The shock result for the Irish community in Britain is the loss of Chris Ruane’s Labour seat in the Vale of Clwyd constituency in Wales to Tory newcomer Dr James Davies.
The son of an Irish navvy, with family roots in Co. Galway, Ruane was beaten by just 237 votes, after a recount confirmed his loss this morning.
Ruane’s departure is a devastating blow for Labour and the Irish as the 56-year-old former MP had held the constituency since it was formed in 1997 and also effectively led the All Parliamentary Group on the Irish in Britain in Westminster as its chair.
Jack Dromey – Labour – Birmingham, Erdington
Son of an Irish navvy and husband of fellow Labour MP Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey has retained his Birmingham seat, with 46 per cent of the votes giving him a more than 5,000 vote majority over his closet contender, the Conservatives’ Robert Alden.
Born in Kilburn, to Irish parents who hailed from counties Cork and Tipperary, Dromey has been a vocal supporter of the Irish community in Birmingham and is a regular at the city’s annual St Patrick’s Parade and Festival.
“It’s a privilege to represent the people of Erdington,” he said last night, where he was returned to the post he first won in 2010 with 15,824 votes.
Conor McGinn – Labour – St Helens North
Former chair of the Labour Party Irish Society, Armagh native Conor McGinn has won his battle for the Labour-held constituency of St Helens North in Merseyside.
Continuing the success of his predecessor, Labour’s Dave Watts, who retired from the post he has held since its 1997 creation, McGinn stormed to victory with 26,738 votes – well ahead of his nearest rival, Paul Richardson of the Conservatives, on 9,087.
“The message from St Helens is loud and clear – this is a Labour borough. St Helens North stands proud today, as it always has done. I as a Member of Parliament will stand with people here as we meet the future challenges ahead,” McGinn, the son of former Newry Sinn Féin councillor Pat McGinn, said in his victory speech.