Election 2017: Labour makes huge gains and Lib Dems close the gap in North Devon
- Credit: Archant
We take a look at how today’s election results in North Devon and Torridge and West Devon compare to 2015’s results.
The Conservatives may have retained their seats in North Devon and Torridge - but how do the votes compare to the 2015 results?
In North Devon, Conservative Peter Heaton-Jones’ majority slipped a little - in 2015 he was nearly 7,000 votes ahead of rival candidate, Lib Dem Nick Harvey.
But in today’s results, Sir Nick closed the gap to 4,332, despite Mr Heaton-Jones gaining an extra 3,176 votes this year.
And the former Lib Dem MP thinks his party could once again return to claim the seat.
Mr Harvey told the Gazette at the election count: “I do take great satisfaction in the fact that we have reduced the majority back to what it was when I first arrived.
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“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.
“I think we have a very good chance next time of finishing the job off and winning the seat back.”
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The Lib Dems also made substantial gains in Torridge and West Devon, compared to the last election.
David Chalmers polled 10,526 votes this year, an increase of more than 3,000 on 2015 Lib Dem candidate Paula Dolphin’s 7,483 votes.
It was also a good night for the Labour Party in both North Devon, and Torridge and West Devon - perhaps reflecting on the national trend.
Torridge and West Devon’s Labour votes soared from just seven per cent in 2015 to 21 per cent in this election.
In 2015, UKIP came second to Mr Cox, but with no candidate standing for the party this year, Labour’s Vince Barry swept into second place.
This was the best ever result for Labour in Torridge and West Devon.
North Devon’s Labour candidate Mark Cann almost doubled his votes, from seven per cent in 2015, to 12 per cent this year
In his speech following the results, Mr Cann said: “I have been proud to stand up for the best manifesto that Labour has produced in many, many years; that is what has appealed to people.
“People have come out and supported Labour today because they want to be positive; they wanted to vote for something; they didn’t want to vote against something.
“Labour has appealed across the age range and particularly to young people and I commend the young people across the country who’ve come out and voted for hope, not fear tonight.”
But despite the Labour gains - and the UKIP fall - the Conservatives’ popularity appears to still be strong among voters.
Mr Cox polled the largest majority of any MP to hold the Torridge and West Devon seat, with 56 per cent of the vote.
He said: “I am humbled by the support, this is the largest majority ever won by any member of parliament in Torridge and West Devon and it is an enormous privilege and I am honoured by the support of so many people.”