HARINGEY voters have given Labour a second chance after the death of Baby Peter as they turned out in their droves to help the party enjoy an unexpected increased majority.

The party, which has controlled Haringey Council since 1965, defied critics to retain its hold despite its reputation taking a battering over its failing children's social services department.

In Bounds Green ward, the party claimed all three seats, ousting Liberal Democrat John Oakes - recently suspended for leaking confidential information to the press.

And in Noel Park, Labour reclaimed the seat held by former mayor and long-serving councillor Alan Dobbie who defected to the Conservatives last year after losing faith in the party.

It also took a second seat previously held by Lib Dem Fiyaz Mughal who now acts as an advisor to party leader Nick Clegg.

Haringey Labour party leader Claire Kober said the increased majority was a "vote of confidence" on behalf of the Haringey residents, but admitted having it was also a huge responsibility.

Speaking to the Haringey Independent at Alexandra Palace this morning, Ms Kober said: "Haringey residents have given us their trust, and there is now a huge pressure on us to deliver what we have promised to residents.

"There are still difficult economic times ahead with cuts to public funding, but there are also lots of opportunities so there is a lot to be positive about."

As it became clear Labour had won the council, Ms Kober, elected in Seven Sisters ward with 2,642 votes, gave a passionate speech to the crowd.

She said: "People have voted in every street, in every ward, and I’m delighted that the result is not just a Labour council but a Labour council with an increased majority.

"Let me be very clear: the people of this borough have spoken. They have rejected the politics of fear and negativity, the politics that say Haringey is the worst, the weakest – downright wrong.

"You gave us your votes in unprecedented numbers and I will ensure, and our people will ensure, that your votes are put to good use."

Labour's victory came was a harsh blow to Haringey Liberal Democrats who had called on the electorate to choose a fresh start, and were feeling confident they could finally gain control of the council.

Instead of gaining seats, the party lost several to its fierce rivals, but could still win a seat in the Harringay ward which is due to be re-counted this evening at Labour's request.

Group leader Robert Gorrie said: "It was a disappointing night for us.

In a scathing attack, he added: "As ever, both Labour and the Conservatives and the hostile media that back them have managed to frighten voters into missing an opportunity to do something different."

The Hornsey councillor said the General Election had boosted voter turnout, and national issues had made it easier for residents to overlook local ones.

Labour have a majority of 34 seats to the Lib Dems 23.

Ms Kober said she was pleased with the Labour team which features at least 13 new faces.

She said: "Above all, when I look at the Labour councillors, I am really proud to see a group of people who are truly representative of this borough in terms of diversity."

Haringey Labour councillors now represent Kurdish, African, Caribbean, Jewish, Turkish, Asian, Cypriot and English communities.