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AS IT HAPPENED: Newbury and North West Hampshire General Election and Thatcham by-election

Check here to see how the night unfolded

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

LIVE: Newbury and north west Hampshire general election and Thatcham by-election updates

The votes have now been cast and all polling stations are closed for the Newbury and north west Hampshire general election.

People in Thatcham south and Crookham could also vote in by-elections for West Berkshire Council and Thatcham Town Council following the death of Roger Croft. 

Keep checking our live blog and social media channels for updates throughout the night as we go long-haul through the night. The general election results are expected to be announced in the early hours of this morning. The by-election call is due around midnight.

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Judith Bunting thanks those who voted for her


If you're just waking up, it's a hung parliament!

Locally Richard Benyon (Con) held Newbury with a 24,380 majority. Judith Bunting (Lib Dem) received 13,019 and Alex Skirvin (Lab) 8,596.


It's looking like a hung parliament. What does this mean for Theresa May? What does this mean for Brexit?


A look at how the parties currently stand. Conservatives: 290; Labour: 249; SNP: 33; Lib Dem: 12; UKIP: 0; Other: 21


Re-elected Reading West MP Alok Sharma tweeted


Despite being unhappy with the result in Newbury some are choosing to look on the bright side.


Theresa May has now called for a period of stability for the country with the Conservatives expected to fall short of a majority.

Earlier this morning Lib Dem candidate for Newbury, Judith Bunting told the Newbury Weekly News: "It looks like the Conservatives are not going to have a clear majority and I think that's a testament that people are not happy with the brutal, hard Brexit that she [Theresa May] is leading us to.

"It looks like the next week or two are going to be very interesting."



Conservative Rob Wilson has lost his Reading East seat. 

Matt Rodda (Lab) 27,093

Rob Wilson (Con) 23,344

Jenny Woods Jenny (Lib Dems) 3,378

Kizzi Johannessen (Greens) 1,093
Andy Kirkwood (Movement for Active Democracy) 142

Michael Jeffrey Turberville (Independent) 188


Labour gain Reading East


Conservatives are currently forecast to win 318 seats, eight short of a Commons majority.


Reading West MP Alok Sharma was re-elected with a majority of 2,876


Conservatives hold North West Hampshire as Kit Malthouse is re-elected with 36,471 votes.


Labour candidate for Newbury Alex Skirvin has said he is proud of what the party has achieved in Newbury.


A quick recap of the local results so far then... 

Conservatives have held onto their seats in Newbury, Reading West, Wokingham and Devizes. We're still waiting for the result in Hampshire North West.


Conservatives hold Reading West


Here's some more pictures from the Newbury count.


Claire Perry re-elected as Conservatives hold Devizes.


Theresa May holds her seat in Maidenhead. 


Jeremy Corbyn has called on Theresa May to resign as prime minister after holding his seat in Islington North.


Turnout at North West Hampshire is 72.3 per cent.

The result is expected any minute now we are told.


Mr Benyon increased his share of the vote by 0.5 per cent compared to 2015 with 61.5 per cent.

The Conservative MP received 2426 more votes this time around (34,973 in 2015).


In his victory speech Mr Benyon said it had been an "extraordinary victory" when looking at the national picture. 

He said: "Our party now has got to have a serious look at how we progress from here and understand the concerns that people have in West Berkshire where we are facing difficulties with the local authority."


Newly re-elected Richard Benyon celebrates his victory with fellow Conservatives.


It's fair to say not everyone is happy about the result though.


Newbury Town councillor Miles Evans congratulates Richard Benyon on Twitter. 


Full result for Newbury constituency:

Richard Benyon (Conservative) 37,399

Judith Bunting (Lib Dem) 13,019

Alex Skirvin (Labour) 8,596

Paul Field (Green Party) 1,531

Dave Yates (Apolitical) 304

Rejected: 144


Richard Benyon says he is "thrilled" and promises to "commit myself to every single person in West Berkshire" after being re-elected as Newbury MP with 37,399 votes (61.5 per cent share).


Conservative John Redwood also holds Wokingham.

Results in full:

John Redwood (Con) 33,806

Andy Croy (Lab) 15,008

Clive Jones (Liberal Dems) 9,512

Russell Seymour (Green) 1,364


Richard Benyon has been re-elected as Newbury MP.


Conservatives hold Newbury!!


Newbury constituency result is expected any time now.


Richard Benyon congratulates his fellow Conservatives following their by-election win.


Thatcham Town Council by-election result is in - Conservatives hold as Dan Carter is elected to Thatcham South and Crookham.


Here's the moment Conservative Jason Collis was elected to Thatcham South and Crookham ward in district council by-election


Speaking about his campaign Mr Yates added: "I wasn't in this to win, I was in this to portray a message."

Referring to his monetary reform policy he added: "One person contacted me to say 'I've got it'.

"But the one person I want to take the message away is Richard Benyon. I want him to go back to parliament with this message." 


Apolitical candidate David Yates spoke to reporter John Herring earlier and admitted to taking a more laid back approach to the the count.

"I've been drinking Stowford Press down in the bar," he said.

"There's no point in rushing into these things.
"I've been here since 11.50pm."


Judith Bunting said the Lib Dems faced a hard fightback following the election in 2015.

However she added: "Our campaign was amazingly strong we just had wonderful volunteers who have worked phenomenally hard to support us and I hope we see that reward."  


Voter turn out for Reading West is 69.67 per cent. 


Full results for the West Berkshire Council by-election

Jason Collis (Con) 1,823 votes

Owen Jeffery (Lib Dem) 822 votes

Steve Masters (Green) 590 votes

Nick East (Labour) 505 votes


Conservatives hold Thatcham South and Crookham in West Berkshire Council by-election.

