Sharon Hodgson re-elected as MP for Washington & Sunderland West Constituency. Image c/o BBC News 2015.
Message from Sharon
Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone who voted to re-elect me as your Labour Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West with an increased majority, and reaffirmed your support in me to continue representing you and our area in Parliament.
Despite last Thursday's unexpected and disappointing election outcome which saw David Cameron walk back into Downing Street with a Tory-majority Government, here in Sunderland we had a fantastic night where we were again the first local authority to declare our results whilst also bucking the national trend to see all three Labour women candidates re-elected on increased majorities, along with 24 out of 25 local Labour Council candidates winning their seats.
The results here in Sunderland, and many others across the North East, have shown that people in our region do not feel the Tories are working in their best interests, and I heard this loud and clear whilst out on the doorstep during the elections. Yet, we woke up on Friday morning to another five years of Tory rule, where we will see the region over-looked for future investment opportunities and hit hardest by the austerity that this Government has planned.
Across the country, people realised the high stakes at this election with 66% of the electorate turning out to vote on polling day, the highest we have seen since the 1997 elections. We also saw 60% of young people between the ages of 18 - 24 years old come out to vote, compared to 44% in 2010.
As the election results finally start to sink-in and Parliament returns for the first time this week with a very different make-up of MPs, it is clear that the coming weeks, months and years ahead will be an interesting time in politics, including: new leadership of the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats to be decided; the Scottish Nationalist Party becoming the official third party in British politics (replacing the Liberal Democrats), and; the looming in/out referendum on the European Union.
Whilst we will see another five years of Tory government with a very different political landscape across the country, I can assure you that I will continue to stand up for the people of Washington and Sunderland West and hold this Government to account at every possible opportunity in order to try and achieve the best outcomes for our area.