The Labour Party says it is ‘quietly confident’ that Tan Dhesi will be re-elected as Slough’s MP – but say ‘the only question is the margin'.

Labour councillor Fiza Matloob says he believes Labour’s vote has held up well in Slough as he watched ballot papers be counted. But he suggested the Conservatives had done better than he’d expected.

Councillor Matloob the Observer: “We’re quietly confident. We’re pretty sure of a victory for Tan – the only question is the margin.

"I’m a bit surprised at the votes that the Tories have taken. I thought that their vote would have collapsed but in some of the wards they seem to have held up quite well which was a bit of a surprise.”

READ MORE: General election results 2024 in Slough - live

Conservative council leader Dexter Smith also suggested that the Tories could do better in Slough than the national picture overall. Exit polls suggest Labour is headed for a landslide victory nationwide.

But councillor Smith said: “Slough is often a bit of an outlier when it comes to following the national trends. There are a lot of particular local factors with Slough, hence we have 11 candidates.”

The Conservatives took control of Slough Borough Council from Labour last year. Councillor Smith said: "Underlying that was a breakdown of trust by the local electors, the residents with those who represented them. That could well extend to the member of parliament as well."

Independent Network candidate Azhar Chohan hopes to take a chunk out of Mr Dhesi’s majority. He told the Observer people are ‘fed up’ with Labour and are ‘looking for an alternative'. But he added he had been hoping for a bigger turnout.

Liberal Democrat candidate Chelsea Whyte said that the large number of candidates made the result ‘unpredictable'. She said a good result for the Liberal Democrats would be any improvement on 2019’s result in Slough.

She said: “There’s a lot of passionate people here. I think it’s admirable actually. It’s nice to see so many people getting involved in politics.”

Meanwhile, the Green Party and Reform UK candidates had modest hopes. Robin Jackson of Reform UK said his party had little in the way of local organisation – so any result would be progress.

He said: “It’s been me on my own – so not expecting too much. Even if we get one or two results it’ll be fantastic.”

And Green candidate Julian Edmonds said: “Keeping our deposit – five per cent – that would be double what we got last time.”