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Sandwell General Election 2019 results: West Bromwich turns Tory

By Harry Leather | Sandwell | General Election 2019 | Published:

West Bromwich is blue after the Conservatives won both of the town's seats with huge swings from Labour.

Conservatives celebrate winning both West Bromwich seats

Meanwhile Warley is still in Labour's hands after John Spellar held on with a reduced but still comfortable majority.

Full results and reaction from the Warley, West Bromwich East and West Bromwich West seats will be added throughout the night.

West Bromwich East - Conservative gain

  • Nicola Richards, Conservative - 16,804 (majority 1,593)
  • Ibrahim Dogus, Labour* - 15,211
  • Christian Lucas, Brexit - 1,475
  • Andy Graham, Liberal Democrat - 1,313
  • Mark Redding, Green - 627
  • George Galloway, Independent - 489
  • Colin Rankine, Yeshua - 56
  • Turnout - 58 per cent (36,082 out of electorate of 62,046)

New West Bromwich East MP Nicola Richards with Conservative campaigner David Fisher

Nicola Richards won West Bromwich East for the Conservatives with a swing of more than 9,000 votes.

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The seat had promised to be one of the most intriguing battles in the country – and that’s exactly how it panned out.

Labour lost its grip on the seat they have occupied since it was founded in 1974 after a fierce battle with the Tories.

Nicola Richards, a 24-year-old councillor who lives in Kingswinford, managed to win the seat with a majority of 1,593, overturning a Labour majority of 7,713 from 2017.

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She said: “For the first time since the 1930s, we have turned West Bromwich blue.

“I want to bring a really strong local voice to West Bromwich East.

“I want to be present. I want to give people a voice.

“I want to deliver on the things that are important to them.

“One of those is Brexit. I think it is really important that they have an MP that supports that.

“MPs shouldn’t have to provide scrutiny to local councils but when you have a one party council, unfortunately that is what has to happen.

“Sandwell hasn’t really had that, so that is what I hope to bring.”

What was the 2017 West Bromwich East election result?

  • Tom Watson, Labour* - 22,664 (majority 7,713)
  • Emma Crane, Conservative - 14,951
  • Karen Trench, Liberal Democrat - 625
  • John Macefield, Green - 533
  • Colin Rankine, Independent - 325
  • Turnout - 61.45% (39,236 out of electorate of 63,846)

The seat became one of the most drama-filled in the country from the moment Tom Watson announced he was stepping down after 18 years as the constituency MP, sending shockwaves through the political establishment.

The former Labour deputy leader’s replacement, Ibrahim Dogus, endured a testing campaign.

The Mayor of Lambeth, who runs kebab restaurants in London, became embroiled in controversy after it emerged he was part of a tax evasion probe in 2011, in a case that resulted in him being ordered by a court to hand over £11,500.

Much of the media spotlight on West Bromwich East had been down to the presence of George Galloway, but he failed to make an impact and received just 489 votes.

Mr Watson said his decision to stand down was “personal not political”, although a rift had developed at the top of the Labour party due to his opposition to Mr Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism and Brexit.

West Bromwich West - Conservative gain

  • Shaun Bailey, Conservative - 17,419 (majority, 3,799)
  • James Cunningham, Labour* - 13,620
  • Franco D'Aulerio, Brexit - 1,841
  • Flo Clucas, Liberal Democrat - 915
  • Keir Williams, Green - 664
  • Turnout - 54.5 per cent (34,544 out of electorate of 64,517)

Labour lost West Bromwich West to the Tories for the first time since the seat was formed 45 years ago.

Ahead of the election the seat had been widely predicted to swing this way, with a number of polls including YouGov’s MRP tipping a Conservative win beforehand.

And that is exactly how it panned out, with Conservative Shaun Bailey beating Labour’s James Cunningham, who replaced the long-standing MP Adrian Bailey.

Shaun Bailey received 17,419 votes, enough for a majority of 3,799.

It was his first stab at parliament having in the past served on his local parish council.

