Matt Rodda regains MP seat as Reading proves stronghold for Labour

In a result that was called earlier than expected, the six candidates who turned up to the count were summoned to a podium for the results to be read out.

Mr Rodda, the Labour candidate won with a 12,637 majority and is now a three-time general election winner.

In a podium speech, he said: “It is a huge honour and a privilege to be elected as the MP for Reading Central and I’m honestly still trying to take that last part in.

“I’d like to thank the whole team for activists who have worked relentlessly for six weeks.

“Most of all could I thank my family, and I’d like to thank local residents for putting their trust in me in this election.

“It’s been a huge privilege to serve Reading East, the former constituency for the last seven years, and I’ve had the honour of being able to campaign to save Reading Gaol, to save Reading FC, and to carry out many other local campaigns.

“I’ve only ever been able to do that as an opposition MP, at a time when we’ve faced 14 years of terrible problems in our country.

“We now have the opportunity for real change, and I’m hoping we have a Labour government to look forward to.

“I’d like to thank everybody for their support in me, and their support in the Labour Party, let’s hope we have a real opportunity to change this country for the better.”

Mr Rodda also thanked Pip Lobo, his election agent for his diligent work, and the returning officer who managed the count.

The full results:

Matt Rodda, Labour – 21,598

Raj Singh, Conservative – 8,961

Dave McElroy, Green – 6,417

Henry Wright, Lib Dems – 3,963

Andrew Williams, Reform UK – 3,904

Michael Turberville, Independent – 227

Adam Gillman, TUSC – 221

The total votes counted was 45,519, a turnout of 61.85 per cent.

Mr Turberville was not seen at the count that took place at the Rivermead Leisure Centre.

Mr Rodda was congratulated by his family, opponents, the Labour Reading Borough councillors and party activists.

Shortly after arriving, he said he had been campaigning throughout the constituency, which covers the town centre, Caversham, East Reading, and the Coley. Southcote, Katesgrove and Battle areas of the town.

Mr Rodda was first elected to Parliament as the Labour MP for Reading East in 2017, unhorsing Rob Wilson, the Conservative MP from 2005 to that year.

Back then, he increased his majority to 5,924, up by 2,175 votes from 2017.

Reading Central was formed out of the Reading East and Reading West constituencies, which were formed in 2010 and straddled Wokingham Borough and West Berkshire respectively.

Reading Chronicle | Town Centre