General Election 2019: Labour survive Tory fright to win Stalybridge and Hyde

Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds survived a scare from the Conservative party to be re-elected in Stalybridge & Hyde.

Reynolds, who has been the constituency‘s MP since 2010, saw his vote share decrease by 12.3% for a 44.9% majority.

The seat had been declared too close to call after the exit poll was released, with the BBC stating that the Conservatives had a 57% chance of gaining the seat.

It was the tightest of the three seats at the Tameside count in a night where the Conservatives picked up numerous seats from northern areas, usually favourable to Labour.

Speaking after his re-election, Reynolds expressed his dismay at Labour’s national performance, but rejected the knee-jerk reactions, stating: “I think anyone jumping in with a pre-set take on what needs to happen needs to show some humility and reflect.

“Clearly it (Labour’s approach) hasn’t worked right now. This is a devastating defeat but I don’t think just assuming you go back to the approach necessarily of the Labour government years is right either, because we had run out of a lot of energy and ideas at that point.

“Around here (the North West), a very definitive message on the economy didn’t resonate and there were other problems with defence and security – we’ve got to listen to that. I think there are things the whole country can learn from that.”

When asked why Labour had haemorrhaged seats, Reynolds replied: “People were not convinced about Jeremy being Prime Minister. Some of that I thought was unfair, but the public get the final say and we’ve got to listen to that.”

Conservative candidate Tayub Amjad won 38% of the vote, which saw the party’s share decrease by 0.2%, had said that if Boris Johnson were to receive a majority, he would be able to deliver on his promise of getting Brexit done. 

Stalybridge and Hyde had voted to leave the European Union by 59.3% in 2016, which suggested that it would be favourable to the Conservatives and Nigel Farage’s Brexit party.

The latter’s candidate Julian Newton came in third, receiving 8.5% of the votes, while pro-remain candidates Julie Wood for the Green Party and the Liberal Democrats’ Jamie Dwan trailed behind, receiving 3.3% and 4.3% of the vote respectively.

The Liberal Party’s John Edge failed to make an impression and brought up the rear with 1.0% of the vote.

Reynolds may have held his seat, but the struggle for Stalybridge & Hyde displayed the struggles that the Labour party had up and down the country throughout election night. 

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