Dr Therese Coffey ‘overwhelmed’ as Conservatives hold Suffolk Coastal, as UKIP candidate slams ‘politics of fear’
An emotional Therese Coffey choked back tears of joy after doubling her majority to win Suffolk Coastal again.
It was an exceptional night for the Conservatives as they retained the seat – as they also polled more votes than five years ago, and increased their share of the vote for the fourth election in a row.
The Liberal Democrats vote collapsed as Labour made a strong showing.
Thanking her campaign team, voters and the election staff, Dr Coffey said she was 'overwhelmed' by the result.
She said: 'I am privileged to be MP for this wonderful place. We had an increased turnout because people realised this election mattered.
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'I believe most people in Suffolk Coastal have benefited, during a very difficult time, from our long-term economic plan. This is a great place for people to live, work, grow up and have fun and we want to continue to ensure that is the case.'
Her majority rose from 9,128 to 18,842, a 51.6 per cent share of the vote.
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Labour candidate Russell Whiting, who increased his party's vote, dedicated all of his votes to party worker Matthew Percy, who died last month.
He said: 'We have worked very hard as a team over the last 18 months and I think our vote is a testament to that work.'
UKIP candidate Darryl Pitcher had high hopes after his party's strong showing in the constituency in the European elections, and more than doubled his vote.
He said: 'We have seen today nationally as a country a victory for the politics of fear. I think David Cameron scared people into voting for the Conservative party by raising the spectre of the SNP – that's not a basis for being prime minister by scaring people into voting for you. I don't think his government will have legitimacy.'
Liberal Democrat James Sandbach was disappointed but said the party would be back 'because this country needs it'.
Rachel Smith-Lyte, Green candidate, was 'bowled over' after tripling the party's 2010 vote. She said: 'To see the difference in five years is amazing.'
Suffolk Coastal: Therese Coffey (C) 28,855, Russell Whiting (Lab) 10,013, Darryl Pitcher (UKIP) 8,655, James Sandbach (LD) 4,777, Rachel Smith-Lyte (Gn) 3,294. Maj: 18,842. Turnout: 71.7 per cent. Conservative hold.