General Election 2019: Geoffrey Cox makes it five in a row with record victory
- Credit: Matt Smart
Geoffrey Cox won the Torridge and West Devon seat for the fifth time in a row with his most commanding general election victory to date.
The Attorney General enjoyed a fairly straightforward passage back to the House of Commons, although with the constituency one of the last to declare its results, he was forced to wait.
Mr Cox secured 35,904 votes - 59.9 per cent per cent of the overall turnout.
He will be part of a Conservative government with a healthy majority after the party enjoyed a surge of support up and down the country.
It's the third time in a row Mr Cox has bettered his result, having recouped more than 50 per cent of the vote in 2015 and 2017.
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His election in 2017 came with questions over how a Government would be formed and who would be leading it, but there was no drama this time around.
Mr Cox said he was 'immensely humbled' to retain the seat.
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"I am immensely humbled and privileged by the extraordinary mandate and confirmation that this vote represents," he said.
"It is an overwhelming vote of confidence and I am profoundly grateful to every one of those who gave me their support and I shall work extremely hard to ensure that their vote is justified and I shall keep the pledges that we made over the course of this election.
Mr Cox said his first priority, Brexit aside, would be reopening Appledore Shipyard.
"That is the imminent priority. I have a meeting on Monday with the Prime Minster's chief of staff. We are very close I hope to consummating that wonderful achievement."
Liberal Democrat candidate David Chalmers polled 10,912 votes to finish second on the night that party leader Jo Swinson was ousted from her seat.
Labour candidate Siobhan Strode was close behind, polling 10,290 votes.
Green Party candidate Chris Jordan received 2,077 votes and independent candidate Bob Wootton received 547.
Voters turned out in their droves in the constituency, despite the dismal weather on polling day.
A total of 59,965 votes were cast, with the turnout of 74.58 per cent slightly higher than last year, and the highest since 1997.
At the end of a huge night for the Conservatives, Mr Cox said Labour and the Liberal Democrats had paid a 'heavy price' for not 'respecting democracy'.
"This nonsense that the British people did not know what they were doing in 2016 has been once and for all completely discredited," said Mr Cox.
"The British people have known exactly what they are doing today and they are voting to leave the European Union and that ultimately, I believe, is the secret of the problem the other two parties have had.
"They have not properly respected the democracy of this country and you pay a heavy price for that."