With upsets and bloodbaths elsewhere it was down to east London to do its bit to maintain continuity for Labour, even turning the map a little redder with the ousting of veteran Lib Dem Simon Hughes.

In Poplar and Limehouse, Jim Fitzpatrick was returned as MP with 58.5% of the vote with the Conservative Chris Wilford second. The Ukip candidate came third pushing Lib Dem Elaine Bagshawe into fifth behind the Green Party.

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After turbulent recent elections, he applauded the conduct of the poll which had seen heightened security. Only the presence of stickers urging Muslims not to vote was reminiscent of last year's trouble. Otherwise the poll was conducted without the rancour that had thrown Tower Hamlets elections into chaos.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: “With no Tower Hamlets First, no Respect Party and no Islamists, it was a clear fight between Labour and the Conservatives. I’d like to thank my opponents, who showed we can have a civilised, mature contest in Tower Hamlets.

“And I’d like to thank all of our supporters and volunteers who helped with that effort.

“But mostly I would like to thank the people of Poplar and Limehouse who elected me.

“We don’t just need more houses but a higher standard of living and a better NHS.”

It was a similar story in Bethnal Green and Bow, with Rushanara Ali safely back to Westminster.

She said: “The last five years in opposition has been incredibly difficult but one of the highlights has been working with residents on issues that matter to them like the NHS.

“We will have to work together and stay united against what is going to be a very difficult period ahead.

“I have fought so hard for a Labour government which the east end desperately needs.”

The Reg Flag Anti Corruption party, whose members had brought the Election Petition that ultimately forced Lutfur Rahman out of office received just a handful of votes.

Stephen Timms, in East Ham, which covers much of the Docklands, scored a remarkable victory with a 77.6% share of the vote with the Tories second and Ukip third in a count conducted at Lee Valley Velopark.

New faces Vicky Foxcroft (Lewisham Deptford) and Matthew Pennycook (Greenwich and Woolwich) join veterans Meg Hillier (Hackney South and Shoreditch), Diane Abbot (Hackney North) and Lyn Brown (West Ham) on the opposition benches facing a reinvigorated Tory party which includes, once more Mark Field (Cities of London and Westminster).

In a night when the Lib Dems were returned as a minority party, Simon Hughes’ high profile failed to save him from the cull with Labour’s Neil Coyle ousting the popular campaigner quite easily.