Tooting: election result ‘declared’

By Caroline Hawkings

Eight days before election day, without a pollster in sight, the Green party candidate let slip that Tooting, traditionally a Labour stronghold, could well remain red.

At a hustings yesterday, to a question on electoral reform, Roy Vickery said: “I hope that when Labour,..if Labour gets elected, they will stick to what they said. I’ve said enough, I’ll sit down while the going’s good.”

His unintentional concession drew some smiles, but debate was particularly heated on climate change.

In response to Labour transport minister Sadiq Khan’s observation that climate change was only 19th in the list of Tory priorities, according to a poll of 100 Conservative candidates, Mark Clarke said: “You cannot be serious about tackling climate change if you are interested in a third runway at Heathrow.”

Strachan McDonald from Ukip, then added flames to the fire, saying that climate change “would be higher on my list of priorities if I could bring myself to believe it.”

The question of MPs expenses brought further controversy as Mr Khan stressed that he voluntarily paid back £2,500 spent on birthday cards for constituents and had been exonerated by the Commission, while Mark Clarke assured the audience that he received no money from Lord Ashcroft.

Whatever the outcome of this election, at least hustings benefit the local economy in one way, undecided voters continued the debate in the nearby pub.