Hexham voters surprised but pleased by shock General Election result

Voters in Hexham were surprised at Labour's first ever General Election victory in the Northumberland constituency - but many believed it will benefit the local community.

The seat, which had been held by the Conservatives since 1924, was won by Labour’s Joe Morris, who ousted Guy Opperman with a majority of 3,717. Mr Opperman had been the MP for the area since 2010.

Glynn Wales, 77 said he was surprised by the result. “It’s one of the places I wouldn’t have imagined changing due to it being rural and middle-class. But when you look at the background of what has happened nationwide, not that much of a surprise.”

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Phillip Kelly, 60 added: “It’s the first time for 100 years there has been a change, it’s a sign of the times. People need change.

“I think from my point of view, there has been too much in-fighting for far too long. It’s about time somebody just did their job and governed, instead of fighting with each other.”

Hugh was pleased with the result, but was disappointed to see Mr Opperman lose his seat. “I liked what Guy did, I thought he was very good. He got loads done, but that’s the way it is.

David Fraser, 83 was very happy with the result, speaking of the “chaos that has been evident for a number of years with Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Boris Johnson. It has been a parade of failing incompetence.”

Ailys Marples, 58 who was joined by her husband Peter, said: “I hope it will help the community and get some jobs going. The NHS needs a big shake-up too.”

Residents spoke of how the national picture was also reflected in Hexham and argued that it showed that the area too needed a change.

Peter Marples, 58 said: “With the Conservatives being in power for 14 years we’ve had no changes, only promises. The Conservatives have bled us dry, so we needed a change and let’s hope it is for the better.”

Voters were also excited at the prospect of having a Labour MP for the first time, but some were also cautious of what it could bring. Hugh said: “Let’s see what they make of it.”

Peter added: “Keir Starmer looks and sounds very good. Let’s hope he can deliver, otherwise in five years time it may be different again. So let’s hope Labour can do what they have said they will do, and hope we haven’t been given false promises again.”