General Election 2019: Conservative Sir Oliver Heald holds seat in North East Herts
PUBLISHED: 03:30 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:09 13 December 2019
Sir Oliver Heald has been elected as Member of Parliament for North East Herts following the 2019 General Election.
The Conservative candidate dominated the polls with 31,293 votes.
He told this newspaper during the count: "I always try to go everywhere in the constituency and I have done that.
"I had a good response and I know a lot of people in the area having lived here for so long and represented it for a long time.
"We've had a good team out working and I feel confident, but I'm never complacent. In 1997 my majority was 2,000 and every time it's gone up, and you have to work hard for that.
"I always feel it's a great honour and privilege to go to Westminster to represent my local area as well as getting involved in the important national debates.
"We've not really been able to move on in parliament - if there's a Conservative majority it will be good for the country."
In North East Herts - which covers Letchworth, Baldock, Royston and surrounding villages - 73 per cent of the electorate turned out to vote. This is similar to the 73.2 per cent turnout in the 2017 General Election.
Sir Oliver Heald has held the seat in North East Hertfordshire since it was created in the 1997 election.
He initially took the North Hertfordshire seat in the election prior to this in 1992, before the constituency was replaced by North East Hertfordshire and Hitchin and Harpenden.
Reacting to the outcome on Friday, Sir Oliver said: "I was delighted to be re-elected with an increased majority.
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"Parliament has been stuck for the last 3 years and will now be able to move on and tackle the nation's priorities such as increased NHS funding, more police and a boost for schools' funding too. I will go back to Westminster as a local person determined to stand up for our area and the people who live here.
"I will also continue to take part in the big national debates. I am grateful for all the support I have received in the constituency."
Fellow candidates lobbying for the North East Herts seat were Amy Finch for the Liberal Democrats, Kelley Green for Labour and Tim Lee for the Green Party.
Ahead of the result, Amy told this newspaper: "I think it is going to be quite predictable, that's typical of North East Herts. I've been proud of the campaign we've had, it's been civil and everyone has campaigned quite fairly - it's a credit to everyone."
Kelley said: "The campaign felt really positive, it was hard work but we had a really good atmosphere.
"It brought our team together and we stepped it up for North East Herts Labour."
Tim Lee, who also stood in 2017, said: "It's been quite a quiet campaign this time around.
"We know unfortunately what the outcome will be, it's such a safe Tory seat, which I do hope will change, but this is a journey that's got to be clearly worked at."
Full results are as follows: Amy Finch, Lib Dem - 8,563
Kelley Green, Labour - 13,104
Oliver Heald, Conservative - 31,293
Tim Lee, Green - 2,367