Published: 21:45, 12 December 2019
| Updated: 06:37, 13 December 2019
Natalie Elphicke is the new MP for Dover and Deal and getting Brexit 'done' is high on her list of priorities.
The Conservative politician who is the constituency's first ever female MP believes in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's deal and claims that with a strong majority the country can still leave the EU on January 31.
She holds the seat, previously occupied by her husband Charlie Elphicke, for the party with a majority of 6,959 votes.
Reacting to her win, she said: "My goodness. What an absolutely stunning result, thank you.
"This is the clearest possible direction from the people of Dover and Deal to get Brexit done so that we can move forward as a country, to strengthen our economy, bring more jobs and the money we need to secure better healthcare and other build service and to build on the strong local record of delivery from our outstanding Conservative team."
She commented that her husband was the best MP the area has had and she was delighted to be given the opportunity to build on "his legacy."
She said: "I think Charlie has been an outstanding MP for our area and I personally will be working very hard to make my mark and really represent the people of Deal and Dover.
"Top of the list in terms of the national position is getting Brexit done but here in Dover and Deal, we've got a good track record on healthcare, but there's more to do.
"We want to make sure we build on our record of jobs and investment."
Improving rail services, roads and achieving good quality affordable housing are also important to the new MP.
Her speech was not without reference to her husband's pending trial in which he faces charges of assault which he firmly denies.
She said:"I hope the challenges he has been faced with will be resolved swiftly and positively - a view with which I wholeheartedly agree.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many in our area for their kindness, in their thoughts and prayers over the past two years."
Entering the history books as the constituency's first female MP is an exciting achievement, she described.
She said: "I think it's very exciting. I think a lot of women work hard in a lot of different capacities and I would encourage women to think about contributing in politics at local, district and national level."
Mrs Elphicke, who lives in St Margaret’s, works as a volunteer with the Dover Winter Night Shelter.
She was also a founder of the Dover People’s Port Trust – the local group set up to campaign against Labour’s plan to privatise the Port of Dover.
Charlie Elphicke, who attended Dover Town Hall for the count to support his wife, said he was delighted for her.
This was the first December General Election since 1923.
50,920 people cast their vote - a turnout of 67%.
Runner up Labour's Charlotte Cornell who received 16,552 votes had described the early exit poll forecast - suggesting a 99% chance of a Conservative hold - as "gut punching".
Particularly, she expressed, in light of the party's hard fought campaign which saw 150 activists out canvassing on polling day with a Labour representative at each polling station.
She congratulated the new MP but responded: "We will still be here over the next year, two, three, four, hoping you manage to deliver on some of those promises, and being there to hold you to account when you don't.
"Every vote that was put in a box for the Labour Party, I took great pride in.
"A vote is a very precious thing to give away, so to all the voters who took a punt on us and we're grateful for the honour.
"Thank you, very good luck. Let's see what Westminster brings."
Simon Dodd of the Liberal Democrats who received 2,895 votes believes tactical voting harmed the party's chances, with people "confused" who to vote for.
He said if they had won the 'Yes' campaign for the Alternative Vote (AV) in 2011, people would have been able to tactically vote effectively.
He said this calls for a change in the electoral voting system.
Green Party candidate Beccy Sawbridge thanked her 1,371 voters and made a plea for the community to take the climate emergency seriously.
With 916 votes, Independent candidate Nathan Sutton said he hopes to have a future in politics as he cares greatly about the community.
Eljai Morais, for the Women's Equality Party, who picked up 137 votes, was not present due to the flu.
View our live blog for details on the results across Kent.