Tory Rory Stewart victorious in fight for Penrith and The Border seat


Conservative Rory Stewart retained his Penrith and The Border seat - but Labour chipped away at his sizeable majority.

Mr Stewart, who was first elected in 2010, won 28,078 votes beating Labour's Lola McEvoy who picked up 12,168 - more than double their 2015 result.

Although Mr Stewart, who was the International Development Minister in the last cabinet, saw his vote increase overall, his majority dropped by 3,984 votes to 15,910.

Meanwhile Ms McEvoy saw her party's vote increase by 11.8 per cent.

The result of count in Penrith Leisure Centre was declared by returning officer Matthew Neal about 4am this morning.

It was the second last seat in Cumbria to declare with those running the count facing a huge administrative task to organise the collection and verification of votes from 138 ballot boxes in one of the country's largest constituencies.

Taking to the stage moments after it was announced he'd won, Mr Stewart said: "Thank you to my fellow candidates to the way they have conducted their campaign.

"I hope to work with you all and everyone in this room to bring out what is so special about Penrith and The Border."

He added: "I am pleased [to have got more votes] but other parties increased their vote too. It's been a day of very very interesting national swings and directions.

"I've had some good friends who've lost their seats and I think it's a moment of reflection on the shape of British politics.

"We will be reflecting in different ways, I'm pleased I've been able to increase my vote a bit but as I said other parties have too and we have to listen to people."

Turnout overall was up from 67.4 per cent to 71 per cent.

The Labour gain comes on the back of two high profile campaigns in Penrith and The Border - to defend community hospitals in Alston, Wigton, Brampton and Penrith and to oppose real term cuts to school budgets across the patch.

More than 1,000 parents, teachers, children and campaigners took part in a Fair Funding for Cumbrian Schools Demo last month, while thousands of people recently signed petitions opposing plans to close cottage hospital beds.

Ms McEvoy was delighted with the result: "I'm absolutely over the moon. It's a tremendous night for the Labour Party nationally, personally and here in Penrith and The Border it's been a tremendous result.

"We've doubled the Labour vote and we've also dented Rory's majority by more than 3,000.

"That's testimony to the young people and everybody who turned out in the pouring rain today and cast their voted for the Labour Party. I'm delighted, it's a great result."

Sitting in third place was the Lib Dems, with their candidate Neil Hughes picking up 3,641 votes.

The Ukip vote dropped significantly, by 9.7 per cent. Their candidate Kerryanne Wilde was fourth with 1,142 votes.

The other candidates were Doug Lawson (Green) who got 1,029 votes and Independent Jonathan Davies won 412 votes.

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Me   , Cumbria Friday, 09 June, 2017 at 6:33AM
Sad day for the area voting Rory back in. Sad that people who use the NHS voted for a party that want to sell it off and profit from it at the expense of the poor. Sad that those who are concerned about crime figures and their safety voted for a party that has cut police numbers so drastically. Sad that those care about animals voted for a pro blood sport part....
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