22nd Sep, 2020

Election special: Candidates react as Rachel Maclean increases majority

Harry Leach 13th Dec, 2019 Updated: 13th Dec, 2019

CONSERVATIVE Rachel Maclean has returned as the MP for Redditch following a landslide victory where she increased her majority.

Mrs Maclean was elected with 27,907 votes overall, 9,000 more than her victory in 2017.

She defeated closest rival Rebecca Jenkins of the Labour Party by more than 16,000 votes.

Liberal Democrat Bruce Horton was third with 2,905 votes and Green Party candidate Claire Davies fourth with 1,384.

Nationally, it was a good night for the Tories who officially reached the finish line at 5.05am this morning – despite 51 seats still to declare – to form a majority Government.

Labour lost several of its key strongholds to the Tories including Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire – a seat Labour had held since 1935.

After thanking her team, husband and four children for helping her get re-elected, Mrs Maclean said: “I’m quite stunned but obviously delighted.

“It’s a big responsibility because I need to carry out what I have been elected to do.

“The margin of victory was more than I thought – but it was what we were picking up on the doorstep.

“Now we have to carry on working for all the people of Redditch.”

Despite falling short, Rebecca Jenkins gave a rallying speech after the announcement was made.

She said: “It’s obviously not the result I wanted.

“I want a fairer society, a NHS that works for the many, not just the few.

“We fought an honest campaign and did not resort to any dirty tactics and we put up policies which were fully costed.

“But this is not the end of me, this is not the end of the Labour Party – I will be back and I will win next time.”

Looking to the future, Bruce Horton said there is ‘no chance’ of sorting Brexit within a month like the Conservatives have promised.

“Brexit has been the dominant issue in this general election and people seem to have bought the Tory line that Brexit will be done soon, which is not true,” he said.

Mr Horton added his party will go back to holding the Government to account and making sure the Tories deliver on their manifesto promises.

Also doubting a positive Conservative future was Claire Davies, who said voters missed out on the bigger picture – climate change.

“It’s disheartening because the Tories will not take the climate crisis seriously.”

Ms Davies admitted that all she can do now is ‘shout louder’ to make sure the Green Party’s voice is heard.

Turnout in Redditch for this year’s election was 67.7 per cent, down from a healthier 70.33 per cent in the 2017 election.

Overall 44,283 votes were cast.

RESULTS:

Rachel Maclean (Conservative) – 27,907

Rebecca Jenkins (Labour) – 11,871

Bruce Horton (Liberal Democrats) – 2,905

Claire Davies (Green Party) – 1,384

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