The ballot boxes have closed and the count to decide the North West Hampshire Parliamentary seat got underway at around 2am this morning (Fri), here live at Andover Leisure Centre, with the declaration made at 5am
5am results declared as follows:
Kit Malthouse, Conservative, 32,052 votes - elected
Sue Perkins UKIP 8,109 votes
Andrew Adams Labour 7,342 votes
Alex Payton Liberal Democrat 5,151 votes
Dan Hill Green Party 2,541 votes
turnout 70 per cent
Mr Malthouse said he had been on a " Fantastic journey" over the last few months, learning about this enormous slice of England adding the pressure was on him over the next five years to "Do my best and serve these people to the best of my ability," whilst thanking his wife, Juliana Farha , an extraordinary woman he said for all her support and continued:
"I would not be here without her, " while posing with his wife and son, Charles Malthouse for photographs.
He also thanked those who voted for him adding " I hope to see you again in five years time."
Sue Perkins thanked all those in her team and her supporters over the last five weeks and Andy Adams said it had been a strong result for Labour in North West Hants.
Alex Payton said it hadn't been a great night for the Lib Dems but added he was proud to represent his party, which offered " all good qualities valued in society," he said and Dan Hill added he was grateful to everyone who voted for him and the Greens had "Nearly saved their deposit, " he said.
4.45amThe atmosphere could be cut with a knife in the count hall , dotted with small ,intense groups of the various party factions, with the declaration expected around 5am...
4.40am. Labour candidate Andy Adams said it was a closely fought battle between Labour and UKIP for 2nd place here in Andover.
"There's no doubt re the winner but it's been very close between UKIP and us," he said, adding the Lib Dems were likely to be fourth.
"Given the challenges we have had elsewhere it's an excellent result and shows how far the Lib Dem star has fallen" he added
4.30 A sudden surge of people towards the count hall, all thinking the declaration was about to be made proved a false start. The ballot box votes are now in neat piles, like regimented soldiers - but the postal vote count has now commenced.
4.25 am Kingsclere villager Cathy Osselton, the chairwoman of the North West Hampshire Conservative Association, who has been at the count since the start and said a "silent majority" of voters had decided at the last minute who they would like as their Prime Minister.
On whether this would be reflected in Andover this morning, she said: "Kit will win. He's a delightful person to work with and has been out in his constituency since July," adding he was also likely to have "A good majority".
4am UKIP candidate, Sue Perkins, said from looking at the piles of paper votes being counted in Andover, she thought she might come second and which would be "An achievement," she said in a campaign of just seven weeks."I was selected on March 9 and we kicked off a week later," she said, whilst watching a televised recount in Thurrock due to a narrow margin of 100 votes between the Conservative and UKIP candidates.
"According to Twitter we have 150 very good second seats (nationally) she added.
3.35am Green Party candidate Dan Hill said nationally, results were looking "very odd" he said, adding he hadn't expected any party to land more than 300 seats, but the Conservatives were likely to have 316 seats, just seven short of a working majority he said. On whether the national picture would be reflected at the Andover count he said "It looks like a Tory seat, it looks like a Tory victory again. It's a question of jostling for 2nd place between the Lib Dems, Labour and UKIP."
"I came in expecting to be fifth," he said, adding the Green Party had "Other targets," he said, including getting more votes than just under 500 achieved in 1997 and around 800 in 1992.
3.31am UKIP candidate, Sue Perkins said she was on her first can of Red Bull to keep from flagging.
3.30am Deputy Acting Returning Officer at the Andover count, Tom Van der Hoven is expected to announce the results around 5am, about an hour later than predicted, but was too busy overseeing the count to comment.
3.25 am Conservative candidate Kit Malthouse , who just toured the Andover count, told Newbury Today it was going " Fine" he said and "As expected." As to whether he was confident of a win he said "It's hard to tell at this stage, it's looking reasonable. I'm always anxious, but have been involved in politics long enough to know to expect the unexpected."
2.49am The Liberal Democrat candidate Alex Payton - a former mayor of Thatcham - has spoken live from the Andover count of the fantastic efforts of his canvassing team.
"We have finally reached the end of a very long campaign," he said. "We are here listening to the results coming in, and whatever happens I'm very, very proud to have represented local activists."
2.17am Conservative candidate Kit Malthouse and his wife Juliana Farha are watching the Conservative gains in the cafe at the Andover count.
2.24am Speaking to NewburyToday reporter Jane Meredith, Mr Malthouse said: "We have had a completely exhausting campaign...knocked on hundreds of doors, talked to thousands of people, learnt a lot, had some fun, but it looks like all the hard work has been really worth it.
"It has been a good night for the Conservatives...increasing our numbers in Parliament and I'm hoping that in three hours time that I will be able to tell you that I have won North West Hampshire, too."
1.38am Labour candidate Andy Adams has joined a lively crowd in the cafe at the Andover count who are avidly watching live television coverage of the election's emerging political trends.
23.30 A trio of Basingstoke and Deane Borough councillors arrived together,all Conservatives, representing Kingsclere are Donald Sherlock and Cathy Osselton and far right is John Izett a Burghclere Highclere and St Mary Bourne councillor.
23.05 first ballot boxes arrive in Andover
Five candidates hoping to fill the seat of Conservative, Sir George Young, which he was first elected to in 1997, and continued to hold the political reins of until he stepped down in March include: Kit Malthouse (Conservative), Dan Hill (Green Party) Sue Perkins (UKIP), Andrew Adams (Labour) and Alex Payton (Liberal Democrat).
In 2010, Sir George secured an 18,583 majority - 58.3 per cent of the votes cast and a massive increase on his majorities in three previous General Elections of 2005 (13,264), 2001 (12,009) and 1997 (11,551).
Total votes cast in 2010 were Sir George 31,072, T McCann (Lib Dem) - 12,489, S Evans (Labour) 6,980, and S Oram (UKIP) 2,751, with a total 53,292 votes cast.