The Conservatives have held on to North Devon in the 2019 General Election with a huge majority.

The North Devon candidates wait for the results with returning officer Ken Miles. Picture: Tony GussinThe North Devon candidates wait for the results with returning officer Ken Miles. Picture: Tony Gussin

Standing for the first time, new Conservative candidate Selaine Saxby won with 31,479 votes to become the first female MP to represent North Devon.

Ms Saxby had a majority of 14,813 over her Liberal Democrat opponent Alex White who polled 16,666.

With former sitting Conservative MP Peter Heaton-Jones standing down and the Lib Dem candidate Kirsten Johnson also withdrawing, it was a first General Election for both of the North Devon front runners.

Dr Finola ONeill for Labour polled 5,097 votes while Robert Mack took 1,759 for the Green Party and new face on the block, independent Steve Cotton secured 580.

Selaine Saxby has won the North Devon seat for the Conservatives with a big majority. Picture: Tony GussinSelaine Saxby has won the North Devon seat for the Conservatives with a big majority. Picture: Tony Gussin

Speaking after the result following the count at the Tarka Tennis Centre in Barnstaple, Ms Saxby said: "I would like to thank the people of North Devon for trusting me and with their support and I will work tirelessly for them, thank you and I hope everyone goes on to enjoy a very merry Christmas."

Her opponent, Mr White, thanked the returning officer and all of the staff at the count for their work, he said: "My biggest thank you goes towards my fantastic campaign team who worked so hard across North Devon to speak to as many voters as possible. As Liberal Democrats we will continue to fight for our services, our NHS, our education and the things that matter to people here locally.

"North Devon has a Liberal heritage and one day the constituency will be Liberal again."

In 2017 Peter Heaton-Jones took the seat for the Conservatives with 25,517 votes to Liberal Democrat Sir Nick Harvey's 21,185, but leaving him with a reduced majority of 4,332.

Voter turn out tonight was 55,749, or 73.5 per cent, identical to the 2017 turn out in percentage.

The Conservative result in North Devon mirrored the expected situation around the country, as the usual reliable exit polls predicted Boris Johnson's party would gain a Conservative majority of around 80 seats.