UPLYME has a new Member of Parliament with Liberal Democrat Richard Foord having overturned the Conservatives’ majority of more than 24,000 in the Tiverton & Honiton constituency.
Tiverton & Honiton – which includes Uplyme, Axminster & Seaton – has been a Conservative strong-hold since the constituency was formed in 1997.
But yesterday, Mr Foord, a former British Army Major, won 22,537 votes against Tory candidate Helen Hurford’s 16,393.
In his victory speech, Mr Foord said: “The people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for Britain. They have sent a loud and clear message that it is time for Boris Johnson to go. Communities like ours are on our knees.”
Mr Foord went on to thank his wife, Kate, and the Labour supporters who had ‘lent’ the candidate their support.
A total of 42,707 votes were cast with a turnout of 52.3 per cent.
Full results were as follows:
- Richard Foord (Lib Dems) – 22,537 (52.91%, +38.14%)
- Helen Hurford (Con) – 16,393 (38.49%, -21.72%)
- Liz Pole (Lab) – 1,562 (3.67%, -15.88%)
- Gill Westcott (Green) – 1,064 (2.50%, -1.34%)
- Andy Foan (Reform) – 481 (1.13%)
- Ben Walker (UKIP) – 241 (0.57%, -1.06%)
- Jordan Donoghue-Morgan (Heritage) – 167 (0.39%)
- Frankie Rufolo (FB) – 146 (0.34%)
The result was a major hit to Boris Johnson’s government, with the Tories also losing a seat to the Labour Party in another by-election in Wakefield.
The two defeats saw Oliver Dowden resign as chairman of the Conservative Party.
East Devon District Council leader Paul Arnott has congratulated Mr Foord on his victory.
Cllr Arnott, who last week announced he was joining the national Liberal Democracts, despite leading the Independent East Devon Alliance and Democratic Alliance Group at East Devon, said: “Huge congratulations to Richard Foord for a brilliant campaign run with truth, passion and courtesy.
“We look forward enormously to a brilliant and effective working relationship with EDDC, where the Democratic Alliance, including the LibDems, is now in a third year of control.
“The Tories were ejected from East Devon after 45 years of running the council in 2019. And now with tonight’s results, it was not just a negative vote against Mr Johnson, it is a historic win for the majority of people who live in this amazing place.
“Richard and I will now meet on Friday to discuss how we will work together with immediate effect for the public good.”