James Cleverly increases his majority as Conservatives hold Braintree

PUBLISHED: 14:56 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:56 13 December 2019

James Cleverly, MP for Braintree. Picture: JAMES CLEVERLY

James Cleverly, MP for Braintree. Picture: JAMES CLEVERLY

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James Cleverly's grip on the Braintree constituency tightened on Thursday as he was re-elected to the seat with an increased majority.

Mr Cleverly, the Conservative Party chairman, polled 34,112 votes for a 67.5 per cent share, up by 4.7 per cent on the 2017 election.

Mr Cleverly represents the villages of Finchingfield, the Bumpsteads, Great Bardfield and Rayne as part of his constituency.

In a message posted to Twitter following the election, Mr Cleverly said: "Thank you to all the candidates, to all the activists, all the volunteers, all the members, who put in so much hard work over not just the five weeks of this election campaign but for months and in some cases years.

"You have helped make this happen. We have now got an opportunity to move forward, get beyond this Brexit impasse and really start governing, become the people's government and deliver on their priorities.

"I'm very proud to be the chairman of the Conservative Party and I'm very proud of the work that we all put in to give Boris Johnson that working majority that we so desperately needed."

Second in the Braintree poll was Joshua Garfield, of Labour, who polled 9,439 votes, down from the 14,451 votes Labour's Malcolm Finken managed two years ago.

Mr Garfield said: "We did our best. I'm proud of the campaign we ran and am grateful for everybody's support.

"Operation rebuild begins now. We need new people at the helm. Britain has seen this Labour Party and resoundingly said: No. Congratulations on winning Braintree's trust again, James Cleverly."

It was a better night for the Liberal Democrats as candidate Dominic Graham collected 4,779 votes for a 9.5 per cent vote share. In 2017, the Lib Dems managed only 2,251 votes.

Also standing in Braintree were Jo Beavis (independent) 1,488; David Mansell (independent) 420, and Alan Dorkins (independent) 261.

Mr Cleverly's majority now stands at 24,673. Turnout for the election was 67.1 per cent, down from the 69.5 per cent seen two years ago.

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