Election 2010: Tory Letwin triumphs again in West Dorset

Dorset Echo: Triumphant Conservative candidate Oliver Letwin makes a point during his victory speech in Dorchester Triumphant Conservative candidate Oliver Letwin makes a point during his victory speech in Dorchester

WEST Dorset Conservative Oliver Letwin fought off what was expected to be a strong Liberal Democrat challenge with an increased majority.

Mr Letwin received 27,287 votes, improving his majority from 2,461 in 2005 to 3,923.

Liberal Democrat candidate Sue Farrant received 23,364 out of a total of 57,334 votes cast as she failed to oust Letwin who has held the seat for the past 13 years.

A total of 107 ballot boxes started arriving for the count at Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre at around 10.15pm, with Returning Officer David Clarke reporting no major problems at polling stations.

The turnout was down slightly from the 2005 general election – at 74.7 per cent compared with 76.4 per cent five years ago.

Mr Letwin said his track record as MP for West Dorset was vital to his electoral success.

He said: “On the doorstep the biggest issue regardless of party politics was that most of the electorate realised over 13 years I have been a competent constituency MP.”

After the result came in at around 2.20am Mr Letwin praised all those who had supported him in his campaign and said it would be premature to predict whether his success would be replicated nationally.

He said: “It is too early to tell what the night will bring but I very much hope we will be able to wake up tomorrow morning to a change of Government that this country desperately needs.”

Mrs Farrant congratulated her rival and vowed to fight on for the Liberal Democrat cause, particularly in relation to West Dorset Dis-trict Council’s proposed new offices in Charles Street.

She said: “I am to lose but we fought a successful campaign.

“I am delighted with how many volunteers have come forward in this campaign so we have come out stronger than we went into it and the work continues.

“We will continue with our campaign to prevent West Dorset District Council’s spending on new council offices here in Dorchester.”

Labour candidate Steve Bick polled 3,815 votes – a slight decrease in the party share – while UKIP’s Oliver Chisholm received 2,196 votes and Susan Greene from the Green Party 675.

Dr Bick said he feared he could be the victim of Labour supporters tactically casting their votes for the Lib Dems in a bid to defeat the Tories.

Comments (9)

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12:23pm Fri 7 May 10

I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY DON'T LIKE THE NEW ECHO WEBSITE says...

"Dr Bick said he feared he could be the victim of Labour supporters tactically casting their votes for the Lib Dems in a bid to defeat the Tories"
.
Nothing like sour grapes then.
"Dr Bick said he feared he could be the victim of Labour supporters tactically casting their votes for the Lib Dems in a bid to defeat the Tories" . Nothing like sour grapes then. I REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY DON'T LIKE THE NEW ECHO WEBSITE

7:12pm Fri 7 May 10

Genghis says...

Definitely the shock result of the General Election. Tory wins safe Tory seat. Let's face it the Tories could select a sack of potatoes as their candidate for West Dorset knowing full well that it would not make the slightest difference to the result in a staunch Tory safe seat.
Definitely the shock result of the General Election. Tory wins safe Tory seat. Let's face it the Tories could select a sack of potatoes as their candidate for West Dorset knowing full well that it would not make the slightest difference to the result in a staunch Tory safe seat. Genghis

9:14pm Fri 7 May 10

staffs says...

How is a 2,461 majority considered a "Safe seat"?
How is a 2,461 majority considered a "Safe seat"? staffs

10:55pm Fri 7 May 10

weypaul says...

We were assured Mr Letwin was going to be decapitated by Liberal strategy.

Same every election innit
We were assured Mr Letwin was going to be decapitated by Liberal strategy. Same every election innit weypaul

3:51am Sat 8 May 10

CoogarUK.com says...

Genghis, Dorset West was a marginal. No. 14 on the Lib-Dems hit-list I believe.
Genghis, Dorset West was a marginal. No. 14 on the Lib-Dems hit-list I believe. CoogarUK.com

3:59am Sat 8 May 10

CoogarUK.com says...

If that's really what Dr Bick thinks then I suggest he sticks to his day job in future. GPs obviously don't work enough hours if they fancy their chances at being a constituency MP. Maybe the real tactic here was the Labour Party putting forward a throwaway candidate.
If that's really what Dr Bick thinks then I suggest he sticks to his day job in future. GPs obviously don't work enough hours if they fancy their chances at being a constituency MP. Maybe the real tactic here was the Labour Party putting forward a throwaway candidate. CoogarUK.com

8:22am Sat 8 May 10

Genghis says...

Would they stoop that low? What am I saying......? They tried tactical voting last time. That's the reason for a close result in a traditionally safe Tory seat. Perhaps next time they won't even field a candidate but the result will stay the same. The one thing the Tories have in West Dorset is that their support will always turn out in force to beat their opponents tactics.
Would they stoop that low? What am I saying......? They tried tactical voting last time. That's the reason for a close result in a traditionally safe Tory seat. Perhaps next time they won't even field a candidate but the result will stay the same. The one thing the Tories have in West Dorset is that their support will always turn out in force to beat their opponents tactics. Genghis

10:30pm Sun 9 May 10

Giblet says...

I really can't believe people voted for this idiot.
I really can't believe people voted for this idiot. Giblet

8:51am Tue 11 May 10

dorset & proud says...

Maybe he'd endear himself to more people if he didn't look so bloomin' smug all the time - and where the hell did he get that outfit?
Maybe he'd endear himself to more people if he didn't look so bloomin' smug all the time - and where the hell did he get that outfit? dorset & proud

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