General Election 2019: North West Cambridgeshire seat held by Shailesh Vara

Shailesh Vara was re-elected to the NW Cambridgeshire seat.

Shailesh Vara was re-elected to the NW Cambridgeshire seat. - Credit: Archant

The Conservatives’ iron grip on the North West Cambridgeshire seat tightened last night as Shailesh Vara was returned with an increased majority.

Mr Vara arrived at the count, held at the cavernous East of England Showground in Peterborough, buoyed by news of Conservative success across the country and, as exit polls had predicted, he was soon to enjoy success of his own.

He polled some 40,307 votes, equivalent to 62.5 per cent of the vote share.

His closest challenger was Labour's Cathy Cordinor-Achenbach, a candidate brought in to contest the seat after Ed Murphy, the original choice of the constituency's Labour members, was withdrawn by the party for reasons undisclosed.

Ms Cordinor-Achenbach polled 14,324 votes, down from the 19,321 managed by Iain Ramsbottom in 2017.

Bridget Smith, of the Liberal Democrats, fared better for her party, polling 6,881 votes, a 5.7 per cent vote share boost on 2017. Green candidate Nicola Day, meanwhile, received 3,021 votes - increasing the party's share by 2.7 per cent.

In what was already a safe, leave-supporting Tory seat, Mr Vara improved his share by 3.8 per cent. In 2017, he polled 37,529 votes (a 58.6 per cent vote share) though, at that election, he faced a fight for votes with a UKIP candidate.

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This time around, there was no UKIP candidate, and the proposed Brexit Party candidate was withdrawn by leader Nigel Farage with just weeks to go before polling day.

Addressing supporters after the result was announced, Mr Vara said: "I want to thank the people of North West Cambridgeshire for having the faith in me for a fifth time returning me to parliament as your MP.

"I want to say that I represent all of the people of North West Cambridgeshire, those who have voted for me this evening, those who have voted for another candidate and even those who did not vote - I want you to know that I will represent you all and see that your wishes are carried out to the best of my ability.

"This election was not just about Brexit, but it was obvious that the people of the country wanted this done, and now we have a mandate for a Conservative government to act on the voice of the people of Britain. Then we can concentrate on the important factors that I know mean so much to people - education, policing and the NHS."