General Election 2017: Sighs of relief as Pudsey stays Conservative

Stuart Andrew narrowly avoided defeat to hold Pudsey.
Stuart Andrew narrowly avoided defeat to hold Pudsey.
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The Conservatives narrowly avoided defeat to Labour by the finest of margins as Stuart Andrew held the constituency of Pudsey.

As the final result of the night, supporters and officials gathered in front of the stage at Leeds Town Hall and waited with bated breath for the result at around 4.50am.

Despite early rumours of a recount being requested, an announcement of the result swiftly followed.

Mr Andrew held the seat by the slimmest of margins with around only 300 more votes than Labour candidate Ian McCargo.

Speaking after being re-elected, Pudsey MP Stuart Andrew said: “I have always thought of this as a marginal seat.

“I am delighted that we have managed to increase the number of people that 
voted in the constituency. I want to look forward to getting on to represent the constituency.”

Remarkably, almost 75 per cent of the constituency’s 72,622 electorate turned out to polling stations yesterday to have their say.

The Pudsey seat currently encompasses the council wards of Calverley, Farsley, Guiseley, Rawdon, Horsforth and Pudsey.

On the Conservative’s national election campaign, Mr Andrew said: “I think the (Conservative) campaign had its faults.

“I think we have to be up front about that and we have to reflect on that.”

He said there were “questions” for the party to look at in the future.

His re-election follows a strong performance in the 2015 General Election, when Mr Andrew beat off a second challenge from Labour’s Jamie Hanley to hold on to his Pudsey seat for the Tories.

He managed to almost triple his winning margin from 2010 through his performance in 2015.

The turnout in Pudsey grew in this year’s General Election by around 2.5 per cent on the previous year.

Mr Andrew’s 2015 majority of 4,501 was slashed last night as Labour almost snatched a victory, losing only by around 300 votes to the Conservative MP.

During his campaign for re-election, he pledged to 
protect Greenbelt land from “Labour’s Leeds Council’s ridiculous housing target”, and preserve the land for future generations.

He also pledged, in the run-up to the General Election, that he would continue campaigning on transport issues in Leeds, as well as congestion on roads across the Pudsey constituency.