Labour have held on to the West Thornton council seat following a by-election.

Callton Young was elected today after his predecessor Emily Benn stepped down.

Ms Benn, the granddaughter of Labour grandee Tony and niece of MP Hilary, resigned from her position in March to take up a job in New York.

Among the defeated candidates were Conservative Scott Roche and Croydon political chameleon Winston McKenzie, standing for the English Democrats.

Mr Young praised the “well-oiled machine” of Croydon Labour following his sweeping victory in the Labour stronghold with a majority of more than 2,000 votes.

Speaking at the count in the Olympia centre in Kensington, thew new councillor said the victory was a result of “hard work” and “good policies”.

He added: "You don’t have any self-doubt when you have a well-oiled machine behind you."

Croydon Council leader Tony Newman said he was "absolutely delighted" with the result and described Cllr Young's election as a "huge endorsement of what we're doing on the council".

He added: "It's a huge testament to Callton, he did not take a single vote for granted, he was out there just about every day and night."

Cllr Young's 3,136 votes meant he easily fended off his closest contender, Conservative Scott Roche, who polled 989.

Mr Roche said he had “not really” expected to win the contest but had relished the opportunity to “stand up for Conservative values in the area I grew up”.

He revealed he was already looking ahead to the next election cycle, adding: “I’m going to continue being an activist, and I have got myself on the [council election] shortlist for 2018.”

Steve O’Connell, Conservative GLA member for Croydon and Sutton, himself waiting to learn if he had been re-elected, praised Mr Roche as “a man of the future. And with good hair”.

The Green Party candidate, David Thomas Beall, finished third with 289 votes in a by-election with a 43.98 per cent turnout.

The by-election, which saw a 43.98 per cent turn out, had been called following Cllr Emily Benn’s resignation announcement last month.

Full results:

Labour - 3,136 votes

Conservative - 989

Lib Dems – 140 

Ukip - 145 

Independence from Europe Party – 77 

English Democrats – 70