ELECTION 2015: Conservative grip on SW Beds is tightened

Andrew Selous

Andrew Selous

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Conservative Andrew Selous tightened his stranglehold on the South West Beds constituency when he increased the considerable majority he had gained back in 2010 .

The returning MP polled 28,212 votes (17,813 majority) on a 65% turnout – and that was more than 1,500 votes up from his victory five years ago.

Trailing behind was Labour’s Daniel Scott with 10,399 votes, followed by UKIP’s John van Weenen with 7,941, Stephen Rutherford of the Liberal Democrats on 2,646, and Emily Lawrence (Green Party) 2,106. There were 244 ballot papers rejected.

Constituents were made to play a waiting game for the result however following polling day on Thursday.

The result didn’t come through until around 8.30am on Friday, much later than had been anticipated.

> More than 1,000 people spoilt their ballot papers in the Buckingham election.

And re-elected MP John Bercow, who is Speaker of the House of Commons addressed the issue directly in his victory speech.

Because Mr Bercow is Speaker, Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives will not stand against him. This effectively means that more than 70,000 constituents cannot vote for the three main parties, and some claim that is stifles democracy.

Mr Bercow, whose constituency includes Wing, Wingrave, Edlesborough, Cublington, Stewkley, Aston Abbotts, Cheddington, Soulbury, Pitstone and Ivinghoe, said: ““I think it would be almost surreal not to mention the number of spoilt ballot papers. And the evidence and widespread base of concern that exists about the treatment of the Speaker’s seat.

“It wasn’t devised by me ladies and gentlemen, it’s not my convention, it wasn’t dreamt up for the benefit or disbenefit of the Buckingham parliamentary constituency, it’s a very long-standing convention.

“I know some people, a lot of people don’t like it and they think it denies them an adequate choice.

“Last time I said I would ask the house to look at this matter, and to consider alternatives, to weight up the pros and cons and see if we could fashion an arrangement that satisfied constituents and serve effectively the house.

“It is actually a lot easier to criticise the existing system , which you can do almost with a slogan, than it is to identify a credible and satisfactory alternative to it.

“That doesn’t mean however that effort shouldn’t be made and I certainly will ask my parliamentary colleagues to weigh in the balance the views that have been expressed by local people in spoiled ballot papers.”

The vote was John Bercow (Independent) 34,617, Dave Fowler (UKIP): 11,675, Alan Francis (Green Party) 7,400.

> Returning with a vastly increased majority for a third term in office was Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries.

The Tory MP who covers Woburn, polled 32,544 votes, almost 4,000 more than her 2010 victory.

Second was Charlynne Pullen for Labour with 9,217.

Other candidates polled: Gareth Ellis, Green 2,462, Tim Ireland, Ind, 384, Linda Jack, Lib Dem 4,193, Ann Maria Kelly, The Offical Raving Loony Party, 294 and NIgel Wickens Ukip 8,966. There were 228 spoiled ballot papers.

The turnout for Mid Beds was 74 per cent, against 72 per cent in the 2010 General Election.