Conservative Party hold North West Cambridgeshire seat
The Conservative Party have once again held on to their stronghold North West Cambridgeshire seat with UKIP surging into second place.
Shailesh Vara will spend a third term in parliament having seen off the challenges from the other major parties.
Mr Vara, who served as Minister for Courts in the previous government, continued the Conservative’s dominance in the constituency having held it since 1997 when it was first created.
Mr Vara won with 32,070 votes, coming ahead of UKIP’s Peter Reeve and third place Nick Thulbourn from Labour.
The Liberal Democrats, who were second in the constituency with 12,748 votes in 2010, slipped to fourth place under Nick Sandford with 3,479 votes this time around.
Mr Vara struck a conciliatory tone in his victory speech. He said: “Can I thank the people of North West Cambridgeshire who have for the third time placed their confidence in me to represent them in parliament.
“It is an enormous privilege and honour to be a member of parliament. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously.
“I fought a campaign which was on a positive basis. I put forward my record of achievement both locally and nationally.
“Let me make one thing absolutely clear. For those people who voted for me, for those people who did not vote for me, and for those people who didn’t vote at all, I say this to all of you.
“To all the people of North West Cambridgeshire, from now on I represent everyone regardless of how they did or did not vote.
“My door is open to everyone and I will do my upmost to represent them as best as I possibly can both locally and nationally.”
Following his victory speech, Mr Vara responded to criticism from other candidates about his work as a constituency MP.
He said: “I’m delighted that I won. I’m happy that I am judged by the electorate.
“As far as other candidates are concerned, they can fight campaigns the way that they want.
“When you set out a positive campaign, the electorate know what I’ve achieved and I’m grateful to them for having taken note of the reality rather than what some of my opponents may have perhaps imagined.
“I have worked extremely hard both locally and nationally.”
Mr Reeve was also very pleased with UKIP’s performance and is predicting victory for his party in the next general election.
He said: “I’m chuffed to bits. We’ve pushed Labour into third place and UKIP has shown this is a seat it can take in the future.
“It’s one of the best UKIP results in the country.
“It was considered a very safe Tory seat and we’ve shown that it isn’t and that it’s for the taking.
“At the moment we took the votes off the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats and we intend to take votes off Shailesh next.
“Hopefully going forward he performs better as a constituency MP than he’s done in the past. He’s certainly worked well as a minister.
“He’s a great bloke and I wish him all the best. But we will take this seat.”
Mr Vara will now be sworn into parliament when it returns on Monday, May 18.
Shailesh Vara (Conservative Party) - 32,070
Peter Reeve (UKIP) - 12,275
Nick Thulbourn (Labour Party) - 10,927
Nick Sandford (Liberal Democrat) - 3,479
Nicola Day (Green Party) - 2,159
Fay Belham (Christian Peoples Alliance) - 190