Ruth Wins Rushcliffe

As Conservatives across the country celebrate their party’s landslide victory in the 2019 General Election, there was no surprise for Ruddington – with the Tories easily retaining a seat they’ve held here for the past 49 years.

It was in 1970 that The Rt Hon Kenneth Clark {pictured above with Ruth} won back the Rushcliffe Constituency from Labour’s Antony Gardner – with Mr Clarke serving as our MP ever since. After deciding to step down for this election, his replacement was Welsh cyber-security expert Ruth Edwards – who will now become our local MP after the Conservatives were again clear winners in yesterday’s poll.

The full results were:

  • Billin, Jason (Lib Dem): 9,600
  • Edwards, Ruth (Con): 28,765 – ELECTED
  • Faithfull, Matthew (UKIP): 591
  • Kirby, John (Ind): 427
  • Pidgeon, Cheryl (Lab): 21,122

Despite the rain, the turnout was 78.85% – fractionally higher than in the 2017 General Election.

Mr Clarke praised his successor: “Ruth will be a strong advocate for Rushcliffe in Parliament and work hard for our community.”  Before the election, Ms Edwards stated: “People often say they want MPs with real-world experience, which is exactly what I have with my career in business and the tech sector. As Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe I will focus on what matters most to people – like recruiting more new police officers, investing more in our NHS and helping with the cost of living.”

Whilst she was on the campaign trail, Ruth came knocking on doors in Ruddington, visited Rushcliffe Country Park and our Village Market, and even made friends with our village’s biggest celebrity – Wilbur the Cat – who’s now even got his own 2020 Calendar!

After being elected, she said: “Thank you to everyone who voted for me yesterday – I am very proud to be Rushcliffe’s new MP and I promise to be a listening MP, an effective MP in Westminster and one who puts this fantastic constituency first. People have given me their trust and I am aware of the huge responsibility I now have. I will work hard for each and every one of you to the absolute best of my ability. I will not let you down.

“The Prime Minister was completely right to say he was humbled by the faith voters have put in his government and I feel exactly the same. We must now form a People’s Government and deliver on Brexit, deliver on even better public services and make sure this country can heal its divisions, continue to prosper and regain its trust in politicians.”

Ms Edwards added: “I would also like to thank my opponents Cheryl, Jason, Matthew and John and their teams, as well as my own fantastic supporters. Democracy is precious and anyone who believes in their cause to the point they’re prepared to pound the streets in the cold and wet to take their message to voters deserve the utmost credit. I wish them the very best for the future.”

Of course, the result is a disappointment for local Labour supporters who had hoped to cause an upset – with much leafletting and vigorous campaigning by Ruddington’s new Borough Councillors Jen Walker and Mike Gaunt and others on behalf of Cheryl Pidgeon. After the count, Cheryl told “I am extremely proud of the Labour campaign in Rushcliffe. It was honest and decent. Unlike other candidates we had been working in Rushcliffe over the last two years, campaigning on issues such as the tragic loss of our TA’s at James Peacock School, campaigning to save Lutterell Hall and supporting our Asda staff from draconian changes to their terms and conditions. Sadly the Liberal Democrat campaign was less than honest.”

In the end, however, Labour ended up 7,643 votes behind the Conservatives in Rushcliffe. Ms Pidgeon added: “The Ruddington community made us very welcome and we will continue our fight for fairness and social justice right across the constituency and beyond.”

The Liberal Democrats under Jason Billin showed a much stronger performance in Rushcliffe than in the 2017 election (when they received just 2,759 votes) – though were still a good way behind the two main parties. Jason said: “Rushcliffe is a tough battleground for those of us who don’t agree with Tory policies but we have a great deal to celebrate from the way we have built the local Liberal Democrat membership and how we ran this campaign. We increased our share of the vote by 11.4% and tripled the numbers who voted for us.”

Ruth with Conservative supporters in Ruddington

Only time will tell whether Ruth Edwards MP can emulate the success of her famous predecessor in Parliament – and live up to all the election promises as Ruddington’s new representative in Westminster.

{Images courtesy of @Ruth4Rushcliffe}

Related posts