ELECTION: Fareham awaits decision at the ballot box

The Fareham count at Ferneham Hall
The Fareham count at Ferneham Hall
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VOTES are set to be counted in Fareham after a high turnout was announced.

Tory MP candidate Suella Fernandes arrived shortly before midnight as counters verified the ballots, with counting starting shortly.

Tory candidate Suella Fernandes

Tory candidate Suella Fernandes

The turnout was 72 per cent, an official announced in Ferneham Hall.

That is up on the last two general elections at 71 per cent in 2015 and 71.6 per cent in 2010.

Ms Fernandes, who won in 2015 with a majority of more than 22,000, said her team had been excellent.

She said: 'It's been a really good campaign both in Fareham and in the country.

Fareham Labour candidate Matthew Randall.

Fareham Labour candidate Matthew Randall.

'I'm really grateful to all my volunteers, who've done such a great job in Fareham, people who have signed up for the first time who've been inspired by Theresa May wanting to make a success of Brexit.'

The candidate has spent today touring the polling station in the constituency.

Councillor Sean Woodward, Tory leader of the borough council, said he has been campaigning elsewhere but has seen 'scared' voters worried about Labour.

'They were saying they've been absolutely fearful,' he said.

Fareham Lib Dem candidate Matthew Winnington

Fareham Lib Dem candidate Matthew Winnington

'Normally people would say there's not a huge difference between the two main parties, we are in a two-party system.

'This time the gulf is huge.'

Lib Dem candidate Matthew Winnington says he has no chance of winning but criticised the prime minister for even calling an election.

He said: 'I don't think I have any chance here but I think it shows that this election has been a complete waste of time.

'The media has been making this election between Labour and the Conservatives and that has been really disappointing.'

He added: 'The Conservatives are going back and we are going forward.'

The seat has been Tory since 1885.

Conservative candidate Ms Fernandes won a 22,262 majority in 2015.

University student and Green candidate Miles Grindey, 22, said: 'I'm hopeful that I can retain my deposit but that being said, lest we forget Trump, Brexit and the last general election.

'So I'm hopeful still but I've got to learn lessons from history.'

Mr Grindey won 2,129 votes in 2015.