Defeated Tory Simon Marcus: ‘We gave it everything but Labour deserved their win’

Simon Marcus at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Simon Marcus at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

Defeated Conservative candidate Simon Marcus insists he and his party “put everything” into winning the general election in Hampstead and Kilburn but Labour earned its win.

The former Hampstead Rugby Club captain was made to wait until 5am on Friday to discover his fate at the Hampstead and Kilburn election count at Somers Town Community Centre.

Despite murmurs of a possible recount from Mr Marcus’s camp, Labour’s Tulip Siddiq was crowned winner by a margin of 1,138 votes.

It was a far more comfortable majority for Labour compared to the result in 2010 when Glenda Jackson pipped the Tories by just 42 votes, making Hampstead and Kilburn the most marginal constituency in mainland Britain.

Before polls closed on Thursday, Mr Marcus told the Ham&High that he was taking no notice of pollsters who had put Ms Siddiq streets ahead – a view that was vindicated by the tightly-fought contest in Hampstead and Kilburn and inaccurate polls nationally.

Mr Marcus, who is now enjoying a holiday with his partner and two young children, said: “We put everything we had into this campaign with the full support of the party.

“I am deeply grateful to all those who helped in our campaign and all those who placed their faith in our party with their vote. I wish Tulip the very best of luck. I am sure she will be an excellent MP.

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“I don’t think the Conservatives could have worked harder or got more votes here and Labour earned their win. I would like to thank all my fellow candidates who behaved with respect, decency and good manners throughout. I hope we restored a little trust in politics.

“My passion for politics and helping to change society actually feels stronger than ever. I am delighted we have a Conservative majority and I look forward to helping the party in the future and remaining involved in public life.”

Former Conservative Youth chairman Oliver Cooper was elected as a Hampstead Town councillor in place of Mr Marcus at a by-election on Thursday.