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Issue 59 May - June 2015 •• Now 25,000 copies monthly •• Labour hold & Labour gain By Wayne Davies C


haos, drama and plenty of coffee was the order of the night following the


closure of polling stations across our area, with Labour’s candidates, Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland) and Anna Turley (Redcar) securing their seats during the early hours of Friday morning. Counting offi cials hadn’t been expecting the high turnouts across the country, let alone on our own doorstep, however, swiftly had all votes verifi ed and ready for counting. The Redcar constituency was the fi rst to declare at 3.25am, with a substantial victory for Labour’s Anna Turley, declared by Redcar & Cleveland Mayor, Carole Simms. With 43.86% of the votes and a majority of 10,388, this clearly was a reversal of the election result from fi ve years ago, which saw Labour swing back its vote share from the Liberal Democrats. Anna told Coastal View: “I am truly humbled


to have been elected Member of Parliament for Redcar. Humbled that the people of Redcar have once again put their trust in the Labour Party, and proud that their trust has been vested in me to represent them. I promise to work hard every day to stand up for people here both locally and down in Parliament. “We have worked exceptionally hard to restore faith in our party locally and to rebuild that trust. I am determined that we will never let people down again. We will never take a single vote for granted and I will keep getting out, knocking on doors to talk to people and be a visible, accessible, hard working local MP. And I will take your voices, your hopes and your aspirations down to Westminster to fi ght on your behalf and to get the best deal I can for local people.


“Obviously I am deeply disappointed that we did not get a Labour government so that we


could implement our vital manifesto pledges. I will now fi ght hard to protect people locally from the worst excesses of this Tory government and the deeper cuts that we know are coming to the public services we rely on. I will continue to fi ght for jobs and investment, for opportunity for young people and dignity in later years. And crucially for hope and co-operation over hatred and division. “Finally I would like to thank everyone for all the good wishes and support you have shown me. I have been totally overwhelmed by the love, support and sheer determination by so many to return a Labour MP and, indeed, by the scale of the majority. “Thank you for this honour - I won’t let you down.” The surprise of the night was the exit polls, suggesting the Conservatives were heading for a shock General Election victory. At Redcar and Cleveland’s Community Heart, attentions swiftly moved to what was being dubbed as an ‘extremely tight’ race between Conservatives and Labour. If the polls were to be believed, Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland had suddenly become more interesting. The ballot boxes from the Middlesbrough part of the constituency had still not arrived but the ballots that had already been counted from the East Cleveland area were ensuring a nail biting few hours for the two leading candidates. While everybody waited, we were fortunate to have the world news channel showing, so had gathered in the foyer area to see what other results had come through. Some high profi le big names were being made ‘redundant’ throughout the night and tensions were rising as the nerves were setting in from the candidates and the supporting teams. At 5.15am, the call came through that the remaining boxes were being escorted from Middlesbrough and would be arriving shortly. I still cannot safely say that it


Local Election at a glance centre page pull out


was cries of joy or despair at the news, but either way, the result was not far away now. Another strong coffee and a quick call to CV HQ, at the delightful time of 5.30am would at least pass a little time away.


I walked back into the main hall shortly after,


which had immediately become a hive of activity with the arrival of the last few remaining boxes. Like me, the counting staff must have been dreaming of sleep, because they didn’t take


Continued on page 15 ►►►


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