General Election 2024 results: Labour’s Nesil Caliskan makes history as first British female MP of Turkish Cypriot origin

Nesil Caliskan has been elected the new Member of Parliament for Barking. The Labour politician won with a healthy majority, beating her nearest rival by more than 11,000 votes.

Her East London seat of Barking has been a Labour stronghold for the past three decades. Its former MP Margaret Hodge, 79, had held the seat for the party since 1994.

When the veteran politician announced in 2021 that she would not re-stand at the next election, it had been widely expected that Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, would be Hodge’s successor.

However, after being mired in controversy, Rodwell withdrew his candidacy, leaving the way clear for Labour’s National Executive Committee to name Caliskan as the party’s Barking candidate.

Caliskan, aged 35 and the current Leader of Enfield Council, was one of eight candidates on the ballot. She took the lion’s share of the vote, 16,227, which equated to 44.5%, down 16.4% for Labour from 2019, but still comfortably ahead of her second placed rival, Reform’s Clive Peacock, who garnered 5,173 votes (14.2%).

The Green candidate Simon Anthony came third with 4,988 votes, up 11.9% from 2019. The Conservatives came fourth with 4,294 votes.

Turnout was just 46% – down 11% form 2019.

The result means Caliskan becomes the first female MP of Turkish Cypriot heritage to enter the House of Commons.

Richard Hickmet of the Conservatives was the first Turkish Cypriot to become an MP back in 1983.

Among those to congratulate her was Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece. The Liberal Democrat peer posted on X: “Congratulations Nesil, the first ever female Turkish Cypriot MP. 👏”

Feryal Clark wins

It was a good night for another Labour politician in Enfield with Turkish roots. Feryal Clark, who was born in Malatya, Turkye, and is of Alevi Kurdish roots, retained her Enfield North seat for a second term.

Clark won nearly half of all votes cast in the North London seat (49.1%), beating six other candidates in the process.

Challenger Ertan Karpazli

One of those was Ertan Karpazli, an Independent candidate of Turkish Cypriot origin, who came sixth in the race, bagging 1,448 votes. Karpazli had ran on an anti-genocide ticket, openly challenging Clark over her decision to toe the Labour Party’s line and abstain in the initial Parliamentary vote about calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Turnout for Enfield North was 55% – down nearly 11% from 2019.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith retains seat

Sir Iain Duncan Smith has retained his Chingford and Woodford Green seat after Labour’s Shama Tatler and Labour’s former candidate Faiza Shaheen cancelled each other out.

The incumbent had come close to losing to Shaheen in 2019, winning by just 1,262 votes. Shaheen had started the election campaign as Labour’s candidate but was then dumped by the party leadership for spurious reasons and Tatler, a Brent Labour Councillor, was parachuted in by Labour’s NEC.

Shaheen, who is married to Turkish Cypriot actor Akin Gazi, decided to continue her campaign as an independent candidate. It proved fatal to her and Labour’s ambitions, with the two women each receiving around 12,500 votes, while Duncan Smith won the six-candidate race with 17,281 votes (35.6%),

Turnout for Chingford and Woodford Green was 65%, down 7.7% from 2019.

Sir Iain, who has been at the forefront of calling for direct flights to North Cyprus, had been endorsed by a number of prominent Turkish Cypriots, including pop star Eylem and TRNC President Ersin Tatar.

The two men came together at last week’s Turkish Cypriot Cultural Festival in Donkey Lane and it’s widely expected that the former Tory leader will now visit North Cyprus as a guest of the TRNC President.

National results

With virtually all results in, nationally Labour has won a massive landslide majority, with 411 seats, up 210 from the 2019 Election. The party only received 34% of the national vote yet won 64% of all seats due to the First Past the Post (FPTP) system.

The Conservatives have had their worst ever electoral performance, losing 223 seats and are currently left with 121 MPs. Among the many Tory MPs who lost their seats tonight were former Prime Minister Liz Truss, Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg, and ardent Greek Cypriot supporter Theresa Villiers. 

The Liberal Democrats have also enjoyed an incredible night, winning a total of 72 seats, up 57 from 2019, making them the third biggest party in the new Parliament.

Worryingly, hard right party Reform returned five MPs, including party leader Nigel Farage, the party chair, Richard Tice, former Tory Lee Anderson and former Southampton FC chair Rupert Lowe in Commons.

Reform was exposed as having numerous racist candidates and activists, whilst Farage himself had been accused of dog whistle politics and had made disparaging comments about Turks on his GB News programme before the election campaign. Yet the party still polled 14% of the national vote – the third highest in the country, but the FPTP meant they only won one percent of the seats.

Turnout nationally for the General Election was 60%, down 7.4% on 2019 figures. Although not the lowest figures in UK election history, it does mean two in every five people did not vote in this election.


Story last updated 9 July 2024.

Nesil Caliskan at count after winning Barking GE Election, 5 July 2024. Photo via Facebook/Nesil Caliskan


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