Election 2019

Labour loses thousands of city voters

Dr Luke Evans
Image caption Dr Luke Evans celebrated winning in Bosworth for the first time after succeeding David Tredinnick

Labour's three Leicester MPs have held onto their seats despite losing thousands of votes.

Jonathan Ashworth, Liz Kendall and Claudia Webbe lost nearly 20,000 votes between them compared with the general election in 2017.

It reflected the party's difficulties nationally.

Outside the city, every seat in the county remained unchanged with the Conservative candidates increasing their share of votes.

Jonathan Ashworth, re-elected as the Leicester South MP, said it was possibly the saddest day of his political career.

"It's incumbent upon politicians like myself to contribute to the debate about how we get the Labour Party back to a position of government.

"This is the worst result for the Labour Party since the 1930s."

Image caption Alicia Kearns replaced Sir Alan Duncan who stepped down as Conservative MP last month

In Leicester East, the Labour majority was slashed from 22,428 at the last election to 6,019 this time. The seat had been held by Keith Vaz since 1987 but he stepped down after being suspended from the Commons for "expressing willingness" to buy cocaine for prostitutes.

Claudia Webbe said she would "build on the legacy" left by Mr Vaz.

The feeling amongst Leicestershire's Conservative candidates was very different after retaining their seven seats.

The only constituency where they received a reduced share of the vote was in Rutland and Melton but there was an increase in the total number of votes for new candidate Alicia Kearns. She replaced the long-standing MP Sir Alan Duncan.

Labour battered and bruised

Tim Parker, BBC Leicester political reporter

Labour held on to Leicester East, South and West - but will be feeling bruised and battered this morning.

Conservative vote in Leicester East surged by 14% as Labour support fell by 16.2%. Similarly, in Leicester West they saw a drop of 11% compared to 2017.

In the county, Loughborough, potentially the banana skin for the Tories - actually saw a small increase for their vote. Jane Hunt replaces outgoing MP Nicky Morgan.

Charnwood, Harborough, Bosworth and South Leicestershire all saw the Conservatives enjoy an increase in the vote share.

Only in Rutland and Melton was there a very small fall in the Tory support - with small gains for the pro-Remain Lib Dems and Greens.

And all this means there are now four female MPs in Leicestershire and Rutland, twice the previous number.

One of the evening's big winners was North West Leicestershire's Andrew Bridgen who increased his vote share by 4.6%.

Image caption Andrew Bridgen said North West Leicestershire was a "very different" seat compared to when he was first elected to in 2010

In his victory speech he said: "You can't buy happiness - but you can vote for it."

He was referring to the change he has seen in his constituency since he was first elected MP in 2010 during which time it topped a happiness poll.

Image caption Jamie Vardy, Brendan Rodgers and the Downing Street cat all received votes

Not everyone was drawn to the main candidates on the ballot paper, though.

Across Leicestershire there were gains for the Lib Dems, Green Party, Brexit Party and Independent candidates.

Some votes were also cast for non-candidates including Jamie Vardy, Brendan Rodgers and the Downing Street cat.

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