A huge victory has been won by Labour's Caroline Cooper-Marbiah in a council by-election for Colliers Wood.

A huge roar greeted news she had won by a majority of more than 1,100 votes.

She thanked her team and fellow councillors after the landslide victory was announced.

Labour took 1,685, Conservative candidate Peter Lord 441, Shafqat Janjua of Ukip 157 and Lib Dem Phil Ling 52.

The by-election was called after the death of Gam Gurung, who died in June following a six-month battle with cancer.

Merton Council leader Councillor Stephen Alambritis was quietly confident before the count at the Civic Centre, Morden, striding about the room seemingly unaffected while campaigners from the other three parties watched on anxiously.

Coun Alambritis said: "We have an excellent candidate in Caroline (Cooper-Marbiah) What will be will be."

The deputy leader, Councillor Mark Betteridge, was more bullish in his attitude.

He said: "We've creamed them tonight."

The turn out of 29.96 per cent was met with cautious optimism.

Councillor Oonagh Moulton, leader of Merton Conservatives, said: "For August in a stand-alone by election I think that's pretty good."

Asked about the coming year ahead of next year's local elections she said: "Our message will be we can lower taxes while delivering a higher standard, better quality of service for residents."


Breakdown of votes:-

Labour Party: Caroline Cooper-Marbiah: 1685
Conservative Party: Peter Lord: 441
UKIP: Shafqat Janjua: 157
Liberal Democrats: Phil Ling: 52