General election 2017: Conservative Kemi Badenoch wins Saffron Walden with near 25,000 majority
PUBLISHED: 05:23 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:34 09 June 2017
Conservative Kemi Badenoch became Saffron Walden's first-ever female MP as she secured a near 25,000 majority in the 2017 general election.
Mrs Badenoch, who is currently deputy leader of the Tory group on the London Assembly, replaced Sir Alan Haselhurst in the seat after he chose to step down.
Wimbledon-born Mrs Badenoch, who will now step down from the London Assembly, achieved 37,629 votes ahead of nearest challenger Jane Berney (Labour) with 12,663 votes.
The 37-year-old, who was not even born when incumbent Sir Alan was first elected to the seat in 1977, said it was an honour to be elected as Saffron Walden’s MP.
She said: “I am delighted and thrilled, over the moon really with the result.
“When there is a change from one MP to another, it’s always difficult and I’ve said all along, that majority was Sir Alan’s majority.
“I will be focusing on things that people have said to me on the doorstep. Things like aircraft noise, school places and broadband.”
Although some were expecting a chunk to be taken from Mrs Badenoch’s majority, her winning margin was only 25 votes shy of Sir Alan’s in 2015.
“I couldn’t have done without the help of the local Conservatives, who are a truly amazing bunch of people with great ideas and energy.
“I wasn’t expecting the majority, but I worked hard for it. I got out there, met people and earned every single vote, and I will make those people proud.”
Mike Hibbs (Lib Dem) finished third in the contest, securing 8,528 votes, with Lorna Howe frm Ukip achieving 2,091 in fourth.
Labour candidate Dr Berney said: “We have doubled our vote from 2015, and are very pleased.
“We will continue to hold the Conservatives to account, both nationally and locally and I think tonight’s national results show people want a much fairer society.”
Miss Howe said: “Nationally, I’m disappointed that Labour has done so well. We are no longer assured the sort of brexit we were hoping for.
Mr Hibbs said: “It’s your typical two-party squeeze. I’m disappointed.”
The voter turnout in the constituency was up 1.6% from 71.4% in 2015 to 73% this year.