His­toric win for James

Manchester Evening News - - GENERAL ELECTION 2019 -

THE Con­ser­va­tives have in­flicted a his­toric loss in Labour’s tra­di­tional north­ern heart­lands by turn­ing Leigh blue for the first time ever.

Tory coun­cil­lor James Grundy se­cured just un­der half of the votes to oust Jo Platt from the seat she has held since 2017, an earth­quake that will send shock­waves through her party.

The for­mer min­ing town had been held by the party for 97 years and com­fort­ably by Andy Burn­ham un­til he stepped down to be­come Greater Manch­ester mayor.

Mr Grundy, the town’s first ever Tory MP, said the Labour leader was to blame for Ms Platt be­ing un­able to keep the seat.

“This shouldn’t be con­sid­ered a fault on [Jo’s] be­half,” he said.

“Ninety-nine times out of a hun­dred Jo would’ve car­ried Leigh. On this oc­ca­sion it was not to be be­cause of anger over Brexit and anger at Jeremy Cor­byn.

“Let us be clear - it’s his fault that Jo lost.”

Lisa Nandy has suc­cess­fully de­fended Labour’s con­trol of Wi­gan with a com­fort­able win at the polls.

The con­stituency is one of the party’s safest seats - with the win­ning can­di­date se­cur­ing 21,042 votes.

This how­ever is a de­crease of 28 per cent on the last election in 2017.

She saw off com­pe­ti­tion from sec­ond place Con­ser­va­tive Ash­ley Wil­liams, who got 14,314 votes.

Yvonne Fo­var­gue held onto her Makerfield seat with an­other com­fort­able Labour vic­tory.

The con­stituency is an­other of the party’s safest seats - with the win­ning can­di­date se­cur­ing 19,954 votes.

Yvonne, who has held the seat since 2010, said it had been ‘quite a dif­fi­cult election’, but she said a ‘few peo­ple have kept her go­ing’ dur­ing the cam­paign. Yvonne thanked all those in Makerfield who voted for her and said she ‘wouldn’t let them down’.

Tory James Grundy with sup­port­ers in Leigh

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