General Election 2019: Blyth Valley shock win for Conservatives
There was a huge shock in one of the first constituencies to declare as the voters of Blyth Valley returned a Conservative MP for the first time.
The constituency in south-east Northumberland was the only one of the four in the county to be guaranteed a new representative after Labour veteran Ronnie Campbell stood down.
However, many will be surprised that his successor is Ian Levy, Blyth’s first Tory MP since the constituency’s formation in 1950.
The counting team at Blyth Leisure Centre wanted this to be the first seat declared nationally.
But this was scuppered – just – when a bundle recount was requested, suggesting an upset was on the cards.
He secured 17,440 votes, beating Labour’s Susan Dungworth, the leader of the opposition group on Northumberland County Council, by around 700 votes.
She ended up with 16,728 votes, as against the 23,770, or 55.9% of the vote Mr Campbell received in 2017.
Upon being elected, Mr Levy thanked his family and team as well as the people of Blyth Valley.
To cheers from Conservative supporters, he added: “And I would like to thank Boris. On Monday, I’m going to get the train to London and get Brexit done. We’re going to get it done, we’re going to build a strong economy and we’ll do that together. Thank you Blyth Valley.”
Behind the pair were the Brexit Party’s Mark Peart, with 3,394, Lib Dem Thom Chapman, with 2,151 votes, and Dawn Furness, of The Green Party, with 1,146.
The turnout was 64%, a decrease from 2017’s 67%.