General Election 2019: Conservatives continue century-long streak, holding East Devon seat

PUBLISHED: 05:20 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:28 13 December 2019

Simon Jupp.Picture: Conservative Party

Simon Jupp.Picture: Conservative Party

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The Conservatives will continue their reign in East Devon, continuing to hold the seat for more than 150 years.

The Conservatives will continue their reign in East Devon, continuing to hold the seat for more than 150 years.

Simon Jupp is the new East Devon MP after securing 32,577 votes in the East Devon 2019 General Elections, following a 73.6 per cent turn out (64,223 ballot papers) in the constituency.

A devastated Claire Wright secured 25,869 votes, losing out by 6,708 votes.

Emotions were running high during the count as parliamentary candidates watched the ballot papers arrive and be verified before the count began at about 1.30am on Friday, December 13.

East Devon MP Simon Jupp makes his speach after being successfully elected. Picture: Beth SharpEast Devon MP Simon Jupp makes his speach after being successfully elected. Picture: Beth Sharp

Mr Jupp is taking over the seat from Sir Hugo Swire, who decided to step down after more than 18 years.

In 2017, Cllr Wright ran against Sir Hugo Swire and secured the largest number of votes for any Independent in the UK - 21,270. Sir Hugo won with a majority of 8,036 - securing 29,306 votes.

Following Sir Hugo's announcement to step down earlier this year, Cllr Wright hoped this would be her year to secure the extra votes needed to win the seat and break the party's century-long streak.

Cllr Wright has previously told the Herald and Journal that she would unlikely stand again if she didn't win the seat this time around.

Following the results Mr Jupp said: "It is amazing, I never take anything for granted and I have worked really hard since I was selected to stand as the Conservative parliamentary candidate in East Devon.

"Next week when I go to Parliament, which seems surreal to say, I plan to work on what the Conservative party has promised for this country.

"In East Devon we need to make sure the community hospitals are properly funded and make sure the schools across East Devon get the funding they deserve.

"It (the result) has not really sunk in yet, it feels surreal - I am 34 years old and have just been elected to Parliament and people have picked me to represent them.

"I thought it was going to be really close."

When asked what local issues he'd like to address, Mr Jupp added: "Yesterday (Thursday), I was in Cranbrook and it was very clear that residents deserve a proper town centre and it is about time people started to deliver on their promises, so I will make sure to work with developers and the council to make sure that gets done."

Reacting to the news, Ms Wright said: "I am really sad I won't be going to London on Tuesday. I am really sad for all the people that voted for me and expected me to become their MP and who knew how I would have put them first...

"I don't know what I will be doing in five years time or what I will do. I said I wouldn't run again after the 2015 and 2017 elections, so who knows what I will do."

Claire Wright is standing as an Independent Prospective Parlimentary Candidate in the East Devon seat in the 2019 General Elections. Picture: Claire WrightClaire Wright is standing as an Independent Prospective Parlimentary Candidate in the East Devon seat in the 2019 General Elections. Picture: Claire Wright

A total of 87,133 people were registered on the East Devon electoral roll this year, 3,841 more than the 82,382 registered in 2017 - the increase is thought to be down to a number of new developments such as Cranbrook.

The other candidates that ran for the seat include Peter Faithfull, Independent - with 275 votes, Henry Gent, Green Party - with 711, Eleanor Rylance, Liberal Democrats with 1,771 and Dan Wilson, Labour 2,870. There were 150 spoilt papers.

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