CONSERVATIVE Sajid Javid has held onto his Bromsgrove seat increasing his majority by 5,221 votes.
Mr Javid polled a massive 28,133, beating Labour’s Tom Ebbutt into second place. He received 11,604. UKIP’s Stuart Cross was third with 8,163, Liberal Democrat Bart Ricketts finished fourth with 2,616. After that in fifth place was Giovanni ‘Spoz’ Esposito notching up 1,729 votes.
The result, which was never in any doubt, took longer than expected to come through and meant Bromsgrove was one of the last in the country to be declared. The candidates did not learn their fate until after 7am.
The turn-out was 71 per cent – exactly the same as last time and 52,426 Bromsgrovians put their cross in the box this time around. There were also 173 spoilt ballot papers.
Mr Javid thanked everybody who voted for him, his fellow candidates and the organisers for such a professional count.
He told The Standard he would be returning later today for the district council count and wished the Conservative candidates well, adding he hoped for another strong majority there.
“I am proud to serve my local constituents and I never take them for granted.
“I would not be here without their support.”
Mr Javid will be heading to Westminster for a cabinet meeting where a reshuffle is expected.
Mr Cross added it was a great turn out and that it had been a very interesting election.
“It was a very professional campaign, a credit to Bromsgrove, and a very positive one. I think that was reflected in the 71 per cent turn out.
“I am very pleased to have polled 15 per cent.
“The first time I met Sajid he told me the Conservatives were the only party who could bring about a referendum on Europe and I hope he keeps his promise.”
Mr Ricketts reiterated what a professional and positive campaign it had been.
“We always knew the Conservatives would win here. I knew it would be difficult for the Liberal Democrats but did not realise how hard it would be.
“Some of my colleagues have lost their deposits at least I have kept mine.
“Those who took the party to the centre right knew the risk they were taking but did not realise how severe the repercussions would be.”
Reflecting on the Lib Dems’ term in the coalition he said: “We have put through a number of good policies such as increasing the tax threshold but the clever PR of the Conservatives has maybe meant that has not got across to the voters.”
Regarding Nick Clegg’s future, he added he would prefer a new leader, saying he felt Tim Farren would be the best man for the job.
“I think he is the person who can bring us back but there is a lot of rebuilding to do,” Mr Ricketts said.
“I knew it would be bad in Bromsgrove but did not think it would be this bad all over the country.”
Spoz added: “I would like to thank everyone who has worked very hard tonight and to everyone who voted.”