Popularity grows for fourth time in a row
DAMIAN Green is celebrating a towering mandate to return to Parliament as Ashford’s MP with his highest ever majority.
The Conservative was given a crushing 17,297 majority in Thursday’s general election.
It is now the fourth time Mr Green, Shadow Immigration Minister before the election, has been elected MP for the constituency.
He said: “It is a huge honour to be elected MP for the fourth time, with the largest majority I have ever achieved.
“I would like to thank the people of Ashford, Tenterden and the surrounding villages.”
Speaking of the national picture he said: “The British people have decided for change and a new leader and a new government delivering real change. That is what they deserve.”
Mr Green gained a total of 29,878 votes. He is enjoying a continual leap in majorities, the figure of 17,297 comparing with 13,298 in the 2005 election and 7,359 in 2001.
His victory was confirmed when the seat’s election results were announced at 3.30am on Friday at the Stour Centre.
The Liberal Democrats in Ashford did have some rise in fortunes, knocking Labour down from second to third place.
Lib Dem Chris Took gained 12,581 votes compared with 8,308 when he stood in 2005.
He said: “The Liberal Democrats have not come second in Ashford since 1992 so I am pleased with that.”
Labour’s Chris Clark secured 9,204 votes compared with 13,353 for the party last time.
He said: “Like the majority of the British people I want a fair future. Whatever the result I will carry on that fight. This has still shown there is a core progressive vote in Ashford.”
Jeff Elenor, of UKIP, who came fourth with 2,504 votes, said: “It’s just like school, could do better, plenty of room for improvement.
“I think people were frightened at the prospect of this Labour government continuing so there was a lot of pressure to make a decisive vote.”
Green candidate Steve Campkin had a bittersweet night. He came last in Ashford but saw his party leader Caroline Lucas become the first Green MP when she took Brighton Pavilion.
He said: “I will definitely be standing in the next election as 1,014 people supported me and I owe it to them to carry on.”
Returning officer was the High Sheriff of Kent, Peregrine Massey, from Woodchurch.
IF pupils at Ashford’s Beaver Green primary had their way Britain would be run by a rainbow coalition.
The pupils held a mock election with different parties winning in each school year’s poll.
Year 3 elected Labour while Year 4 voted in a hung Parliament, putting both the Green Party and Conservatives on top.
Year 5 voted in the Green Party outright and Year 6 pupils put the Liberal Democrats on top
School family liaison officer Becky Knell said: “It was surprising that the results were so different.”
MP Damian Green addresses the audience and thanks his team at the general election count
The general election count at the Stour Centre, Tannery Lane, Ashford