Commentary and opinion on national and regional politics by Seema Malhotra

Friday, 7 May 2010

Rise of Blue in the Black Country - but Ian Austin holds on to Dudley North

Some sad losses of the night include Rob Marris, Wolverhampton South West, Sue Hayman in Halesowen & Rowley Regis and Lynda Waltho in Stourbridge. It was the night the Black Country went blue in Dudley, though Labour managed to hold on to Dudley North. It was a well deserved win for Ian Austin, now with a reduced but decisive 600 majority which was confirmed on a recount this afternoon. I've had the good fortune to be able to work with Ian over the last two years. As Regional Minister he's played a huge role helping alleviate the impact of the recession on the regional economy - a role that has taken him well beyond the boundaries of Dudley. But I've also seen his pretty amazing commitment as a local to Dudley North, and if Ian had not won it would indeed have been a big loss for the people of Dudley. He's a fighting force against the Tories and a fearless advocate for principled politics, and the rights of his constituents. News of the win has certainly made my afternoon!