Labour secured two wins in Salford on Thursday as the party enjoyed a night to remember at the polls.
Labour’s Rebecca Long-Bailey won the constituency of Salford and Eccles with 31,168 votes (61%) while Barbara Keeley took home 26,046 (62%) of the votes for Worsley and Eccles South.
And while Jeremy Corbyn’s party could not win enough seats to win a majority, gains across the country – coupled with the Conservatives losing their majority in the House of Commons – meant there was reason to celebrate after a testing 18 months.
Mrs Long-Bailey was ‘truly honoured and humbled’ to be given another opportunity to create an improved lifestyle for people in Salford and Eccles.
“There’s no place on Earth like Salford,” Mrs Long-Bailey said in her victory speech.
“We’ve got warm hearts and a rich history and a fire in our bellies for a better world that no one is ever going to put out.”
Mrs Keeley, who has been a Labour MP for Worsley since 2005, said: “I am proud my constituents have put their faith in me again.”
She said that the way in which people voted showed how much the issue of social care matters to them, as well as school budgets and tuition fees.
“We need an end to austerity,” she said, “We need an end to the corrosion of our public services through cuts.”
When asked what the most memorable moment of the campaign was, Mrs Long-Bailey told MM: “The bits I enjoy the most are talking to people.
“The fantastic thing of being in Salford is people always tell you what they think, even if they don’t agree with you, they’ll always tell you why they don’t agree with you.”
A highlight of the campaign for her was going to the rallies with Jeremy Corbyn and witnessing all the people who turned up in support.
She said: “I have never seen anything like that in my lifetime where a politician has inspired such hope in people.”
Over the past two years as the MP for Salford and Eccles, Mrs Long-Bailey admitted to seeing things that were soul-destroying, such as cuts to the public sector, industries lacking the investment and support and workers going to work on zero-hour contracts only to be turned away when they arrived.
As a voice for the working class, she has been frustrated by the hardships inflicted on her constituency, believing it wasn’t Salford and Eccles that caused the crash of the economy a decade ago, it was greed.
With the UK as the sixth richest economy in the world, she believed it was about time the people of Salford and Eccles shared in the country’s wealth, reducing the disparity amongst people.
She said: “It’s not that we can’t build an economy that makes sure everybody prospers and that we’re all enjoying that prosperity.”
“Now I believe the people of Salford and Eccles deserve a Britain for the many, not the few and I stand on the shoulder of those giants and I intend to fight for them until I get a Britain for the many.”