General Election: Penny Mordaunt holds Portsmouth North for Tories.

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Tory Penny Mordaunt has been re-elected MP for Portsmouth North.

The 42-year-old won 21,343 of the 45,547 votes cast.

Penny Mordaunt at the count

Penny Mordaunt at the count

That put Ms Mordaunt safely ahead of closest rival, the Labour candidate John Ferrett, who won 10,806 votes.

The mood was jubilant as Ms Mordaunt stepped up to the podium to the cheers of her followers who had stayed up all night to hear her speak,

After the result had been declared, Ms Mordaunt thanked her campaigning team, her family, and the people of Portsmouth for their support.

‘It has been an incredible privilege to represent them and not a day has gone by that I haven’t been humbled by the heart, the talent, the passion and the grit that my constituents possess.

Votes being verified at Portsmouth Guildhall. Counting gets underway in the general election 2015 at Portsmouth Guildhall for Portsmouth North and Portsmouth South.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150736-012) PPP-150705-232721006

Votes being verified at Portsmouth Guildhall. Counting gets underway in the general election 2015 at Portsmouth Guildhall for Portsmouth North and Portsmouth South.''Picture: Allan Hutchings (150736-012) PPP-150705-232721006

‘It’s their hard work that has turned this city around.’

Mr Ferrett was contesting the seat for the first time after an unsuccessful bid to become Portsmouth South MP in 2010.

He said he doubted Ed Miliband would continue in the Labour leadership.

Mr Ferrett said: ‘I think it’s going to be difficult for him to remain in his position and I’m sure he accepts and understands that.’

Mr Ferrett admitted his party hadn’t ‘had a very good night’ so far in the polls and he expected the Tories would be able to form government.

He said: ‘I think that’s going to be bad news for people that have already suffered under the coalition government.

‘We are going to see a continuation of the bedroom tax, we are going to see £12 billion worth of welfare cuts and we are going to see a far more unequal society going forward.’

Mr Ferrett said the growing clout of the Scottish National Party had played a big role in Labour’s failure to gain a clear majority.

‘I think this is the SNP election,’ he said.

‘It looks like they are going to win every seat in Scotland, and the fear of SNP influence on a Labour government seems to have had a really big effect on undecided voters.’

He is also a Portsmotuh City Council councillor for Paulsgrove Ward, but did not have to contest this seat in the local government election, which will be decided today.

Ms Mordaunt, who lives in Port Solent, drew national attention in her first term by appearing in the ITV diving show Splash! last year.

In November last year it was revealed she peppered a speech about poultry she made in the House of Commons the previous year with ‘smutty’ references to ‘cocks’, as a forfeit for failing to eat a salad during Naval Reserve training.

She was appointed parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Department of Communities and Local Government in July last year.

Ms Mordaunt has also been chairwoman of an all-party parliamentary group of ageing and older people and has set up a commission on social justice for older people and a group to look into medical research.

She is well-known for her support of Portsmouth charities including the Hilsea Lido, Wymering Manor and the Patey Centre.

Before becoming an MP she had a career in communications, holding posts under John Major, William Hague and even George W. Bush.

Other unsuccessful candidates included Lib Dem Darren Sanders, who won 2,828 votes, Ukip’s Mike FitzGerald 8,660, Jon Woods of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition 321, the Greens’ Gavin Ellis 1,450 and Steven George of the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party with 72 votes

Full result:

Penny Mordaunt (Con) 21,343

John Ferrett (Lab) 10,806

Mike FitzGerald (Ukip) 8,660

Darren Sanders (Lib Dem) 2,828

Gavin Ellis (Green) 1,450

Jon Woods (Tusc) 231

Steven George George (Jac) 72

CON HOLD

MAJORITY - 10,537

TURNOUT - 62.3 per cent

See updates here from our reporters and photographers at all the counts in the Portsmouth area and a live feed of the headlines as they happen nationwide.