2019 Newport West by-election

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2019 Newport West by-election
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Newport West constituency
  First party Second party
 
Candidate Ruth Jones Matthew Evans
Party Labour Conservative
Popular vote 9,308 7,357
Percentage 39.6% 31.3%
Swing Decrease 12.7% Decrease 8%

  Third party Fourth party
  Neil Hamilton AM (28136586146).jpg
Candidate Neil Hamilton Jonathan Clarke
Party UKIP Plaid Cymru
Popular vote 2,023 1,185
Percentage 8.6% 5%
Swing Increase 6.1% Increase 2.5%

NewportWest2007Constituency.svg
Location of Newport West within Wales

MP before election

Paul Flynn
Labour

Elected MP

Ruth Jones
Labour

The 2019 Newport West by-election was held in the UK Parliament constituency of Newport West on 4 April 2019, following the death of Labour Party MP Paul Flynn. This was the third parliamentary by-election held during the 57th UK Parliament, which was elected at the 2017 general election. Labour held the seat, and Ruth Jones was elected as the new MP.[1]

Background[edit]

In October 2018 the sitting MP Paul Flynn indicated his intention to resign his seat in the imminent future, following a worsening of his rheumatoid arthritis.[2] At the time, Flynn indicated that he would wait for a snap general election, in case that allowed him to stand down without triggering a by-election, citing the expense involved in organising and holding one.[2] He died on 17 February 2019, following a "long illness".[3]

Newport West has been held by Labour since 1987, when Flynn won the seat from the Conservatives. The constituency is semi-marginal, with Labour majorities not exceeding 10,000 votes except during the electoral landslide of 1997.[4]

The writ of election was moved in Parliament on 28 February, scheduling the by-election for 4 April 2019.[5][6]

Candidates and timetable[edit]

Flynn had indicated his intention to stand down at or before the next general election, and political parties had begun to select candidates in Newport West for the next general election,[7] including Jonathan Clark (Plaid Cymru),[8] Matthew Evans (Welsh Conservatives), Ruth Jones (Welsh Labour)[6] and Amelia Womack (Green Party).[6] UKIP selected its Welsh leader Neil Hamilton.[9] The Liberal Democrats selected Ryan Jones.[10] Also standing were Richard Suchorzewski for the Abolish the Welsh Assembly Party;[11] June Davies for the Renew Party;[12] Ian McLean for the continuing SDP;[13] and candidates for For Britain and the Democrats and Veterans.[14]

The new Brexit Party said it would not be standing.[6] The recently formed Independent Group also declined to field its own candidate.[6]

The election was administered by Newport City Council, with the statement of persons nominated published on 8 March 2019.[15]

Campaign[edit]

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford announced on 12 March that the expected decision on the construction of an M4 relief road around Newport would be delayed due to the purdah rules that had taken effect during the by-election. Such rules prevented the government from making major policy announcements to avoid unduly influencing an election campaign. The news was strongly criticised by the Conservative candidate.[16]

The national backdrop for the by-election was the continued uncertainty over Brexit during the Brexit negotiations in 2019, with the original planned date for leaving the EU being postponed and the failure of the House of Commons to agree a way forward. The Conservatives were concerned this would adversely affect their vote.[17]

Result[edit]

Newport West by-election, 2019[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ruth Jones 9,308 39.6 -12.7
Conservative Matthew Evans 7,357 31.3 -8.0
UKIP Neil Hamilton 2,023 8.6 +6.1
Plaid Cymru Jonathan Clarke 1,185 5.0 +2.5
Liberal Democrat Ryan Jones 1,088 4.6 +2.4
Green Amelia Womack 924 3.9 +2.8
Renew June Davies 879 3.7 N/A
Abolish the Welsh Assembly Richard Suchorzewski 205 0.9 N/A
SDP Ian McLean 202 0.9 N/A
Democrats and Veterans Philip Taylor 185 0.8 N/A
For Britain Hugh Nicklin 159 0.7 N/A
Majority 1,951 8.3 -4.7
Turnout 23,515 37.1 -30.5
Registered electors 63,623
Labour hold Swing -2.4

Previous result[edit]

Paul Flynn was re-elected to an eighth term of office in 2017, with an increased majority of 5,658 (13.0%) over the Conservative candidate.

General Election 2017: Newport West
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Paul Flynn 22,723 52.3 +11.1
Conservative Angela Jones-Evans 17,065 39.3 +6.8
UKIP Stan Edwards 1,100 2.5 -12.7
Plaid Cymru Morgan Bowler-Brown 1,077 2.5 -1.5
Liberal Democrat Sarah Lockyer 976 2.2 -1.7
Green Pippa Bartolotti 497 1.1 -2.0
Majority 5,658 13.0 +4.3
Turnout 43,438 67.5 +2.6
Registered electors 64,399
Labour hold Swing +2.2

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Newport West by-election: Labour holds on to seat". BBC News. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b Craig, Ian (26 October 2018). "Tributes paid to Paul Flynn following news he is to quit". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Tributes to veteran Labour MP Flynn". BBC News. 18 February 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Newport West: 2015 Result". ukpollingreport.co.uk. UK Polling Report. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Newport West by-election date announced". BBC News. 28 February 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d e Craig, Ian (28 February 2019). "Newport West by-election to be held on April 4 following death of Paul Flynn". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Green deputy leader selected as Newport West candidate". greenparty.org.uk. Green Party. 23 November 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  8. ^ Craig, Ian (10 February 2019). "Plaid select their Newport West Parliamentary candidate". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Neil Hamilton is Ukip's candidate for the Newport West by-election". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Liberal Democrats announce Newport West by-election candidate". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  11. ^ Craig, Ian (22 February 2019). "Party dedicated to abolishing the Welsh Assembly will run in Newport West by-election". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  12. ^ Staff writer (28 February 2019). "Renew Party announces candidate for Newport West by-election". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  13. ^ "Social Democratic Party announces by-election candidate". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  14. ^ STATEMENT OF PERSONS NOMINATED AND NOTICE OF POLL/DATGANIAD YNGHYLCH Y PERSONAU A ENWEBWYD A HYSBYSIAD O’R BLEIDLAIS, Newport City Council
  15. ^ Newport West Parliamentary By-election Newport City Council
  16. ^ "No M4 relief road decision until after by-election, confirms First Minister". South Wales Argus. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  17. ^ "Snap election under May would 'annihilate' Tories", By E Malnick & J Maidment. The Sunday Telegraph, p. 1, 31 March 2019
  18. ^ "Newport West By-election results | Newport City Council". www.newport.gov.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2019.