General Election 2019: Labour Party chairman Ian Lavery survives recount to retain his Wansbeck seat
The chairman of the Labour Party, Ian Lavery, has held onto his Wansbeck seat, but his majority was slashed as he was run close by the Tories.
One of the party’s leading figures under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, he secured 17,124 votes, narrowly beating Conservative Jack Gebhard, who earned 16,310 votes.
As with the Blyth Valley constituency, which was won by the Conservatives for the first time since it was formed in 1950, the result was delayed for a recount, in this case a full recount, which raised alarm bells for a tight decision.
But Mr Lavery was re-elected as MP by 714 votes, a massive swing from 2017, when he secured 57.3% of the vote and a majority of 10,435 (24.8%).
At the count at Blyth Leisure Centre, Mr Lavery, having thanked those working at the count, said that ‘we should live by the law of democracy’ and that he was ‘delighted to be re-elected’.
“It is such an honour, such a privilege to represent the fantastic people in the constituency,” he added.
“I look forward to representing everyone in Wansbeck, not just the people who voted for me.”
Also contesting the seat were Eden Webley (Brexit Party), who polled 3,141 votes, Stephen Psallidas (Liberal Democrat) with 2,539, Steve Leyland (Green) gained 1,217 and Michael Flynn (Christian People’s Alliance), who earned 178 vote.
The turnout throughout the constituency was 64%, a decrease from 2017’s figure of 42,454 (68.4%).