3.46AM: Stephen Barclay wins NE Cambs seat and extends Tory majority to more than 16,000
STEPHEN Barclay has retained the NE Cambs constituency for the Conservative Party – and has increased the party s majority to more than 16,000. Mr Barclay polled 26,862 votes, with Liberal Democrat Lorna Spenceley second with 10,437 votes. Labour s Peter
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY and ANDREW PAPWORTH at THE COUNT at the HUDSON LEISURE CENTRE, WISBECH
CONSERVATIVE candidate Steve Barclay is North East Cambridgeshire’s new MP.
The former High Street bank executive roughly doubled the Conservative’s majority to more than 16,000.
And his crushing victory was made all the worse for the Labour Party, which lost second place to the Liberal Democrats.
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Speaking at the end of count at 3.30am, Mr Barclay said he wanted to look for “common ground” of how to serve the Fenland area best. He said the key goal was to “build trust in the new Parliament”.
Mr Barclay, who polled 26,862 votes, said: “I want to pay tribute to all the candidates for the positive way they fought this campaign. I hope we can work together to get the best for Fenland.
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“I look forward to help rebuild the trust in politics and Parliament that has gone missing in recent years.”
Liberal Democrat Lorna Spenceley said: “This result confirms that with the collapse of the Labour vote, it’s the Liberal Democrats who are in second place and challenging for the seat.”
In a call for electoral reform, she added: “It’s increasingly clear that the way we do politics is terminally broken and needs to be fixed.”
Labour’s Peter Roberts said he had delivered a record 136,000 leaflets in the campaign this year and had felt he could not pull it any closer.
Nevertheless, he could only poll 9,274 to the Liberal Democrats’ 10,437.
Mr Roberts asked all sides to work together in the future and paid tribute to former MPs Malcolm Moss and Clement Freud.
The British National Party polled 1,747 – even though candidate Susan Clapp did not turn up to the count.
UKIP’s Robin Talbot polled 2,791 votes, whereas English Democrat Graham Murphy polled 387 votes. Independent Debra Jordan took 566.
Mr Barclay said later that he believed the Tory Party’s “old fashioned campaign had reconnected with the voters”. He also pledged to fight for a better Fenland and East Cambs and admitted that some MPs, in the previous Parliament, “lost their way”
His key priorities would be to ensure Fenland got a fairer share of Government funding to help the region develop.