Labour’s Ronnie Campbell delighted with election win – his final one

Ronnie Campbell has said his re-election as MP for Blyth Valley will be his last one.

Speaking after winning the seat he has held since 1987, the Labour man said he was looking forward to representing the constituency for the next five years.

Ronnie Campbell after his win in the Blyth Valley constituency. Picture by John Tuttiett

Ronnie Campbell after his win in the Blyth Valley constituency. Picture by John Tuttiett

He secured his latest victory in Thursday’s General Election with 17,813 votes, a majority of just over 9,000.

“This is my seventh general election, so it’s water off a duck’s back now,” he said.

“This is lucky number seven. I have to stop some time, so this will be my last time running.

“I’m 71 now so I think that’ll be enough, but I am delighted to be representing Blyth Valley for another five years, it is an absolute privilege and I thank everyone for voting.

The scene at Concordia Leisure Centre during the count for the Blyth Valley and Wansbeck constituency. Picture by John Tuttiett

The scene at Concordia Leisure Centre during the count for the Blyth Valley and Wansbeck constituency. Picture by John Tuttiett

“I will continue to do what I have done for the past 28 years and I will be there for the people and I will help them.

“I might not always win, but I will always try.

“It’s going to be a rough five years, but we will fight.”

Local businessman, UKIP’s Barry Elliott, increased his party’s share of the vote as he finished second on 8,584, just ahead of Conservative Greg Munro.

The party’s share rose from 4.3 per cent to 22 per cent.

Mr Elliott said: “It is tremendous and I am very pleased with the result. It is a good basis to build on and take into the local elections.

“Obviously we wanted to win, but second is good.

“It is difficult to take Labour out as they have been in Blyth Valley for so many years.”

The Conservatives narrowly missed out on the second spot, with 21.6 per cent of the votes, up from 16.6 per cent at the last election.

Mr Munro said: “I feel elated at the increase in the number of votes, as we achieved 6,412 in the last election.

“A thank you to the people of Blyth Valley and to my supporters, it was a very close run.”

The Liberal Democrats saw the national failings of the Party affect the constituency where they slipped from second to fourth – losing more than 8,000 votes.

Liberal Democrat Philip Latham, who came fourth, said he was disappointed with the result, which had dramatically decreased since the 2010 election when they had gained 27.2 per cent of the votes – a total of 10,488 votes, compared with just 2,265 this year.

“It is disappointing, it’s not been a good day for us, but we haven’t lost our deposit.

“We are disappointed but not defeated, and we will recover.”

Green Party candidate Dawn Furness, who came fifth, said: “I am absolutely chuffed with how we have performed as we went from a standing start of zero to more than 1,400 votes.

“We wanted to let people know we are here and I think we have achieved that.”

Blyth Valley result

Ronnie Campbell, Labour, 17,813

Barry Elliott, UKIP, 8,584

Greg Munro, Conservative, 8,346

Philip Latham, Liberal Democrat, 2,265

Dawn Furness, Green Party, 1,453

Total votes: 38,502

Turnout – 62.8 per cent