Tories win final election seat of Thirsk and Malton


The Conservatives have won the final seat of the new Parliament - Thirsk and Malton- in an election delayed by three weeks after the death of a candidate.

Their coalition partners, the Lib Dems, came second in the new seat - created from Tory-held seats Ryedale and the Vale of York - Labour came third.

Tory Anne McIntosh, who won with a majority of more than 11,000, said she was "delighted" with the result.

A Lib Dem spokesman suggested the result was "catastrophic" for Labour.

It brings the final tally of seats in the 2010 general election to 307 for the Conservatives - still short of the 326 they needed for a majority government - 258 for Labour, 57 for the Lib Dems and 28 held by others.

'Full-on fight'

Ms McIntosh - the former MP for the Vale of York and a former shadow minister- said it was a "very exciting time" to be in politics, describing the new coalition government as a "new age of politics".

She said the result showed that voters in North Yorkshire felt "very neglected... after 13 years of a Labour government".

She won with 20,167 votes while her Lib Dem rival Howard Keal, who had promised a "full-on fight", got 8,886 votes.

BBC political correspondent Ross Hawkins said, despite the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition, it had been a hard fought campaign with little love lost between the two parties.

Labour's Jonathan Roberts won 5,169 - a decrease of 6,416 on the notional results of the newly-formed large rural constituency.

The vote was delayed following the death last month of UKIP candidate John Boakes - only the eighth candidate to die during an election campaign since 1918.

Lib Dem Mr Keal said he was "grateful and humbled" by voters' support he had received from the voters and described the campaign as an "incredible process and incredible journey".

Labour candidate Mr Roberts said: "This was an extraordinary election, undertaken in extraordinary circumstances in an

extraordinary constituency." He congratulated Ms McIntosh and said he "genuinely enjoyed sparring" with his rival candidates.

Toby Horton, who was brought in to run for UKIP, came fourth, polling 2,502 votes - enough to save his £500 deposit.

His party saw an increase of 980 votes on the notional results which he said was a "vindication" and a reflection of the effect of the coalition.

Liberal John Clark received 1,418 votes. He said it was a "pity" the election had not been held a few months later "when we could see what the coalition produces".

Figures show 38,142 votes were cast in Thursday's ballot with turnout put at 50.3%.

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