Mr Bailey, a lawyer in Birmingham who lives in Telford, had campaigned on a pro-Brexit ticket, hoping his message would resonate in a constituency where nearly seven in 10 people voted to leave the EU.

He said: “The election is over. For too long, we have been ignored.

“I am determined to make sure everyone in this constituency does not feel like they have been left out.

“The problem is residents are not being listened to. I think Brexit demonstrated that underlying issue. They voted to leave here.”

What was the 2017 West Bromwich West election result?

  • Adrian Bailey, Labour* - 18,789 (majority 4,460)
  • Andrew Hardie, Conservative - 14,329
  • Star Anderton, UKIP - 2,320
  • Flo Clucas, Liberal Democrat - 333
  • Robert Buckman, Green - 323
  • Spoilt papers - 90
  • Turnout - 54.8% (36,168 out of electorate of 65,967)

Speaking on Sandwell’s Labour-run council, he added: “We need a balanced opposition and a governing party in Sandwell. I don’t think it is right to have just one party in control. And that goes on both sides.

“We need a robust opposition that can challenge views. I think that is what we have got to do.”

Mr Cunningham had been considered a controversial choice by some Labour activists in the West Midlands, with the Birmingham-based community organiser being the subject of a number of official complaints regarding allegations of bullying.

Franco D’Aulerio, of the Brexit Party, came third with 1,841 votes.

Lib Dem Flo Clucas lost her deposit, as did Green Party candidate Keir Williams.

Adrian Bailey was the MP for 19 years before standing down to allow “a younger person” to take his place.

Before he was first elected in 2000, West Bromwich West had been the seat of former Commons Speaker Betty Boothroyd.

Warley - Labour hold

  • John Spellar, Labour - 21,901* (majority 11,511)
  • Chandra Kanneganti, Conservative - 10,390
  • Michael Cooper, Brexit - 2,469
  • Bryan Manley-Green, Liberal Democrat - 1,588
  • Kathryn Downs, Green - 891
  • Turnout - 60 per cent

John Spellar retained Warley for Labour with a clear victory over the Conservatives.

The former government minister under Tony Blair has now won the seat at all seven general elections since it was formed in 2007.

Mr Spellar’s majority was reduced by around 5,000 but he comfortably held the seat, securing 21,901 votes.

What was the 2017 Warley election result?

  • John Spellar, Labour - 27,004* (majority 16,483)
  • Anthony Mangnall, Conservative - 10,521
  • Darryl Magher, UKIP - 1,349
  • Bryan Manley-Green, Liberal Democrats - 777
  • Mark Redding, Green Party - 555
  • Turnout - 63.3% (40,321 out of an electorate of 63,739)

After his victory was announced at the Tipton Sports Academy, he was asked if Jeremy Corbyn should resign as Labour leader after the party’s disastrous election performance.

He said: “I am not calling for anything.

“The party needs to look at that (Labour’s performance in the general election). It is not just about individuals. It is about organisation, and it is also about message.

"And about how we handle campaigns and whether the right people were running campaigns. Those are longer term issues.”

The Brexit Party received nearly 2,500 votes to come third in Warley.

Tory candidate Chandra Kanneganti came second on 10,390 votes, roughly the same as his party’s showing in 2017.

The Brexit Party received nearly 2,500 votes to come third in Warley.

Even on such a devastating night for Labour, there was never much doubt that Mr Spellar would be re-elected in the Warley stronghold.

The long-serving MP first sat in the Commons in 1982. He became MP for Warley West 10 years later before switching to the Warley seat in 1997.

The election had been fought on a number of local issues, including the delayed Midland Met Hospital in Smethwick. Mr Spellar had pushed for a “buy British” policy.

Mr Spellar had been one of three long-term Labour MPs in Sandwell, but he is now the last man standing after Tom Watson and Adrian Bailey stood down in the West Bromwich seats ahead of the election.

Harry Leather

By Harry Leather
Digital Editor - @hleather_star

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