Conservatives retain North Devon in the General Election
- Credit: Archant
The General Election has seen Conservative Peter Heaton-Jones hold on to his seat in North Devon.
In a close fought contest against his Liberal Democrat opponent Sir Nick Harvey, Mr Heaton-Jones retained the seat he won in 2015 with a reduced majority of 4,332.
The national picture at the time of the result was not looking as rosy for Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May, whose decision to call a snap election was beginning to look like a miscalculation as Labour made some gains across the country.
With a voter turn out of 73.5 percent, more than three per cent above the 2015 total, Mr Heaton-Jones polled 25,517 votes to Mr Harvey’s 21,185.
Mark Cann secured 7,063 for the Labour Party, Steve Crowther of UKIP on 1,187 and Ricky Knight of the Green Party on 753.
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In 2015 the Conservatives won the seat for the first time in 23 years, ousting long-serving Liberal Democrat Nick Harvey.
Newcomer Peter Heaton-Jones received 22,341 votes – a majority of 13.3 per cent – coming from 5,000 votes behind Mr Harvey [in 2010] to beat him by 7,000 votes.
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Mr Heaton-Jones said: “I am delighted with the result obviously, very pleased to be back as North Devon’s member of parliament.
“This was an unexpected election and a very tough call here in North Devon. I would like to thank all the candidates.
“We do face challenges here in North Devon. I am going to work as hard as I can to make sure that we get the best we can for North Devon. I am optimistic about the future, I am going to pledge all of my energy to doing my best for North Devon.”
Mr Harvey said he was obviously very disappointed after fighting a good campaign, but the national situation had been stacked against them.
He said: “I am delighted with the response from the North Devon people to that campaign but its not enough to win tonight, I think that’s really down to national tides that are rather stacked against us in North Devon.
“I am not sure there’s anything we could have done locally to make any difference.
“But I do take great satisfaction in the fact that we have reduced the majority back to what it was when I first arrived.
“I showed then that it could be overturned with a good campaign in one go and I am quite clear that’s the situation now and I think we have a very good chance next time of finishing the job off and winning the seat back.”
Follow our live coverage from tonight’s election here.