Henry Bellingham retains North West Norfolk seat for Tories with majority of almost 15,000
CONSERVATIVES in North West Norfolk were celebrating for the third successive election as Henry Bellingham held onto the seat with a 14,810 majority.William Summers steered the Liberal Democrats into second place with 11,106 votes - their best-ever showi
CONSERVATIVES in North West Norfolk were celebrating for the third successive election as Henry Bellingham held onto the seat with a 14,810 majority.
William Summers steered the Liberal Democrats into second place with 11,106 votes - their best-ever showing at the polls in this constituency.
Disenchanted Labour supporters voted with their feet after their candidate Manish Sood stunned his party with a series of off-message outbursts, which included slating Gordon Brown as the worst prime minister Britain had ever had. Mr Sood did not attend the count at King's Lynn Corn Exchange, saying he had been advised to stay away for "security reasons". He came in third, with 6,353 votes.
Mr Bellingham said he had fought "a positive campaign" in which he had not taken votes for granted.
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"I've always fought every campaign like it's a target seat," he said. "I was surprised that my main opponent put in so little time - that did make things a little easier for me."
While his overall share of the vote increased by just over 500, his majority soared from 9,180 to 14,810.
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"I'm not going to be complacent, I feel very honoured," he said. "I know I've increased my vote, I have a mandate from the people of West Norfolk and it's up to me not to let them down.
"What's next is to see what happens nationally. There's going to be lots of issues both nationally and locally."
Lib Dem William Summers said the party hoped to build on the result.
"I'm delighted with the result and progress we've made here," he said. "It gives us a really good platform to look to the future. To come from third place to second is a fantastic result."
Green candidate Michael de Whalley, who polled 745 votes, said: "For a rookie candidate it's been an interesting experience," he said. "I've found people extremely positive towards the Green message, even if they haven't voted that way."
Turnout was 65.4 per cent.
HENRY BELLINGHAM (Conservative): 25,916
William Summers (Liberal Democrat): 11,106
Manish Sood (Labour): 6,353
John Gray (UKIP): 1,841
David Fleming (BNP): 1,839
Michael de Whalley (Green Party): 745.