THERE were scenes of delight and jubilation as Fareham maintained its blue colours and gained its first ever female MP.
The seat, which has been held by the Tory party since its creation in 1885, was won by Suella Fernandes – a 34-year-old barrister from London.
Ms Fernandes was selected to represent the party after former MP Mark Hoban announced his departure after 14 years in the Tory safe seat.
The barrister said she was ‘delighted’ to be elected and said she was committed to working for the constituency.
Speaking just after the final result had been announced, Ms Fernandes said: ‘People have chosen economic stability over chaos, leadership over instability, jobs over deficit, aspiration over dependency. I am honoured and humbled to have such a ringing vote of confidence from the men and women of Fareham who have entrusted me to represent them in parliament.’
Ms Fernandes has already moved to Locks Heath and stopped representing clients in court while she focused all her energy into being elected in the constituency.
She said she would now be working full-time as the Fareham MP.
Ms Fernandes added: ‘I thank you for your support and will serve you with integrity, approachability and dedication. To all of you I offer my skills and experience.’
Fareham has traditionally been held by the Tory party and in the 2010 election saw Mr Hoban win with a large 17,092 majority.
Mr Hoban first won the seat in 2001 with a 7,009 majority, and then increased that to 11,702 in 2005.
This year saw seven contenders vie for the MP position, the highest number of candidates ever.
Ms Fernandes beat Miles Grindey for the Green party, Malcolm Jones for Ukip, Matthew Winnington for the Lib Dems, Stuart Rose for Labour and independents Harvey Hines and Nick Gregory.
The Conservative won the seat with a 22,262 majority – the best result for the Conservatives in 23 years.
Voter turnout in Fareham was 71 per cent – a slight drop in the constituency falling from 71.6 per cent in 2010.
The battle for the seat was made entertaining by teenage comedian Mr Hines, from Fareham, who styled himself on Alan Partridge and entered the political arena in order to encourage more young people to vote.
Despite only securing 136 votes, the 19-year-old said that reaction to his online campaign had been encouraging and that he hoped to continue with a career in the spotlight – whether that be onstage, in football management or in politics.
He said: ‘It has been fantastic, it’s been a great six weeks. I have had a great reaction, with very little negativity. I definitely know that it has encouraged some of my friends to vote and that feels great. If young people didn’t vote, then the parties will continue not to cater for the things important to that demographic.’
He added: ‘I want to carry on with politics, definitely something in the public eye.’
Full Fareham result
Suella Fernandes (Con) 30,689
Malcolm Jones (Ukip) 8,427
Stuart Rose (Labour) 7,800
Matthew Winnington (Lib Dem) 4,814
Miles Grindey (Green) 2,129
Nick Gregory (Independent) 705
Harvey Hines (Independent) 136
Majority: 22,262 Turnout: 54,818 Conservative hold
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.