Labour wins Newport West by-election but support for them and Tories collapses with UKIP in third
- Ruth Jones won with 39.6% of the vote, but that was down 12.7% on GE 2017
- By-election was triggered by death of Paul Flynn, who held seat for 32 years
- Newport West has long been a Labour stronghold and voted Leave by 56%
- Mrs Jones campaigned for Remain and said country should not no-deal Brexit
Labour has won the Newport West by-election – but support for both them and the Tory party has collapsed, with UKIP in third place.
Ruth Jones won the election with 39.6 per cent of the vote – but that was down 12.7 per cent on the result of the veteran MP Paul Flynn who died in February.
The city has long been a Labour stronghold and voted Leave by a margin of 56 per cent to 44 per cent in the 2016 in-out referendum.
Mrs Jones had been the clear favourite to succeed Mr Flynn, who held the Newport West seat for 32 years, winning with a majority of 5,658 and more than half the vote in 2017.
Labour’s Ruth Jones won the Newport West by-election, but support for the party has collapsed, down 12.7 per cent on the General Election in 2017
Mrs Jones had been the clear favourite to succeed Paul Flynn, who held the Newport West seat for 32 years before his death in February
Voter turnout was 37.1 per cent, down from 67.5 per cent in the 2017 general election, with parties blaming poor weather including rain and hail on Thursday.
The poll took place in the wake of Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting face-to-face at Westminster for talks on a possible cross-party Brexit compromise.
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Mrs Jones, who campaigned for Remain in the lead-up to the EU referendum, said the country should not accept a ‘damaging Tory Brexit’ or a no-deal outcome.
Ukip’s Neil Hamilton, the highest profile name taking part in the contest, sought a return to the Commons more than two decades after being ousted as an MP in the 1997 general election following his involvement in the cash-for-questions scandal.
The party’s leader in Wales took 2,023 votes, well up on the party’s showing in 2017.
The city has long been a Labour stronghold and voted Leave by a margin of 56 per cent to 44 per cent in the 2016 in-out referendum. Mrs Jones campaigned for Remain in the lead-up to the EU referendum
Mr Hamilton had hoped to benefit from the Brexit effect in the Leave-voting city and campaigned saying the by-election would provide a chance to send a clear message to Westminster over its handling of the UK’s exit from the EU.
Conservative candidate Matthew Evans, who gained 7,357 votes, had hoped to improve on his party’s performance at the 2017 general election, when the Tories finished second.
But the Conservative Party vote collapsed, down eight per cent on 2017.
Mr Evans has been a councillor for the Allt-yr-yn ward in Newport Council for 20 years as well as serving as opposition leader, having served as mayor of the city between 2008 and 2012.
Mrs Jones is a former president of the Wales Trade Union Congress (TUC) and was defeated at two previous parliamentary elections for Monmouth in 2015 and 2017 by Conservative David Davies.
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