In a victory speech candidate Jason Collis (pictured) said: "I would like to thank everybody who has worked so hard on the campaign. On a personal level and for the rest of the association I think this is a wonderful tribute to the memory of Roger Croft."


The Thatcham South and Crookham by-election result is due any minute.


Liberal Democrat candidate Judith Bunting has arrived.


Thatcham South and Crookham by-election results are expected soon, however results in the General Election could still be some way off we're now hearing.


Lib Dem agent Tony Vickers hopes the increase in voter turnout is a reaction to the European referendum.

"I think probably there are some UKIP supporters who didn't vote this time but I have got a feeling there are much more young people turning out to vote which is good.

"I hope that it's because of the referendum."


Total of 23 seats declared, 15 Labour and eight Conservative.


Voter turnout is up 1.5 per cent from 2015 with 60,999 of 82,924 registered voters casting their vote in the General Election.


Richard Benyon said: "I'm a bit concerned about the exit poll. Maybe it's not a reflection of how things will turn out but we will see."

Asked what his party needs to make the election worthwhile he said: "A bigger majority. I never believed it was going to be the ridiculous landslide that people were talking about.

"Politics has a way of correcting itself. There's an inbuilt British sense not to allow one party to run away with a campaign."




Conservative candidate Kit Malthouse (pictured) has just landed at the North West Hampshire count.

He says he's confident of increasing his 58.1 per cent share of the vote and predicted a return to "two party politics as the Greens and Liberal Democrats get squeezed out."


Conservative candidate Richard Benyon has arrived at the Newbury count.


Voter turnout in the Newbury constituency is up - 73.6 per cent this time around compared to 72.1 per cent in 2015.

The turnout for the Thatcham district council by-election is 71.5 per cent and Thatcham Town Council by-election 71.1 per cent.


And they're off! The count is now underway at Newbury Racecourse. Results could be declared as early as 2am we are hearing. An "early" finish on the cards perhaps?


Wokingham count now underway.


No sign yet of Conservative candidate Kit Malthouse at the North West Hampshire count.

Alex Payton, Lib Dem candidate (pictured) said he was confident of increasing his share of the vote tonight.


Verification done. It's coffees all round before the main count gets underway..


It's gone midnight and there are only five results in so far. It's time to raid the chocolate brownies...


The Conservatives have got their first seat of the night, successfully holding Swindon North. Five out of 650 seats declared so far. 


Approaching midnight here at Newbury Racecourse and counting is yet to begin. The word we are hearing is the result for Newbury constituency is expected at around 3am. 


Newbury Labour candidate Alex Skirvin said earlier that the country has rejected Theresa May's policies.


No sign of Conservative candidate Richard Benyon nor Judith Bunting of the Liberal Democrats. Green Party candidate Paul Field is here however and said of the predictions of a hung parliament: "If it's the case I suspect people have seen that Theresa May is not the best person you want leading the country and any form of negotiations. Her arrogance and ability for misjudgement is beyond compare."


Watch the first box arriving at the Newbury count earlier this evening.



Don't forget there's a by-election tonight to fill Conservative councillor Roger Croft’s seats West Berkshire Council and Thatcham Town Council following his tragic death earlier this year. Results are expected around midnight.


Verification underway at Newbury


Newbury & West Berkshire Liberal Democrats agent Tony Vickers responds to the exit poll predictions: "We couldn't have hoped for better. It's only an exit poll. I think it shows that the British people don't like unnecessary elections and Theresa May's judgement has been pretty poor. I don't think she'll last 24 hours."


As expected Labour also hold Houghton and Sunderland south 


Pound drops after exit poll


The first result is in and Labour hold Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.


Despite the exit polls prediction, West Berkshire Conservative Party's general election agent Dominic Boeck is remaining very upbeat.

He told reporter John Herring: "It's early days yet and it remains to be seen. Last time the exit polls showed a similar result. But the good thing is we are very confident about Richard securing Newbury constituency."


The ballot boxes have been arriving at Newbury Racecourse...


Speaking about the possibility of a hung parliament agent for the Newbury Green Party, David Marsh, said: "I think it would be the best result for the country and not a Conservative land slide like it was looking five weeks ago. You have only got to look at the long faces of the Conservatives and it makes your heart soar, but it's early days."


According to the exit poll the Conservatives are projected to win 314 seats, with Labour predicted to win 266 seats - an increase of 34 on its performance in the last general election.

The Lib Dems are predicted to have 14 seats while Nicola Sturgeon's SNP is expected to lose 22 seats with a total of 34.


Responding to the exit poll Labour Candidate for Newbury Alex Skirvin says the country has "rejected" Theresa May's policies: "We are taking nothing for granted but we are pleased to see that the country has absorbed Mrs Mays policies and character and rejected them, or looking likely to.

"Labour has had a phenomenal campaign and we hope that will be reflected in the result tonight."


The exit poll is in and it's looking like an interesting night! Tories are predicted to be the largest party but 12 seats shorts of an overall majority. Not many would have predicted that! 


That's it, polling stations are now closed and the counting begins.

Here's a reminder of the general election candidates: Richard Benyon (Conservative); Judith Bunting (Liberal Democrat); Paul Field (Green); Alex Skirvin (Labour); and David Yates (Apolitical). 

Those standing for election to West Berkshire Council in Thatcham south and Crookham ward are Jason Collis (Conservative); Nick East (Labour); Steve Masters (Green); and Jamie Read (Liberal Democrat).

Thatcham Town Council candidates are Dan Carter (Conservative); John Hill (Labour); Paul Field (Green); and Jamie Read (Liberal Democrat).

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