I would like to thank the voters of the Rother Valley for re-electing me as their Member of Parliament. I am honoured to have been re-elected and proud that I will be able to continue to represent local residents.
The turnout in the Rother Valley constituency was the highest of all the Rotherham seats (over 64%). Although I received just over 40% of the votes cast, I only received 2,700 less votes than in the previous general election. I am in favour of the alternative vote system, in which voters rank their candidates in order of preference, ensuring that a winning candidate has to get more than 50% of the votes cast in a single constituency.
The general election result gave us the first hung parliament since 1974 and the events we have seen since were inevitable as in any democracy governments do have to change.
In the last 13 years we have undoubtedly seen a marked improvement in the Rother Valley. As I said in my victory speech at last week’s count, a measure of any government is how that government affects the lives of people in constituencies such as ours. The new coalition government should and will be judged on that basis.