LABOUR have held Leyton and Wanstead in a vote which represented no significant change from the last election.

Support for Labour candidate John Cryer, who secured 17,511 votes, was seemingly unaffected by Harry Cohen’s fall from grace over the expenses scandal.

Liberal Democrat Farooq Qureshi, who had hoped to overturn a Labour majority of just below 7000, came second with 11,095 votes.

Conservative Ed Northover was third with 8,928 votes. The result, announced just before 8.30am, was one of the last in the country to come in.

Mr Cryer vowed to make sure that the “voice of Leyton and Wanstead” was heard in Parliament.

He said: “I feel absolutely elated. I think it's an enormous honour and I'm very honoured that so many people voted for me.”

Responding to claims that the result was a foregone conclusion in the traditional Labour stronghold, Mr Cryer said: “We live in politically volatile times and I don't think we can take anything for granted.

“In terms of the national picture, I think if you told many Labour party members what tonight's result was going to be I think we would be very pleased. We have come back from being deeply unpopular.”

He added that he now planned to move to the constituency after his “temporary” break from living in east London, but said he had not decided when he would do so.

Second-placed Mr Qureshi said: “It was a very high turnout, because of that we failed to narrow the gap.

“I think it's also because we haven't done any work in Wanstead and Snaresbrook. Over the years we haven't managed to get any presence in Snaresbrook.

“I wish John Cryer luck and I hope he will serve Leyton and Wanstead well.”

Third-placed Conservative nominee Ed Northover said: “Obviously I'm disappointed not to win but without doing any number crunching it looks like the results stayed the same as before.

“I'm surprised how well the Labour vote went because that wasn't something that we picked up on the doorstep.”

He added: “Though I strongly disagree with John Cryer I think he is a very decent man.”

Fourth was UKIP's Graham Wood with 1,080 votes, followed by the Greens with 562, the BNP with 561, the Christian Party with 342 and the Independents Federation UK in last place with 80 votes.

The turnout was 63 per cent, a rise from 55 per cent at the last general election.