No shake-ups in West Suffolk as Conservative Matt Hancock retains his seat
- Credit: Archant
It was a coronation more than a contest in West Suffolk as Health Secretary Matt Hancock increased his majority.
He was elected with 33,842 votes, an increase of 2,193 when compared with the general election in 2017.
Mr Hancock gained a majority of 23,194 over Labour's Claire Unwin who earned 10,648 votes - a decrease in the West Suffolk Labour vote.
Liberal Democrat Elfreda Tealby-Watson brought in 4,685 votes - more than double than in 2017 - and Donald Allwright, from the Green Party, saw 2,262 votes - also more than two times the amount he gained at the last General Election.
Turnout in West Suffolk was 64.56%, a small drop on 67.03% in 2017.
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Mr Hancock said he was "really pleased" to have increased his majority - the highest number of votes he's had as an MP for West Suffolk.
"I think that the result here, like results right across the country, demonstrate that there is a clear determination to get this country moving forward.
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"And I'm absolutely determined to get straight down to London and back to work in parliament with a parliament that is going to deliver what it promises and deliver on the commitments and the decisions of the British people. That is what I will be doing straight away after this.
"And I think also the scale of the result here shows one other thing, and that is that positive, optimistic politics where you look and seek to bring people together rather than divide them, that is what people want in West Suffolk and that is what I'm determined to deliver."
He said: "Of course Brexit has been a very big issue, but it hasn't been the only issue.
"We have ended up in a position where, according to the polls, we are more trusted than Labour on the NHS for instance.
"That's a really important part of our agenda and also just this general sense that this country has been stuck and we need a majority government to get it going again."
Reacting to the result, Ms Unwin said it was a "real tragedy" people who needed representation were not going to have their voice heard.
Ms Tealby-Watson said the gains made by the Lib Dems in West Suffolk showed there was a "vigorous" debate still to be had about how to move the country forward.
The result in full:
- Matt Hancock (Con) 33,842
- Claire Unwin (Lab) 10,648
- Elfreda Tealby-Watson (Lib Dem) 4,685
- Donald Allwright (Green) 2,262