Labour’s Mark Tami wins in Alyn and Deeside
Mark Tami will return as MP for Alyn and Deeside following his election victory last night.
It’ll be the fifth time he has been elected as MP for the constituency after he won 23,315 votes, the greatest number of votes won in his five elections to date.
Mr Tami won 52.1% share of the vote an increase of over 12% on the 2015.
It was April 24th when a YouGov poll for ITV/Cardiff University predicted the Tories would smash Labour dominance in Wales, based on those numbers ‘experts’ and bookies said Alyn and Deeside was there for the taking.
Newspaper articles claiming Deeside was about to turn blue (yes, Deeside.com was guilty here as well, but lets not shoot the messenger!) caused uproar locally and in some weird way may had a reverse psychological effect on the Deeside electorate, mobilising the undecided and some of the 20,000 or so who didn’t bother to vote in 2015.
Indeed, turnout was up by 4.5% to over 71% a figure last seen during when Barry Jones won in 1997.
Until numbers are fully crunched we won’t exactly know but there is a feeling we may have seen a greater number of younger voters turn out yesterday.
Certainly, Mark has been ever present on social media with regular Twitter updates, Facebook live videos and Instagram ad campaigns, proving social media to be a major battleground.
— Mark Tami (@MarkTamiMP) June 9, 2017
It was the 10pm exit polls which predicted Labour could be on course do much better than many had expected, early predictions pointed to Conservatives winning 314 seats – 12 short of the number needed for an overall majority – and Labour would get 266.
It proved pretty accurate, however, one ‘prediction’ suggested a 97% chance of a Conservative win in Alyn and Deeside, it caused a light stir amongst the labour contingent in the sports hall at Coleg Cambria.
So the BBC are predicting a 97% chance of a Conservative win in Alyn and Deeside, 98% in Delyn & 99% in Wrexham https://t.co/vmTupE55JY pic.twitter.com/aqxpBw1keL
— Deeside.com (@DeesideDotCom) June 8, 2017
A key battle in this two party race was for those 7000 UKIP ‘supporters’ who voted in 2015 – lazy pundits went with the theory they would fall in right behind Conservative candidate Laura Knightly driving her on to an unprecedented victory.
Instead, and this is where local knowledge versus a spreadsheet really adds value, what we were hearing from Labour activists on the ground was those 2015 UKIP voters were highly likely to vote Labour this time.
It’s a bit on an odd concept but don’t forget the UKIP vote in 2015 was driven locally by a boisterous campaign and a fair size chunk of the Deeside electorate’s dislike for Europe, we saw the net result a year later with the Brexit vote.
It was hard to imagine anything but obliteration for UKIP in Deeside, the party failed to muster a single candidate in the recent council elections and their parliamentary candidate David Griffiths, didn’t appear to spend much time (or money) in the constituency he was ‘fighting’ for, the former Conwy Councillor looked to be merely making up the numbers.
UKIP candidate is enjoying the evening, possibly the first time he’s been in Deeside in the last 7 weeks so a nice change from Conwy pic.twitter.com/nBNcP6kCFj
— Deeside.com (@DeesideDotCom) June 8, 2017
UKIP won just 1117 votes down 15.1% on 2015.
Another Conwy Councillor returned for her second crack at the Deeside seat, Tory central office selected Laura Knightly polled a very credible 18,080 votes, 40.4% of the vote share and up 8.5% on 2015, yet the margin between her and Mark Tami grew by over 2000 on 2015 to 5235.
There was dismay amongst members of the Alyn and Deeside Conservative Association that the constituency was to have a centrally selected candidate but with Ms Knightly, the party clearly sees someone with a very bright future in politics and standing in Alyn and Deeside for any Tory is solid character building.
In an update on Twitter she said;
Thank you to the 18,080 people who voted for me yesterday. Although I wasn’t elected, I feel so honoured to have had your support.
Plaid Cymru’s Jacqui Hurst won 1,171 votes down -1.3% on 2015 while Lib Dem candidate Pete Williams won 1,077 votes -1.8 fewer than 2015.
So it’s “as you were” with Labour holding Alyn and Deeside with an increased margin, in his victory speech Mark Tami said;
We started this campaign with Bookmakers saying we were 5.1 against, now maybe we could have given at that point, but we didn’t we went out and we did what we do which is to campaign, which is to speak to people, to explain what we have done and what we intend to do for them, and once again can i thank the people of Alyn of Deeside because it is them who decides who represents them, not Theresa May
Theresa May’s political career looks to be on the rocks following the Tories disastrous upset in yesterday’s election.
Voters have refused to give her a mandate despite this the Prime Minister has defied calls for her to stand down what next?