JonJo Murtagh takes a look at a night of mixed fortunes for MPs across South Yorkshire
There were some notable shocks in last night’s General Election results. Boris Johnson’s conservative Party gained 47 seats and now have a majority of 78, with one seat left to declare with a number stunning results across South Yorkshire.
There were three gains for the Conservatives across the county. Nick Fletcher won with a majority of 3,630 seats, beating Labour’s Caroline Flint, who had held the seat for over 20 years. Ms Flint said that Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign for Prime Minister might have targeted the wrong areas, and is responsible for many of the seats lost.
“To those influential Labour figures, living in North London postcodes, that have brought us to this point, I remind them that Labour cannot simply be a party of big cities and university towns, nor just the party of the young or devoted remainers.”
Rother Valley was another gain for the Conservatives, who were represented by Alexander Stafford. The seat was taken off Labour MP Kevin Barron, and is the first time the Conservatives have ever held the constituency.
Penistone & Stocksbridge also voted for a new MP, this time Conservative candidate Miriam Cates. Francyne Johnson was the Labour MP who lost her seat, after taking over from Angela Smith, who switched allegiance to the Liberal Democrats. None of the MP’s that changed parties won in their constituency.
Labour victories in Sheffield
There were several Labour holds in Sheffield, however. Sheffield Hallam voted for Olivia Blake, taking the seat from controversial MP Jared O’Mara. Just months after a surprise win in 2017 against Nick Clegg, Mr O’Mara was suspended from Labour before being reinstated but resigning to sit as an independent MP. Constituents had called on him to stand down.
Gill Furniss retained the Labour seat in Brightside & Hillsborough, receiving 56% of the 69,000 votes, and Clive Betts held on to his position as MP for Sheffield South East although his majority slipped by more than 7,000 votes.
Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, won with a 27,000 majority, and retained the seat he has held since 2010. Louise Haigh, who held on to her seat in Sheffield Heeley, said to SHUJournalism before the count that Brexit is the main reason for Labour’s failure in this election.
“It certainly seems that Brexit has disconnected our traditional vote from the Labour Party and people have lost faith in us because they felt we were blocking it and we need to rebuild faith and trust with them again,” she said.
Elsewhere in South Yorkshire, John Healey retained his seat as Labour MP for Wentworth & Dearne, remaining the only MP to represent the constituency since its creation in 2010.
Barnsley East and Barnsley Central were both won by Labour MP’s, Stephanie Peacock and Dan Jarvis respectively, each with a majority of around 10%. In Rotherham, Labour MP Sarah Champion held her seat with a slightly larger majority of 15%.
Former Labour Party leader Ed Milliband held his seat in Doncaster North with a slim majority of just over 2000 seats, whilst Rosie Winterton remained MP in the East constituency, making Doncaster a Labour city.
There was one eye-catching story in North Derbyshire, as Labour MP Dennis Skinner lost his seat in Bolsover, a constituency he had held since 1970. Conservative MP Mark Fletcher won the seat, and won with a majority of over 5000 votes.
He joins fellow Conservative MP’s Lee Rowley (North East Derbyshire) and Sarah Dines (Derbyshire Dales) in Parliament, after they retained their seats. In Chesterfield, Labour MP Toby Perkins held his seat, but with a slim majority of less than 1,500.