ROTHER Valley has elected its first ever Conservative MP after Alexander Stafford won the seat from Labour.
Sarah Champion and John Healey retained Rotherham and Wentworth & Dearne for Labour respectively, but both with a reduced majority.
Mr Stafford had a majority of 6,318 over Labour's Sophie Wilson
He said: “It’s a great honour and a great privilege.
“The people of Rother Valley have put trust in me and I couldn’t ask for anything more.
“I will not let them down.
“For too long, the people of Rother Valley have been taken for granted as a safe Labour stronghold.”
Mr Stafford said there were a mix of reasons why voters had backed him at this election.
He said: “It was our very positive message on Brexit, on policing, and locally, a lot of people were disenfranchised by Labour.
“We knocked on over 8,000 doors and again and again and again we kept hearing the same thing — you are the first candidate we have ever seen.
“That's how Labour have taken them for granted.”
Ms Champion said the results across the country, which saw Labour losing dozens of seats to the Tories, showed the public felt ignored.
“The message on the doorstep has been split between Brexit — anger at Labour’s second referendum position which I don’t support and have been voting against — but the overwhelming thing has actually been apathy, which I find really upsetting,” she said.
“Because if we politicians have behaved so appallingly in the eyes of the public that they no longer feel able to have their voice listened to by voting, that’s devastating.
“I don’t so much see the disengagement as being a Labour issue — I think they have watched all of us for three-and-a-half years, argue amongst ourselves rather than get on with the job and I think time and time again on the doorstep people were saying we gave you a clear instruction and you’ve not done it and rather than being angry it feels like we’ve broken their spirit on that."
Mr Healey said Labour had suffered a “dreadful” night but would regroup and fight back.
He said he would play his part alongside other MPs in leading Britain through an uncertain period, adding: “When Britain is so deeply divided by Brexit and so uncertain a future as the UK there’s now a very heavy duty on the new government and the new Parliament to lead us through and bring people together.”
Turnout was down in all three seats from the 2017 election.
Dennis Bannan (Yorks) 1085
Adam Carter (LD) 2090
Sarah Champion (Lab) 14376
Paul Hague (Brex) 6125
Gerri Hickton (Cons) 11615
Allen Cowles (Brex) 6264
Nigel Short (Ind) 1040
Alexander Stafford (Cons) 21970
Colin Taylor (LD) 2553
Emily West (Green) 1219
Sophie Wilson (Lab) 15652
Wentworth & Dearne
Emily Barley (Cons) 14577
David Bettney (SDP) 313
Lucy Brown (Yorks) 1201
Stephen Cavell (Brex) 7019
John Healey (Lab) 16742
Janice Middleton (LD) 1705
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