Ruffley keeps Bury seat after battle with Lib Dems

VICTORIOUS Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley has told of his delight at fighting off a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrats to hold his seat.

VICTORIOUS Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley last night pledged vowed to “work harder” for his constituents following a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrats.

The Conservative MP notched 27,899 votes compared with the 15,519 votes taken by his nearest rival, the Liberal Democrat David Chappell.

Speaking after his win was announced, Mr Ruffley said his primary aim was to keep doing his best for the people of Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

He compared the election with a “job interview” in which every four or five years he was interviewed by the people of his constituency.

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“I’m pleased that my majority has increased and it makes me want to increase it even more next time and that means only one thing - working harder.”

He said he hoped MPs and local authorities could work in “more imaginative” ways to support small and medium sized businesses - something Mr Ruffley claimed would be the “backbone of the (economic) recovery”.

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He also pledged to do everything in his power to support the health service in Bury.

Asked whether he was worried at any stage during the election campaign, given the rise in Liberal Democrat support, Mr Ruffley said: “I think the public are fed up with yah-ho politics and I was taken aback by the number of voters who offered a view about the television debates. I was really struck by this on the doorstep.

“I thought all the rival candidates fought decent campaigns and they had interesting things to say. I think it was the most gentlemanly election contest I have been involved in.”

Mr Chappell, a chartered surveyor and Liberal Democrat councillor with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said he was pleased to have significantly improved Liberal Democrat vote in Bury.

“It is a clear 5,000 increase in our vote in Bury and a 50% increase in votes cast. Obviously I would have liked to have gone one better but you’ve got to be realistic.”

Labour candidate Kevin Hind, 28, said he was pleased with how his campaign had gone and said he planned to contest further elections in the future.

Mark Ereira-Guyer, the Green candidate, left before the declaration was made at about 3.30am. Speaking briefly to the EADT prior to leaving, he said he was disappointed with the result.

UKIP candidate John Howlett said before the declaration: “It is not looking good for us tonight.”

The turnout in Bury was 69.46%.

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