Labour has held on to the seat of Denton and Reddish for another election, one of few spots in the Red Wall that has stayed intact in a day of national decimation for Labour.
However, in a rather familiar trend in this year’s election, the Tories crept up on the Labour majority, Denton was no exception.
Brexit ambiguity in an area that is sure of its Brexit persuasion, resulted in Andrew Gwynne’s majority to be hacked down by 13.5%, the Conservatives increasing their vote share by 6.1% in the process.
Brexit Party candidate, Martin Power took nearly 8% of the vote, an indication of the seat that voted 61% to Leave in 2016 and an indication that hurt Labour this evening in the North West.
It was a seat that the Tories expected to lose but they showed an all too real ‘Blue Scare’ for Andrew Gwynne in a seat he’s held since 2005.
Gwynne stated: “We have bucked the national trend to some extent”, but conceded he was “very disappointed with the national picture.”
Tameside soon felt a small, hard-fought pocket of red as Johnsons army of blue took hold of the nation.
Although Conservative Iain Bott fell second to Gwynne, he did not go home an entirely unhappy man.
“I’m really happy we’ve made inroads into Labour’s Red Wall. We started off with a massive majority and we’ve made put a massive dent in that.”
A massive dent indeed, Labour votes fell from 25,161 in 2017 to 19,317 in 2019 here in Denton.
Bott adde: “It was always going to be a tall order to beat the majority that Andrew had, but I’m really thrilled that we’ve taken it down to what we have.”
Andrew Gwynne highlighted this watershed moment in the Labour Party, a night when Corbynism seemed to grind to a defined halt.
“Labour has got to take stock, dust itself down and listen to what the voters are saying,” he said.
A “credible alternative government” was now their next duty to British voters as they “rebuild in a post Brexit world.”
He called to “bring Britain together as one” and also thanked the loyal Labour voters of his local Denton, on a night when Labour was certainly not the order of the day.
“We’ve still got to listen to the voters but I think what it shows is when you are embedded in the community, when you try to represent the views of the community, even in tough years, the community will support you.
“We’ve got to very quickly relearn the lessons from 1983 because I don’t want another decade of children and families that desperately need Labour to have to wait that long.”
Many Labour folk here in Tameside were scared tonight, a husk of their usual selves in front of a rejuvenated pack of Tories who smelt blood as Labour majorities slumped downwards.
Denton and Reddish – Result
Ian Bott – CON – 13142
Farmin Lord F’Tang F’Tan – Monster Raving Loony Party – 324
Andrew Gwynne – Labour – 19317
Dominic Hardwick – Lib Dem – 1642
Gary Lawson – Green – 1124
Martin Power – Brexit Party – 3039 #mmelection19
— Dan Haygarth (@DanHaygarth1) December 13, 2019
Gwynne won here tonight but it was a rather hollow victory, a victory that glazes over the chronic deficiencies that this most recent election has brought to light.
Denton proved to be one of many seats where Labour lurched home to a thin victory, in an area that they are all too used to sprinting defiantly to convincing majorities.
Conservative Uber Alles.