‘I WILL continue to be Gosport’s champion.’
Those are the words of Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, who increased her majority in the Gosport constituency.
Ms Dinenage saw an increase of more than 4,000 votes, finishing the night with 20,647 votes.
On a night that saw UKIP’s votes fall by 80 per cent, while votes for Labour doubled, Ms Dinenage described it as an ‘unusual’ election.
She said: ‘The election was called at quite short notice.
‘We have increased out majority here in Gosport thanks to my incredible team, and of course the people who came out to vote.
‘We put in a huge amount of work, and I want the voters of Gosport to never forget that I promised to be Gosport’s champion.
‘I said I would fight for our fair share of resources, and that is what I’ll continue to do.’
Conservative councillors from across Gosport, including leader of Gosport Borough Council, Cllr Mark Hook.
He said: ‘Caroline deserves this.
‘She has done enough work over the years to warrant her winning.
‘She’s got a great team and it really shows.’
Ms Dinenage’s majority was not the only thing to increase – voter turnout in Gosport was also 2 per cent higher, rising from 47,751 in 2015 to 49,509 this time around.
Ms Dinenage added: ‘We’ve talked about voter apathy so many times over recent years, so to see that there is an increase in voters coming out is always a good thing.’
Liberal Democrat candidate Bruce Tennent said he was not surprised by Ms Dinenage’s victory.
He explained: ‘You know before you’ve even started that the Conservatives are going to win.’
Meanwhile, Green Party candidate Monica Cassidy pointed to the electoral system for her party’s slump in votes – dropping from 1,707 in 2015 to 1,024 in 2017.
She said: ‘Obviously we are disappointed, because we didn’t manage to increase our vote share.
‘This is the result of the style of this election and the failure of democracy.
‘The Green Party is always critical of the first past the post system, but this really emphasised just how broken democracy is.’
Towards the bottom of the election table, independent candidate Jeffrey Roberts was thrilled to have received 256 votes – more than doubling his previous efforts.
He said: ‘I’m absolutely delighted; 104 votes in 2015, 256 this year.
‘At this rate, by the time I’m 175 years of age, I could get elected.’