Friday 12 July 2024
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Election Result: Ben Bradley loses Mansfield seat as Stephen Yemm wins for Labour

The Conservative Party’s Ben Bradley says Reform “massively hurt our chances” after he lost his Mansfield seat to Labour’s Stephen Yemm.

The constituency had been a key brick in Labour’s Red Wall, until it turned blue in 2017 upon the election of Ben Bradley.

He was re-elected in 2019 with a significant 16,306 vote majority, largely owing to Boris Johnson’s Brexit promises at the time.

In the 2016 EU referendum, Mansfield voted 70.9 per cent to leave. It was the largest leave vote in Nottinghamshire, and the seventh highest percentage to vote leave out of 382 council areas.

However, fast-forward to 2024, and the Labour Party has managed to repair the damage after a ‘wipe-out’ result for the Conservatives nationally.

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Labour’s Stephen Yemm, who worked as a chief commercial officer for a software company and stood for Mansfield mayor in 2011, has now been elected.

Labours Stephen Yemm after winning Mansfield LDRS

Mr Yemm declined requests for interviews after the count, but said during his victory speech: “I would like to thank my predecessor, Mr Bradley, for being our member of parliament for the last seven years and for the contribution he has made to Mansfield.

“Most of all I would like to thank the voters of Mansfield and Warsop who have put their trust in me today. I promise every one of you that I will work tirelessly in your interests to be a voice and representative for our entire community in Westminster.”

Mr Bradley’s remaining job is now that of the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, having also lost in the East Midlands mayoral race to Labour’s Claire Ward in May.

Mr Bradley says the popularity of Reform UK “massively hurt our chances”. The exit poll, which revealed he was likely to lose his seat, left him “nervous” even before the vote was called.

He said: “It has hurt us here and in many seats around the country.

“The vast majority of people voted for right-centre politics, voted to be tougher on lots of things, that now a Labour government is going to be softer on, the quirks of our electoral system perhaps.

“I understand why people feel the frustration. The Conservative Party should have dealt with that, should have tackled it. That’s why we are where we are.

“Clearly the reason Reform are there and have done as well as they have is because the Conservative Party hasn’t delivered things people wanted to see.

“I do think it is worth saying it has been a uniquely difficult time in global politics. Every sitting government in the world is getting battered because people are worse-off than they were five years ago.”

Asked if he is concerned about losing his position as the leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and continue to represent Mansfield North in 2025, he added: “I’m not thinking that far ahead.

“I’m getting a bid fed up of saying ‘sometimes you can’t stop the tide’. I don’t think there is anything different we could have done locally. I’ve had some really nice positive feedback from lots of people. We’ve worked really hard and ran a good campaign.”

Mansfield’s Reform candidate, Matt Warnes, is known locally as ‘Captain Mansfield’ due to his regular appearances at events dressed up as Captain America.

He came third with 9,385 votes.

“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “I’ll be hot on the heels of [Mr Yemm].

“If we had longer we could have done a lot more.”

Mansfield results in full:

Turnout: 55 per cent

Electorate: 74,535

Majority: 3,485

Zen Bilas (Ind): 85

Ben Bradley (Con): 12,563

Stephen Yemm ( Labour ) 16,048

Peter Michael James Dean (The Socialist Labour Party): 423

Wesley Milligan (Ind): 335

Karen Rachel Mary Seymour (Trade Union and Socialist Coalition): 123

Philip Shields (Green): 1,326

Matt Warnes (Reform): 9,385

Michael Wyatt (Lib Dem): 799

 

•  Election Sherwood Forest: Labour victory as Michelle Welsh elected

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•  Election Result: Reform victory in Ashfield with Lee Anderson re-elected

•  Election Result: Rushcliffe turns Labour after almost 60 years of Conservative MPs

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