Conservative John Stevenson wins Carlisle with reduced majority

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Conservative John Stevenson has retained his Carlisle seat with a slightly smaller majority.

He secured 21,472 votes, while Labour’s Ruth Alcroft won 18,873 votes.

Ironically, her share was exactly the same figure Mr Stevenson won with in 2015.

This time it was very much a two-horse race, with both Ukip and the Liberal Democrats losing their deposit after failing to secure five per cent of the vote.

Fiona Mills (Ukip) secured 1,455 votes, while Peter Thornton (Lib Dem) got 1,256.

The vote saw Mr Stevenson’s majority reduce slightly, from 2,774 to 2,599.

The turnout in Carlisle was 69.2 per cent, up from 64.8 per cent in 2015.

There were 43,144 votes cast out of an eligible electorate of 62,294 voters.

Of those, 32,618 were at polling stations and 10,526 postal votes.

A delighted Mr Stevenson said he was “absolutely delighted” to be re-elected as MP.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to represent Carlisle. It’s a wonderful city. I’ve enjoyed the last seven years as MP and am committed to doing my best for the city,” he said.

Mrs Alcroft, who was supported by her mum, sister and 95-year-old grandmother, was disappointed not to have won, but felt she could take lots of positives from Labour’s campaign in Carlisle and build on it for future.

“I just want to say thank you to everyone who took time to engage with me, who voted for me, who told me their stories and told me about their lives,” she said.

“I really hope John makes good his promise to be a voice for Carlisle. Carlisle is brilliant and deserves a really strong voice.”

Mr Thornton said Carlisle wasn’t a Lib Dem target seat so the small number of votes wasn’t a surprise but he had enjoyed the campaign.

“It’s a great city and I look forward to working with John in my role as county councillor,” he said.

Mrs Mills left quickly after the result, having seen her vote drop from 5,277 in 2015 to just 1,455.

However earlier in the night she said she was under no illusions, believing that Ukip supporters would vote tactically this time around.

She said that until the First Past The Post voting system changes, smaller parties like Ukip will always be at a disadvantage.

Helen Davison was due to run as the Green Party candidate in Carlisle but stood down to support Labour. She is now part of a Progressive Alliance, which has been fighting nationally to prevent a Conservative landslide at this election.

Throughout the campaign she and fellow Greens have been canvassing alongside Labour supporters and other anti-Tory campaigners.

She said she hopes it will lead to positive change, including an eventual overhaul of the electoral system to secure proportional representation.

Speaking about the campaign, she said: “It’s been really good. I think because we are all different parties coming together and working together rather than as individuals we are having different conversations with people. It’s doing politics a different way.

“From speaking to people today, a lot of young people are saying they have voted and have been encouraging their friends to vote too. They have recognised that this election is really important, particularly for young people as it’s their future being decided.”

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