On 7th May amid a bleak evening for Labour nationally, I was proud to secure one of the biggest swings to our Party. That result was testament to some incredible hard graft over two years and an excellent, engaging team built since my selection in 2013.
From the moment of my selection I worked to boost contact and demonstrate Labour could win back this seat. For too long the local party had failed to connect or even campaign in some wards. I ran a no-holds barred and no door un-knocked strategy and we campaigned everywhere and as often as possible, on the phones in areas harder to reach - and in other languages where necessary. The local elections showed we were on course - winning 10 councillors in our best results since 1982, the year before Labour lost the seat. Polling from Lord Ashcroft, for the Evening Standard and yougov all showed it was possible to win - and my team surpassed all expectations in increasing our contact rate, mobilising volunteers and delivering a majority of almost 4,500.
On Election Day over 1,000 people helped me win. That was an incredible injection of energy from local members - as well as volunteers from neighbouring constituencies. It also meant all the people we'd identified as Labour supporters over the last few years in key areas were reminded to vote. We continually emphasised the closeness and this helped boost turn out, which was over 5% higher than 2010.
So we contended the seat better than ever before - and we had a contentious incumbent due to the Lib Dems' role in Government. Combining that with an energetic, positive campaign that energised local members and other supporters was the key to an emphatic win. I look forward now to serving the constituency well, albeit in opposition due to less positive results outside the capital.
I can't thank the 22,000 voters enough for giving me the chance to represent Bermondsey and Old Southwark - and I can't thank my organisers, agent and volunteers enough for delivering such a positive result in a night that didn't deliver the government any of us expected.