Tories sweep to victory in Swindon in a night of electoral drama

By Ben Fitzgerald - 13 December 2019

CommunityPolitics

Both of Swindon’s sitting Conservative MPs swept the board as the votes came in for the 2019 general election.

In the South Swindon constituency,  MP Robert Buckland polled 26,500 votes - a majority of 6,625, with a vote share of 52.3 per cent.

Labour's Sarah Church took 19,911 votes, representing 39.2 per cent of the vote, and the Liberal Democrat’s Stan Pajak secured 4,299 votes - 8.5 per cent vote share.

In the South Swindon constituency, there was a voter turnout of 69.4 per cent of the 73,118 registered voters.

In the North Swindon constituency, MP Justin Tomlinson secured 32,584 votes, with a vote share of 59.1 per cent of voters in this constituency and a majority of 16,171.

Labour’s Kate Linnegar took 29.8 per cent of the vote share with 16,413; and Katie Critchlow secured 8 per cent of the vote share with 4,408 votes. Green party candidate Andy Bentley won 1,710 votes, representing 3.1 per cent of the vote.

Their victory reflected huge Tory gains across the country - with many key Labour strongholds turning blue.

The Conservatives have 364 MPs, Labour 203, the SNP 48, Liberal Democrats 11 and the DUP eight. St Ives have yet to call.

Sinn Fein has seven MPs, Plaid Cymru four and the SDLP has two. The Green Party and Alliance Party have one each. The Brexit Party failed to secure any seats at Westminster.

The Conservative Party's Commons majority is its largest since Margaret Thatcher won a third term in 1987.

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland said: “I would like to thank every person in South Swindon who voted for me, and I am hugely looking forward to serving my constituents here, once again, for a record fourth term.  I am delighted to receive more than 50% of the vote – a record result.

“Here in Swindon, we are going to crack on with the work of regenerating the local economy and our town centre, doubling the size of our great A&E at the Great Western Hospital, and levelling up schools spending to ensure every child in Swindon gets the start in life they deserve.

“My dedicated election campaigning team, headed by my agent, Alex Williams, has done an outstanding job both over the election period and beforehand, in all weathers, knocking tens of thousands of doors in South Swindon and getting my positive message out to voters.  

“As Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor, I hope to play my part in much-needed reforms nationally, which will ensure victims are put at the very centre of the criminal justice system.

“The nation has made a momentous decision in electing a majority Conservative government, of which I am delighted to be a member. 

“We’re going to change Britain, we’re going to make this an even better country to live in and we’re going to unite this country.”

And Justin Tomlinson, shortly after winning said: "We won every single ward in north Swindon. I've secured the biggest-ever majority, the largest share of the vote and the most votes in the history of any of the Swindon seats.

"I'm incredibly proud because this is my town, I share and understand the issues and I've always made sure, as we saw with the Change.org poll last week that put me as the second-most-helpful MP, that as much as I love Westminster, my priority is always Swindon.

"Locally, I've always run a positive campaign talking about what I've done and what I want to do, I never talk about my opponents. I believe you're either good enough to represent a town or you don't deserve to.

"If we all did that, we could restore some trust into politics. Nationally, the country was sick and tired of politicians arguing and not breaking that deadlock. They wanted to see it done and see politics unite to get Brexit done so we can start talking about funding the NHS and schools, more police officers and a strong economy delivering new jobs.

"In Swindon, there's been 11,000 new jobs since 2010 and that's vital. Post-Honda, we need to keep attracting businesses to relocate, invest and grow to give us that next generation of jobs.

"The people of Swindon thought we were best placed to do that because we encourage businesses to thrive."

 

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