Delighted Willetts doubles majority as he holds Havant

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Tory MP David Willetts has retained his Havant seat and doubled his majority.

The long-standing MP trounced his nearest rival, Lib Dem Alex Payton, beating him by 12,160 votes.

Mr Willetts, the Conservative spokesman for university and skills, has now been in power for 18 years.

'I'm absolutely delighted to have doubled my majority,' Mr Willetts said at last night's count at Horizon Leisure Centre, in Havant.

'I have run on my record as a constituency MP.

'It's great to see a surge of support across the borough.

'We're now the majority party representing Leigh Park as well as Emsworth and Havant. It's long been a dream of mine that we should be a party representing all the borough. It is a great honour to serve Havant.'

Mr Willetts said he wasn't given a hard time about expenses on the campaign trail, even though he was ridiculed for claiming for the cost of changing 25 light bulbs at his second home in London.

But he took the opportunity to take a swipe at Gordon Brown by saying: 'He has clearly lost this election.

'This is the first democratic election he has faced outside his constituency – he was never elected leader of the Labour Party, never elected Prime Minister.'

Labour's Rob Smith, a teacher at Oaklands Catholic School, in Waterlooville, believes his third place was down to national politics.

The 27-year-old father-of-two said: 'It's obviously disappointing but I think we were at the mercy of the national results.'

Lib Dem Mr Payton, an Eton-educated barrister, was gracious in defeat but promised Mr Willetts a rematch at the next general election.

Fungus Addams, Havant's English Democrat candidate, failed to show and polled only 809 votes.

UKIP candidate Gary Kerrin was hopeful of polling well but received only 2,611 votes compared to Mr Willetts' 22,433. The political landscape in Havant remains true blue with Labour well and truly squeezed into third place both in local and parliamentary polls in the borough. The 63.2 per cent turnout was just two points up on 2005.


David Willetts, Con, 22,433

Alex Payton, Lib Dem, 10,273

Rob Smith, Lab, 7,777

Gary Kerrin, UKIP, 2,611

Fungus Addams, ED, 809

MAJORITY: 12,160

TURNOUT: 63.1%