North East Hampshire held by Conservatives as Ranil Jayawardena becomes MP

Ziggy | 01 Jan, 1970 12:00AM | Leave a comment
Ranil Jayawardena romped to victory in North East Hampshire constituency, taking a near-30,000 vote majority over the Liberal Democrats.

Conservative candidate Mr Jayawardena will take the reins from James Arbuthnot, who bowed out after nearly 30 years as MP for North East Hampshire.

During Thursday's vote (May 7), Mr Jayawardena took 35,573 votes in total, a staggering 29,916 votes ahead of Liberal Democrat candidate Graham Cockarill.

Mr Cockarill received 5,657 votes, Amran Hussain (Labour) 5,290 votes, Robert Blay (UKIP) 4,732 votes, Andrew Johnston (Green Party) 2,364 votes and Max Bobetsky (Monster Racing Loony Party) 384 votes.

In total, 54,000 votes were cast from an electorate of 74,025, a turnout of 72.94%. 202 ballots were either spoiled or rejected.

Following the result, which came in around 4am, Mr Jayawardena said: "This is an important night for Britain - and an even more important night for North East Hampshire.

"I'm delighted more than 65% of voters have put their trust in me today," he added. "The people of North East Hampshire have given me the chance to serve.

"They have put their trust in me - and I shall repay that trust."

Speaking to Get Hampshire moments after stepping off the podium, a clearly very emotional Mr Jayawardena said: "I am very pleased thath the people of North East Hampshire have put their trust in me - it is my home.

"I grew up in Odiham, went to school there and now I live in Bramley. I've served my community as a local councillor and I am very pleased I will be able to represent them in parliament."

However, the night was not without controversy, with Mr Jayawardena refusing a handshake from UKIP candidate Mr Blay.