Express & Star

Walsall General Election 2019 results: Vaz holds on as Tories strengthen grip

There was no change in Walsall as Labour held onto one seat and the Conservatives extended their majority in two others.

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Eddie Hughes celebrates after holding onto Walsall North for the Conservatives

See the full 2019 General Election results and reaction from Walsall North, Walsall South and Aldridge-Brownhills.

Walsall North - Conservative hold

  • Eddie Hughes, Conservative - 23,334* (majority 11,965)

  • Gill Ogilvie, Labour - 11,369

  • Jennifer Gray, Liberal Democrat - 1,236

  • Mark Wilson, Green - 617

  • Turnout - 54.6 per cent

Eddie Hughes speaks after holding Walsall North

Walsall North was taken by the Tories for the second time in history after Eddie Hughes increased his majority.

Mr Hughes became the first Conservative to win in the constituency in almost four decades when he beat Labour’s David Winnick in 2017.

After the votes were counted this year he finished 11,965 votes ahead of Labour candidate Gill Ogilvie, extending his majority by 9,364.

What was the 2017 Walsall North result?

  • Eddie Hughes, Conservative - 18,919 (majority 2,601)

  • David Winnick, Labour - 16,318

  • Liz Hazell, UKIP - 2,295

  • Isabelle Parasram, Liberal Democrat - 586

  • Turnout - 56.74 per cent

A Brexit supporter who campaigned for Leave in the EU referendum, Mr Hughes said he was delighted to hold on to the seat, which saw one of the highest Leave votes in the country in 2016’s EU referendum.

“We feel vindicated, we’ve been in campaign mode for two years.,” he told the Express & Star.

“The things we’ve been campaigning on, Brexit, more police on the streets and investment in the NHS, these things have clearly struck a chord with the voting public.

"I’m personally delighted for me but I’m incredibly pleased for the team because we’ve been making them work hard for two years.”

Mr Hughes, a former chairman of Walsall Housing Group, has vowed to prioritise housing in the constituency during his next term, and is at the forefront of the Conservatives push for housing reforms.

Gill Ogilvie, the Labour candidate for Walsall North

His first two years in office saw him push for £36 million for an upgrade the A&E department at Walsall Manor Hospital, and £25m for a new railway station in Willenhall.

Ms Ogilvie had hoped that her chances of victory would be boosted by tactical voting sites urging people to support her instead of Lib Dem candidate Jennifer Gray and Mark Wilson for the Greens.

Ms Gray finished third on 1,236, while Mr Wilson secured 617 votes.

Walsall South - Labour hold

  • Valerie Vaz, Labour* - 20,872 (majority 3,456)

  • Gurjit Kaur Bains, Conservative - 17,416

  • Gary Hughes, Brexit Party - 1,660

  • Paul Harris, Liberal Democrat - 1,602

  • John Macefield, Green Party - 634

  • Akheil Mehboob, Independent - 288

  • Turnout - 62.6 per cent

Valerie Vaz smiles after holding on to Walsall South

Labour maintained its grip on Walsall South after a closely-fought battle with the Conservatives.

Valerie Vaz won the seat with a majority of 3,456, down from 8,892 at the last general election.

Ms Vaz, who has served as the shadow leader of the Commons since October 2016, has now held the seat since 2010, when her majority was just 1,755.

Her victory was a rare piece of good news on a disastrous night for Labour.

She received 20,872 votes in what has been a Labour stronghold for the past 45 years.

What was the 2017 Walsall South election result?

  • Valerie Vaz, Labour* - 25,286 (majority 8,892)

  • James Bird, Conservative - 16,394

  • Derek Bennett, UKIP - 1,805

  • Anna Wellings Purvis, Liberal Democrat - 587

  • Turnout - 65.55 per cent

She said: “I’m delighted after the hard work that the team put in.

“We thought we had a good manifesto, certainly in Walsall South constituents have responded to it.

“It was a complicated election, there’s no doubt Brexit played a huge part in it. If it had been dealt with in the beginning when it should have been we wouldn’t be in the position we are now.

“I see in my surgeries people who have suffered with the cuts, benefits, the issues around housing and I’ve tried to respond to that.

We will have to see what the Government decides to do.”

Valerie Vaz celebrates holding onto Walsall South

Ms Vaz’s success means that Jeremy Corbyn’s party has now won Walsall South at every election since 1974, when Bruce George first took it from the Conservatives.

The Tories mounted an improved attack this time around, bettering their performance from 2017 by some margin.

Their candidate was Gurjit Kaur Bains, who campaigned as a pro-Brexit candidate. He put a dent into Ms Vaz’s majority but his 17,416 votes weren’t enough.

Brexit Party candidate Gary Hughes had been hoping to exploit the constituency’s high Leave vote in the EU referendum. In the end he got 1,660 votes.

Other candidates standing were John Macefield for the Greens, Lib Dem Paul Harris and independent Akheil Mehboob.

Aldridge-Brownhills - Conservative hold

  • Wendy Morton, Conservative* - 27,850 (19,836)

  • David Morgan, Labour - 8,014

  • Ian Garrett, Liberal Democrat - 2,371

  • Bill McCornish, Green Party - 771

  • Mark Beech, Monster Raving Loony Party - 336

  • Turnout - 65.7 per cent

Wendy Morton increased her majority in Aldridge-Brownhills

Ahead of polling day there was little doubt that Wendy Morton would be re-elected in this long-standing Tory seat.

And that is just how it panned out, with Mrs Morton retaining the seat she first won in 2015 with a majority of 19,836 - up from 14,307 in 2017.

The seat has now been blue since 1979 when Richard Shepherd won it from Labour.

What was the 2017 Aldridge-Brownhills election result?

  • Wendy Morton, Conservative - 26,317 (majority 14,307)

  • John Fisher, Labour - 12,010

  • Ian Garrett, Liberal Democrat - 1,343

  • Mark Beech, Monster Raving Loony Party - 565

  • Turnout - 66.8 per cent

Mrs Morton, a farmer's daughter from Yorkshire, said that Brexit had been a “significant” issue, but not the only one.

“It was the fact that we want to focus on the things that matter to people,” she said. “Funding for our schools, the NHS, on a very local level it was reflected in the work I have done.”

Wendy Morton takes a selfie after holding onto Aldridge-Brownhills

Labour’s David Morgan came second on the night with 8,014 votes. He said he was disheartened that some Labour voters had “stayed at home”.

“From here we regroup and start again. Brexit played a part for certain, we’ve tried to cut through with the cuts to public services which has resonated with quite a few of the voters, but not to the same degree as the message on Brexit has.”

Aldridge-Brownhills is often described as a seat of two halves. Aldridge is predominantly an affluent residential community, while Brownhills is an ex-mining industrial town.

The constituency also covers Walsall Wood, Pelsall, Rushall, Shelfield, and Streetly.