Updated: Friday, 24th January 2020 @ 9:39am

General Election 2019: Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey retains seat in Salford and Eccles in 'bittersweet' victory

General Election 2019: Labour's Rebecca Long-Bailey retains seat in Salford and Eccles in 'bittersweet' victory

| By Emma Gibbs

Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey has described her third win of the Salford and Eccles seat as “bittersweet” in the 2019 General Election.

Speaking to MM, Rebecca said: “We’ve seen really great colleagues across the North and across the whole country have lost their seats, so it is quite a bittersweet victory tonight really.”

Rebecca’s victory speech was filled with critical analysis and concern over the poverty and hardship that some of the local people of Salford have faced under a Conservative government.

She said: “The people of Salford deserve a better quality of life, and the sad fact is, is that over the last five years they haven’t had that quality of life.

“There are families who will wake up in the morning and will not be able to give their children a breakfast and many of those people will be in work.

“There will be people walking for miles to zero hour contracts only to be told by their boss that ‘there won’t be any work for them today’, and they’ll have to walk all the way home.”

She praised her campaign team for doing a “fantastic job in one of the coldest times of the year” and making sure that the Labour Party message was heard in Salford.

Rebecca won with a lead of 16,327 votes over the new Conservative candidate and former Mayoress of Rushmoor council, Attika Choudhary.

Speaking to MM about the pro-Conservative exit poll before the election results were announced, Choudhary said: “I'm not sure what's going to happen and I think that the exit poll has shown Conservatives are about getting Brexit done and that is what the people had come out to vote for.”

Choudhary secured 12,428 votes.

The other three candidates included Brexit Party’s Matt Mickler (4,290 votes), Liberal Democrat’s Jake Overend (3,099), and the Green Party’s Bryan Blears (2,060 votes).

The count for Salford and Eccles, along with Worsley and South Eccles, and the Pendlebury by-election, took place at A.J. Bell Stadium in Eccles.

Verification counts started at 10pm and finished shortly after midnight. The Salford and Eccles results were announced at around 3.40am.

In the last general election in 2017, Rebecca won the Salford and Eccles seat after gaining 65.5% of the votes. She was the only candidate to stand for re-election this year.

Standing as MP for Salford and Eccles since 2015, she is a former Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and grew up near the Old Trafford football ground.

Rebecca has also recently been touted as a potential Labour leader if, or when, Jeremy Corbyn stands down.

The final YouGov MRP results published before polling day suggested that Labour would win with 54% voting estimate - more than double the final voting estimate for Conservative.

And with the official results revealed, Rebecca has proved a strong and consistent candidate for Salford and Eccles.

There was a 61.48% turnout, with a total of 50, 804 votes. There were 172 spoilt ballots.

When asked if she would celebrate her victory, Rebecca said: “I might have a hot chocolate, maybe with a bit of brandy.”