peter Caton, Green Party: 312 votes
Ben Sewell, Conservative Party: 257 votes
Adam Curtis, Labour Party: 219 votes
Ben Buckland, UKIP Make Brexit Happen: 208 votes
Thomas Clarke, Liberal Democrat Party: 120 votes