South West Norfolk seat retained by Conservatives with new candidate Elizabeth Truss

PUBLISHED: 13:54 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 02 June 2010

ELIZABETH Truss this morning won through to become MP for South West Norfolk and retain the seat for the Conservatives.

She was one of Tory leader David Cameron s A-list of preferred candidates, but faced de-selection because she had an affair with Mark F

ELIZABETH Truss this morning won through to become MP for South West Norfolk and retain the seat for the Conservatives.

She was one of Tory leader David Cameron's A-list of preferred candidates, but faced de-selection because she had an affair with Mark Field, MP for the City of Westminster.

However, she survived that deselection bid and succeeds Christopher Fraser as MP.

After a long night the count was finally returned just before 7am to cheers from the Tory crowd, but the real surprise lay in second place.

Liberal Democrat candidate Stephen Gordon overtook Labour's Peter Smith with 10,630 votes, leaving the party jubilant and the red rosettes downtrodden.

Mr Smith had held his hopes high all night as he stressed the results would be "tight".

But in the end he narrowly lost out and took third place with 9,119 votes.

And it was Miss Truss who won with a clear majority of 23,753 votes.

"The work is now to come and that's what we need to get on with," she said.

"There are so many changes needed. I think one thing that's really important to me is to be very accessible and to make sure when legislation comes through people have a chance to have a say."

The room was packed with tired candidates and their teams as the results were returned almost four hours later than expected, and the night had clearly taken its toll on the Labour candidate.

Mr Smith said "I am disappointed and amazed at the result. I never expected the majority to be so high and the be pushed into third place."

Mr Gordon, who had hoped for second place all along, said: "You dream you might upset the seat but the Tories have a much larger resource to campaign with. I'm very pleased at the result."

UKIP's Kay Hipsey also managed to secure a larger number than expected with 3,061 votes, BNP candidate Dennis Pearce polled 1,774 votes while the Green's Lori Allen trailed behind with 830.

RESULTS

Elizabeth Truss (Conservative): 23,753

Stephen Gordon (Liberal Democrats): 10,630

Peter Smith (Labour): 9,119

Kay Hipsey (UKIP): 3,061

Dennis Pearce (BNP): 1,774

Lori Allen (Green): 83


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