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Adam Holloway wins Gravesham for Tories

Conservative candidate Adam Holloway made history by retaining the Gravesham seat for the second time in three consecutive elections.

Gravesham has been a two-horse race for years between Labour and Tory candidates and this election was the same.

Mr Holloway defeated main rival Labour candidate Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi by 8,380 votes, winning with a majority of 23,494. Mr Dhesi received 15,114 votes.

Adam Holloway won his third consecutive term in the elections
Adam Holloway won his third consecutive term in the elections

Ukip candidate Sean Marriott got 9,306 votes, Liberal Democrat candidate Anne-Marie Bunting got 1,111 votes and Green candidate Mark Lindop got 1,124 votes.

No other candidate has ever retained the Gravesham seat twice in three consecutive elections, dating back to Gravesham’s inception as a constituency in the 19th Century.

Mr Holloway said: "I feel sorry for the other candidates that didn't win. I feel pleased that the government will be able to continue trying to get it right for the people of Britain and happy that I'll get the chance to serve the people this constituency whoever they vote for."

Mr Holloway first won the seat in 2005, narrowly beating Labour candidate Chris Pond by 654 votes and then beating Kathryn Smith, also Labour, by 9,312 votes in the 2010 election.

Each candidate made an appearance at the Woodville in Gravesend, where the count was being made, at different times throughout the night.

Mr Marriott arrived first, spending time in the main count room, usually the auditorium at the theatre, with his wife and supporters.

Mr Dhesi appeared second just before midnight and spent time with Labour councillors and supporters in the counting room. After he had visited every polling station in the borough.

Mark Lindop followed later in the early hours, who sat in the Spotlights bar watching the election coverage unfold on television with his girlfriend.

Last to arrive was Mr Holloway just after 5am who spent time speaking to friends and members of public in the Spotlights bar. Ms Bunting did not turn up.

"I feel sorry for the other candidates that didn't win" - Adam Holloway

Mr Dhesi, a former Gravesham councillor and mayor in 2011, said he would not be standing for council office this term.

He also said he was not sure what the future held in regard to his political career.

A clearly dejected Mr Dhesi said: " I'm very proud of our campaign, that we ran over the past two years. It was a very positive and energised campaign. I thought I had done enough over the past eight years of service to win the trust of our residents but it proved not to be enough."

The count began at 1.45am.

The turn out for voting in Gravesham was 69.83% across its 58 polling stations, in the past two elections Gravesham has been higher than the national average.

In 2005 the figure was 65.8%, equating to 45,207 people voting out of an electorate of 68,705, and 67.3% in 2010, equating to 47,241 people voting out of an electorate of 70,195.

The result is expected to help the Conservatives to reach the brink of forming a majority government after shock exit polls predicted they had won 316 seats.

In Sevenoaks, the Tories held the seat after Michael Fallon was re-elected with 28,531 votes.

Ukip's Steve Lindsay was second with 8,970 votes followed by Labour's Christopher Clark (6,448), Lib Dem's Alan Bullion (3,937) and the Green's Amelie Boleyn (2,238).

The election turnout was 69.99%.

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