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Conservatives hold Newbury as Laura Farris elected

Daughter of former MP said she's "incredibly proud" to follow in father's footsteps

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper


01635 886632

Conservatives hold Newbury as Laura Farris elected

THE Conservatives have held Newbury after Laura Farris was elected with a majority of 16,047.

The result was declared at 3am this morning.

Mrs Farris, whose dad Michael McNair-Wilson was Newbury MP from 1974 to 1992, will follow in her father's footsteps after receiving 34,431 votes.

Speaking to NewburyToday, she said: "It is an overwhelming feeling and I think it's going to take some time to sink in. I'm enormously proud, but I also feel a huge sense of responsibility to the people of this constituency."

When asked what she thought her father would say about her being elected, she said: "I think he'd be very surprised, but also very proud."

Mrs Farris won 57.4 per cent of the vote but the Conservative share of the vote decreased by 4.1 per cent.

Liberal Democrat candidate Lee Dillon said his party were "on their way back in West Berkshire" after their share of the vote increased by 9.2 per cent. 

Mr Dillon received 18,374 votes - almost 5,000 more than the 13,019 the Lib Dems managed last time, 30.6 per cent of the vote.

He told NewburyToday that there had been a clear Lib Dem resurgence in Newbury, which had bucked the national trend. 

"That shows that we were the only party in West Berkshire that talked about politics and policies in a way that attracted voters from other parties. 

"In terms of the future of the Liberal Democrats in West Berkshire, tonight is another strong step forward."

When asked about the impact of Brexit Mr Dillon said that the question of Brexit should have been sorted before an election was called and should not have been attempted to be sorted through a policy of just revoking Article 50. 

Party Leader Jo Swinson lost her seat by 149 votes. 

Labour candidate James Wilder hailed his party's "best campaign in Newbury for decades" after receiving 4,404 votes.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has announced that he will not lead the party into the next election. 

Green Party candidate Steve Masters received 2,454 votes, the highest return for the Greens in Newbury.

Independent candidate Ben Holden-Crowther received 325 votes.

Even with the combined votes of Labour and the Greens Mr Dillon would have been around 10,000 off of Mrs Farris. 

"I think what's clear is if people don't want the Conservatives in West Berkshire then the only viable alternative is the Liberal Democrats, and, once again, this election result has shown that."

Mr Masters and Mr Holden-Crowther lost their £500 deposits after failing to secure five per cent of the vote. 

The Conservatives also won in Thatcham Central, where a by-election was triggered following the resignation of Lib Dem councillor Nassar Kessell. 

Richard Crumly was reelected to Thatcham Town Council having been voted off in May. 

said he was delighted to be elected back on the council. Mr Crumly lost his seat on West Berkshire Council and Thatcham Town Council in May. 

"It was a short time off. I'm delighted to be back on the council and look forward to serving the electors and rate payers of Thatcham once again."

Mr Crumly said he had benefited from the local election being held on the same day as the national election. 

He thanked his wife, councillor Ellen Crumly for organising his campaign and for keeping him going when spirits were flagging.

Elsewhere, Sir John Redwood held his Wokingham seat and Kit Malthouse held on in North West Hampshire. 

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Article comments

  • NoisyNortherner

    13/12/2019 - 10:55

    Not really surprising given the massive majority that Benyon got previously. I remain hopeful, given her background, that Laura will be a voice of reason that may help to temper some of the more extreme elements of the Tory party. While I didn't vote for Laura, I won't pre-judge her as an MP until there's been time to evaluate how she does representing Newbury. Who knows though.


    • grumbert

      15/12/2019 - 10:46

      well said. I wouldn't ever have voted for her party but she got elected fair and square and I hope she will be as diligent in her pursuit of the best interests of her constituents as she vowed to be in her campaign. I wish her the best of luck.