LABOUR held on to Newport West in a by-election battle that saw voters shun the polls.
The party’s Ruth Jones took 9,308 votes – giving her a majority of 1,951 over the Tories, with UKIP in third place.
Getty Images – Getty Labour held their Newport West seat with a reduced majority as Ruth Jones won last night’s by-election
It followed the death of veteran MP Paul Flynn and came against the backdrop of Brexit battles at Westminster.
The city has long been a Labour stronghold and voted Leave by a margin of 56% to 44% in the 2016 EU referendum.
Mrs Jones had been the clear favourite to succeed Mr Flynn, who held the Newport West seat for 32 years.
He had won with a majority of 5,658 and more than half the vote in 2017.LOW TURNOUT
Voter turnout was as low as 37.1 per cent – down from 67.5 per cent in the 2017 general election.
The parties blamed poor weather including rain and hail on Thursday.
Mrs Jones, who campaigned for Remain in the lead-up to the Brexit referendum, said the country should not accept a “damaging Tory Brexit” or a no-deal outcome.
UKIP’S Neil Hamilton sought a return to the Commons more than two decades after being ousted as an MP in the 1997 general election following his involvement in the cash-for-questions scandal.
The party’s leader in Wales took 2,023 votes – well up on the party’s showing in 2017.
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Conservative candidate Matthew Evans, who gained 7,357 votes, had hoped to improve on his party’s performance at the 2017 general election, when the Tories finished second.
Mr Evans has been a councillor for the Allt-yr-yn ward in Newport Council for 20 years as well as serving as opposition leader, having served as mayor of the city between 2008 and 2012.
Mrs Jones is a former president of the Wales Trade Union Congress and was defeated at two previous parliamentary elections for Monmouth in 2015 and 2017 by Conservative David Davies.
Getty Images – Getty Ruth Jones smiles as she wins the Newport West by-election
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