CONTROVERSIAL Tory Alan Mak has stormed the Havant election – increasing the Conservative majority.
Mr Mak took more than 51 per cent of the vote, comfortably seeing off competition from closest rival Ukip’s John Perry.
He said: ‘I’m honoured and delighted to be elected the new member of parliament for Havant.
‘We had a really strong campaign with lots of support from residents on the doorstep.
‘I’m looking forward to working hard to support everyone in this constituency.
‘We worked incredibly hard. I spent over 1,500 hours meeting local residents, businesses and community leaders.’
Commenting on the efforts of Ukip to destabilise his campaign, Mr Mak said, ‘I stayed focused. Our campaign was positive, uplifting and focused on the future of Havant.’
The 31-year-old Cambridge-educated corporate lawyer, from Yorkshire, was selected in an open primary in October.
He said the first thing he would do in Westminster was to help secure the economic recovery.
And he paid tribute to his predecessor David Willetts, who retired after 23 years, saying he was ‘a fine MP’.
Earlier in the evening Mr Perry said he would be disappointed if he lost the race by ‘more than 5,000’.
In fact, it was almost treble that at 13,920.
He said: ‘I must admit that I was hoping it would have been closer, but I think people feared the Labour-SNP coalition so went with the safe vote of Conservatives.
‘We have increased the number of votes that we have received two-fold.
‘I wish people had taken more of a risk and voted Ukip so we could have made more of a dent into the majority.
‘There are positives and we are going to have to consider what to do next and build on our strengths.
‘It is the first time that we have fielded a full slate of candidates for a long time which just shows how our support has increased.
‘I think people are voting for the party rather than the individual and I wish people had considered the individual just as much as the party and that seems to be the general consensus across the whole country.’
The Green Party’s Tim Dawes looked utterly dejected and warned: ‘Unfortunately they have voted for a party that excludes a lot of people – certainly the poor and disadvantaged.’
Last month Mr Mak hit back at critics who claimed he exaggerated his business and previous political success on his CV – while including glowing commendations purportedly from the Daily Telegraph and an influential Conservative blog that were never published.
He was also taken to task over claims made on his election leaflets but he put the attacks by Mr Perry, and a left-wing blogger, down to ‘dirty tricks’ motivated by Mr Perry’s own failing campaign.
Mr Mak’s win makes him the first British-Chinese MP of any party to sit in Westminster.
In the local Havant elections the Conservatives kept control of all the seven seats counted last night.
It was thought Ukip may take some seats after John Perry was elected in Hayling East last year but Tory Clare Satchwell won with a majority of more than 1,000.
Diana Patrick took Stakes, Tim Pike took St Faiths, Edward Rees won Bedhampton, Andy Lenaghan held on to Hayling West, Gary Hughes kept hold of Purbrook and Rivka Cresswell held Emsworth. There are three seats still to be counted today from Waterlooville.
Alan Mak (Con) 23,159
John Perry (Ukip) 9,239
Graham Giles (Lab) 7,149
Steve Steve Sollitt (Lib Dem) 2,929
Tim Dawes (Green) 2,352
MAJORITY - 13, 920
TURNOUT - 63.52 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.