Pop­u­lar­ity grows for fourth time in a row

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­group.co.uk

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.”

Pic­ture: Martin Apps PD1705705

MP Damian Green ad­dresses the au­di­ence and thanks his team at the gen­eral elec­tion count

Pic­ture: Martin Apps PD1705702

The gen­eral elec­tion count at the Stour Cen­tre, Tan­nery Lane, Ash­ford

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