2021 Election: Mixed fortunes for Justin Halabi in Hatch Lane and Suzanne Nuri-Nixon in Norfolk

Justin Halabi (pictured top) continued his Conservative Party’s winning trend in England in the 6 May Elections, winning the by-election for Hatch Lane ward.

The 23-year-old Conservative garnered just over half of all votes cast, beating three others in the by-election, while growing the Tory party vote share in the process.

The victory means Halabi becomes the third councillor of Turkish Cypriot origin on the 60-seat council for the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

Hatch Lane ward results

Size of electorate: 8,655. Turnout was 4,073 (47%).

Justin Halabi (Conservative): 2,072 votes, 50.9% (+8.8%) – Elected

Catherine Burns (Labour): 1,565, 38.4% (+6.6%)

Robert Tatam (Green Party): 266, 6.5% (-2.2%)

Henry Boyle (Liberal Democrat): 170, 4.2% (-1.3%)

The by-election was called after long-standing Conservative councillor Geoff Walker died in March of last year. The ward’s other two councillors, Marion Fitzgerald and Tim James, are also Conservative.

London-born Halabi, who is the younger brother of pop star Eylem, was congratulated by his local MP, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who wrote on social media:

“Congratulations to Conservative Cllr Justin Halabi for Hatch Lane Ward. We’re so lucky to have such brilliant Conservative activists, members and supporters who go above and beyond to help to get candidates elected. Thank you to everyone who voted.”

Justin Halabi with his big sisters Ayhan and pop star Eylem (right) at a family wedding in North Cyprus in 2019


In Wymondham, South Norfolk, fellow Turkish Cypriot Suzanne Nuri-Nixon was hoping for a hattrick of political successes, having previously won councillor seats for Wymondham Town in 2017, and South Norfolk District Council in 2019.

Despite growing support for the Lib Dems at the ballot box by taking votes off both the Tories and Labour, it was not quite enough to win, with Nuri-Nixon losing to the Conservative candidate by 532 votes.

Wymondham, Norfolk County Council results

Size of electorate: 10,959. Turnout was 4,010 (36.58%)

Robert Savage (Conservative): 1,837 votes (the party had 2,222 votes in 2017), 46.33% – Elected

Suzanne Nuri-Nixon (Liberal Democrat): 1,305 (up from party’s 921 votes in 2017), 32.91%

Christopher Bunting (Labour): 561 (down from party’s 832 votes in 2017), 14.15%

Paul Sutcliff (Green Party): 262, 6.61%

After the results were announced, Nuri-Nixon tweeted: “Thanks Wymondham. But sadly not this time. Next local elections for us in two years’ time. Keep the faith 🔶”

Results for other Turkish heritage candidates standing in a variety of seats across London are expected this weekend.

Of Turkish Cypriot origin, Emina Ibrahim is hoping to be elected to the Greater London Assembly via Labour’s London-wide list. The Haringey Council councillor and the vice-chair of Momentum is fourth on the Labour list.

Her Labour colleague Ayten Güzel is standing as a candidate for the Southbury Ward by-election in the London Borough of Enfield. Güzel, whose family roots are from Elbistan in Turkey, currently works with Enfield North MP Feryal Clark.

Former St Albans Mayor Mehmet Salih Gaygusuz is standing as a Conservative councillor candidate in both local district and county elections. He is a candidate for Marshalswick South (district) and also St Albans North (county).

Lib Dem Luisa Porritt, whose mixed heritage includes Turkish through her maternal great grandmother, and Azerbaijan origin lawyer turned Renew politician Kam Balayev are rival candidates in the election for Mayor of London.