Labour retain Newport West in by-election
Labour have retained the Newport West parliamentary seat following a by-election, with the results being announced early this morning.
While Labour did retain the seat, their majority was reduced from 5,658 to 1,951. The by-election was called following the death of Paul Flynn and the seat is now occupied by Ruth Jones, a union official.
Turnout stood at 37 per cent and Ruth Jones secured 9,308 votes, 39.6 per cent of all votes cast.
While the Conservatives closed the gap on Labour, Ukip saw their proportion of the vote almost quadruple. Neil Hamilton, the Ukip candidate, came third with 2,023 votes, 8.6 per cent of all votes cast.
Following the announcement of her victory, Jones stated “Now you’ve elected me to go parliament, I will do what I promised to do on the doorstep: I will stand up for the people, the jobs and the economy of Newport West.”
She added that: “Who knows what the next few days, weeks and months will bring. But what I do know is that people have had enough after a decade of austerity.
"They’ve had enough of cuts that have taken police off our streets, they’ve had enough of being made to feel worthless by universal credit and the bedroom tax. If I’m going to parliament its with those people in my heart and Newport in my mind.”
Jones was born and raised in the constituency and had worked as a NHS physiotherapist and as a full-time union official with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.
She had previously stood as Labour candidate in Monmouth in both the 2015 and 2017 general elections.
Jeremy Corbyn welcomed the result and said: “Tonight’s result sends a clear message that the people of Newport and Wales are fed up of austerity which has robbed the Welsh economy of £1 billion through needless cuts and shows support for Labour’s alternative.”
Neil Hamilton centred his campaign around the opportunity for Newport West residents to send a message to Westminster over Brexit. Matthew Evans, the Conservative candidate, said that he had “never seen such anger and frustration” among voters about Brexit.
Labour, Conservatives and Ukip will all likely be pleased with the outcome of the by-election: Labour for holding the seat, the Tories for beating Ukip to second place and Ukip for increasing their share of the vote.