Election 2019

Election results 2019: Tories increase hold in Norfolk

Clive Lewis
Image caption Labour's Clive Lewis is the only non-Conservative MP in Norfolk

The Conservatives won all but one seat in Norfolk as the party tightened its grip on the county.

Only Labour's Clive Lewis, in Norwich South, was able to fight the tide as the county reflected the mood across much of the country.

New MP Duncan Baker claimed North Norfolk from the Liberal Democrats, where Norman Lamb had stood down.

Elsewhere, Chloe Smith comfortably retained her Norwich North seat despite being targeted by Labour.

Her slim majority of 507 votes has been increased to 4,738. She said she would use the support as a mandate to vote for the Brexit deal.

Karen Davis, the Labour candidate, said it had been a Brexit election when it should have been about "fairness, equality and making people's lives better".

Image caption Chloe Smith fended off a Labour campaign in her constituency

Other new faces included North West Norfolk MP James Wild, who took over from Sir Henry Bellingham, who retired after 36 years in Parliament. He won with a 19,922 majority.

In Broadland, Jerome Mayhew won the seat vacated by Keith Simpson with a 21,861 majority, becoming the second MP to represent the constituency, first formed in 2010.

The businessman was chosen as a candidate after Nick Conrad stepped down from the role over comments made on his Radio Norfolk show in 2014.

Image caption Duncan Baker claimed North Norfolk for the Conservatives after 18 years under the Lib Dems

Mr Lewis saw his majority squeezed in Norwich but the remain-backing constituency returned him with a 12,760 vote majority.

He said: "This does feel a pyrrhic victory. It is quite clear there will be a majority Conservative government.

"My word to to them is that the weight of responsibility is on you - this country and this city is hurting."

North Norfolk had been held by former health minister Mr Lamb since 2001 but with his retirement switched to the Conservatives.

Lib Dem candidate Karen Ward said Brexit had counted against her with the Tories' Get Brexit Done message "resonating on the doorstep".

Elsewhere, Brandon Lewis held Great Yarmouth, Liz Truss held South West Norfolk and George Freeman returned to Mid Norfolk, all with an increased majority.

Only Richard Bacon saw a tiny dip in support of 0.2% on his 58% majority in South Norfolk.

Analysis

By Robby West, BBC Norfolk political reporter

This has been a horrific night for Labour with the share of the vote going down in every single seat, and in South West Norfolk by 10%.

The party's key target seat - Norwich North, which had the closest majority in the East of just 507 votes - was held by Conservative Chloe Smith, who increased her majority to almost 5,000.

More than 100 supporters from around the county tried to help candidate Karen Davis in Norwich North.

But out on the campaign trail a woman sticks in my mind - Patricia, a lifelong Labour voter, who said "I want to get Brexit done".

She spoke for a lot of people in this election and it was at the core of the Conservative campaign.

At the count, I saw Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters with their jaws open at the exit polls - it was only when three or four results were returned that they started to believe it.

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