A LITTLE old-school campaigning and a little humility catapult Labour back to Blaenau Gwent, according to the area’s new MP.

Nick Smith went to Ebbw Vale Market with first minister Carwyn Jones yesterday to thank his supporters for all their hard work, after Labour won the seat back from People Voice’s Dai Davies.

The seat had remained out of the Labour family for five years, after a row over all-women short lists saw the area elect Peter Law in 2005.

Asked if Labour had said sorry to voters for what had taken place in Blaenau Gwent, Mr Smith said he was keen to emphasize to voters his local roots.

“We have learned our lesson,” he said. “I made a point of emphasizing that I was selected locally by the local Blaenau Gwent Labour party.”

Mr Smith said Labour campaigned in the “old fashioned” traditional way, listening to local voters and standing up for people in the district.

He said he had also campaigned on local issues and that the People’s Voice-led council had let the people down – suggesting the council’s performance may have hit Mr Davies’ campaign.

He thanked the people of Blaenau Gwent and the constituency’s Labour members, and added: “I will be proud to be an MP here.”

Mid and west-wales assembly member Alun Davies, who will be running as Blaenau Gwent’s Labour candidate in 2011, said they hoped to repeat the same success next year.

“What this has done is demonstrate the belief people have in Labour’s ability to stand up for the people in Blaenau Gwent.”

First minister Carwyn Jones AM said he expected Labour to win the seat back but not with the size of the majority that it received.

“It is great to see Blaenau Gwent come back to Labour,” he said.

Labour's Nick Smith took the seat from Dai Davies with 16,974 votes to Mr Davies' 6,458.