Russell holds Colchester for Lib Dems

BOB Russell was elected for a fourth time as MP for Colchester and immediately pledged to fight against over-development of the town and closure of under-threat schools.

It was the fourth time that the Liberal Democrat has increased his share of the vote, taking 22,151 votes to his nearest rival - Tory Will Quince - who took 15,169 votes.

It was a long wait for the results returned after 4am on a turn out of 62.4%.

Speaking at Charter Hall, Colchester, in the early hours, Mr Russell said it had been the “most enjoyable” campaign he has been involved in.

The successful result was the fourth time Mr Russell has been elected as the MP and followed a campaign which saw him play on his credentials as the the MP of his town.

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Letters were sent out to would-voters pointing out how his main rival, Conservative candidate Will Quince - had “no prior connection to our town” and had previously stood for Parliament in Wales.

It was a tactic which angered the Tory candidate, but proved successful especially when it combined with the surge of popularity for the Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg.

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But Mr Quince refused to comment on the literature, saying only that he had fought a positive campaign and that his conscience was clear.

“Our share of the vote has gone up and we have run a really, really positive campaign. We have worked incredibly hard - we were up against a tough, entrenched member of parliament.

“It has been a good night for the party.”

He was questioned whether the lack of high-profile figures visiting Colchester from Conservative headquarters had taken its toll.

Mr Quince pledge he was “not going anywhere” and would be sticking around to campaign for the Conservatives locally.

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