FLICK Drummond has been crowned the new MP for Portsmouth South.
Mrs Drummond stormed to victory for the Tories after gaining 14,585 votes, securing a 5,241 majority over Lib Dem rival Gerald Vernon-Jackson.
Tory members were in jubilant mood ahead of the constituency result at Portsmouth Guildhall as the party made gains across the south-east and the rest of the country.
An elated Mrs Drummond, who previously stood for Portsmouth South in 2010, said: ‘I am really looking forward to representing people in Portsmouth in Westminster and I will do my utmost for them.
‘All the hard work has paid off. It’s fantastic. People have been incredibly supportive and they understand I want to be a community MP and support people as much as I can.’
While political commentators expected the Lib Dem vote to be split with Mr Hancock, much of the party’s vote was taken away by Labour and the Greens.
Speaking about what she wants to focus on in the next parliament, Mrs Drummond said: ‘I want to promote jobs and bring in investment, raise the standard of education and make sure our NHS is run well and we get more GPs.
‘I was surprised at the result but I am really appreciative.’
Runner-up Mr Vernon-Jackson admitted before the declaration that he would lose.
The former leader of Portsmouth City Council said: ‘We know the Tories have won Portsmouth South. Inevitably, it’s so.
‘It would have been an immense privilege to work on behalf of constituents in Portsmouth South but that’s going to be someone else’s job.
‘I wish Flick well and I hope she will be an effective voice in parliament.’
It is the first time the Portsmouth South seat has changed hands since 1997, with independent candidate Mr Hancock having successfully defended his position until yesterday. The veteran politician managed to win only 716 votes out of a possible 42,088.
Mr Hancock, who was not present at the Portsmouth count, first won the seat at a by-election in 1984.
The former Lib Dem member pooled 45.9 per cent of the vote at the last general election, winning over 18,921 out of the 41,264 people in the constituency who went to polling stations.
His reputation soured after revelations about his personal life emerged and he admitted to forming an ‘inappropriate friendship’ with a vulnerable female constituent last summer.
A total of 42,088 votes were cast, up from 41,734 in 2010, representing 58.75 per cent of the electorate.
Mr Vernon-Jackson was set to find out today following the Portsmouth local election whether he would keep his seat on the city council representing Milton ward for the Lib Dems.
Labour’s Sue Castillon came in third with 8,184 votes, Ukip’s Steve Harris gained 5,595, Green Ian McCulloch clinched 3,145, Sean Hoyle, of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, got 235 and Don Jerrard, of the Justice and Anti-Corruption Party, picked up 99 votes.
Ms Castillon said Labour had a ‘long-term plan’ for Portsmouth South and is keen to build on the party’s following in the constituency.
She added: ‘I have only just been able to get myself known to people, especially on social media.’
‘It was almost last minute for me.’
Flick Drummond (Con) 14,585
Gerald Vernon-Jackson (Lib Dem) 9,344
Sue Castillon (Lab) 8,184
Steve Harris (Ukip) 5,595
Ian McCulloch (Greens) 3,145
Mike Hancock (independent) 716
Sean Hoyle (Tusc) 235
Don Jerrard (Justice and Anti-Corruption Party) 99
Total Portsmouth South turnout: 42,088
Percentage turnout: 58.75 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.