Labour’s Jonathan Reynolds holds onto Stalybridge and Hyde seat with slashed majority

JONATHAN Reynolds, first elected to be MP for Stalybridge and Hyde in 2010, admitted fearing he may lose his seat.

It came when results of the exit poll were released at 10pm as polling stations close and suggested he was at risk.

“It was one of those nights when I had two speeches written to cover all eventualities,” he explained.

Re-elected: Jonathan Reynolds MP

Mr Reynolds need not have worried, though his majority was slashed to 2,946 from 8,084 in 2017.

He added he was “humbled” to be re-elected in difficult circumstances.

Mr Reynolds said: “My constituency is the same size as Blythe Valley which we lost. If that national trend had continued I would not have been re-elected.

“To have a majority of almost 3,000 was extraordinary in the light of what happened elsewhere.”

Mr Reynolds, who lamented the excellent MPs who had lost their seats, praised the loyalty of constituents in Stalybridge and Hyde and also his loyal team of volunteers.

He said: “We have worked hard, not only in the last six weeks but in the past nine years.

“We have understood how different the various communities are, for example Millbrook, Carrbrook and Ridge Hill which are all districts with their own identities.

“I don’t think others understood that. It was like we were having a by-election in each of them.

“It is also a varied constituency as we have professional areas, people living in social housing and rural elements.”

Mr Reynolds admitted there had been “frank conversations” on doorsteps.

He said: “It is not always easy and sometimes people are rude and candid. In many conversations, people did not like the Government and had no affection for Boris (Johnson).

“They agreed austerity had hit Tameside hard and there were issues like the police and hospitals.

“They liked us as local candidates but there were concerns about Jeremy (Corbyn), much of it unfair.

“But the public had the final say and it was very bad for Labour. We have to accept and acknowledge it and to listen as there are no easy answers.

“People do not give their votes easily and we have to earn them and not taken anything for granted.”

Mr Reynolds thought Labour had some “excellent individual policies” including childcare and rail fares in their manifesto but the national campaign lacked a theme.

He said: “We needed a bigger message and overall package about how we would create a prosperous country.

“The national campaign did not get that across and there are lessons for the national party to learn.”

Stalybridge and Hyde results

  • Tayub Amjad – Conservative – 16,079
  • Jamie Dwan – Liberal Democrat – 435
  • John Edge – Liberal Party – 1,827
  • Julian Newton – The Brexit Party – 3,591
  • Jonathan Reynolds – Labour – 19,025
  • Julie Wood – Green – 1,411

Turnout: 58.18%

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