Labour wins Rushcliffe in historic political turnaround for former Conservative stronghold

James Naish defeated Ruth Edwards for the Rushcliffe seat, ending five decades of Conservative rule
By Lauren Monaghan, Junior Local Democracy Reporter

Rushcliffe’s formerly safe blue seat has turned red after more than five decades of Conservative rule, marking an historic political shift for the borough and delivering one of the Tory party’s bitterest blows of the General Election.

James Naish (Lab) won the seat from Ruth Edwards (Con) with 25,291 votes, marking the end of a 54 years of Conservative domination previously typified by former Chancellor Lord Kenneth Clarke, who stood down in 2019.

Ms Edwards was elected in his place, but with a shrunken majority of just over 7,500.

That majority evaporated overnight on Thursday, with Mr Naish winning a margin of 7,426.

Turnout in Rushcliffe was 73.22 per cent, down from 78.95 per cent in the 2019 General Election, with 57,959 ballots being cast.

The last time that a Labour MP was elected in Rushcliffe was in 1966.

Mr Naish said: “I’m really pleased for the people of Rushcliffe that we’ve decided to make that change and now hopefully a Labour government can deliver on the change that people have been looking for.

“I think there has been a lot of changes in the local area… if you look at the trends in Rushcliffe they have been counternarrative to the wider election results- in the last election it saw Labour increase its vote.

“We have seen around 7,000 houses built since 2011 and into those houses there’s a very different type of person moving and now living in Rushcliffe and that’s part of the narrative.”

Ruth Edwards faced a tense night, after exit polls predicted an almost certain defeat for her.

She said: “You’ve put your heart and soul into it… It’s a brutal, brutal game.

“I think the overriding factor has been the division in the party at a national level.

“Of course people want a united party to run the country and I don’t think we have presented them with that.”

On his plans for the area Mr Naish said: “We’ve spoken a lot about local council funding because of what has happened in the city, we’ve talked a lot about energy prices and so Great British Energy has been a positive proposition on the doorstep… rail as well.

“There’s an appetite for people to see change, they want to see things improve, they want to have confidence in public services.”

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