ELECTION 2015: Conservatives hold Skipton and Ripon

Julian Smith

Julian Smith

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Conservative Julian Smith will continue as MP after the conservatives held the Skipton and Ripon seat.

Following a prolonged count at Skipton Town Hall, Mr Smith was officially named as the constituency’s Member of Parliament having secured 30,248 votes just before 6am.

The MP managed to hold his seat in one of the largest constituencies in the country, beating competition from Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party.

He said: “Thank you first of all to the Acting Returning Officer and all of you who have been here for such a long time. Thank you very much on behalf of all of us.

“I would like also to pay tribute to all the candidates that have stood for election, there have been a large number of hustings and events and they have all been done in great spirits.

“I’m obviously incredibly grateful to the people in Skipton and Ripon who have given me the opportunity for five more years.

“It’s been a massive privilege to represent this beautiful, rural, large constituency and be a strong voice at Westminster and I will continue to do so.

“Seeing how results have gone it will be a Conservative led government helping as many people as we can. We have delivered the best opportunities to people in Skipton and Ripon and will continue to do so.”

In an otherwise disappointing night for Labour, Malcolm Birks produced a positive result finishing second with 9,487 votes, 4011 more than five years ago.

UKIP’s Alan Henderson finished third with 7,651 votes, 5742 votes more than in 2010 with the Green’s taking 3,116 votes in the first time they have contested the seat.

It was a devastating night for the Liberal Democrats and Jacqui Bell, losing 13,678 votes compared to their last performance in 2010 when they finished second.

Viewed as one of the safest seats in England, the result means that the Conservatives have held their seat in Ripon and Skipton for every election since its creation in 1987.

In his first election five years ago, Mr Smith managed to hold the seat for the Conservatives by securing 51 per cent of the vote with an 80 per cent majority.

from a turnout of 70.7 per cent of the 79,825 eligible voters.

Born in 1971, Stirling and educated at Birmingham University, Mr Smith was a former managing director of a recruitment firm before becoming the constituency’s MP.

Upon taking office five years ago, Mr Smith focussed on fighting locally and at Westminster for jobs, lower taxes, investment and a ‘fair deal’ for the rural area.

During the hustings at Ripon Cathedral on Tuesday, April 28, Mr Smith stressed that his focus would be to continue representing one of the most rural constituencies in England.

He said: “Next week is not just about selecting your MP, it’s about making a choice on who you want to run your country. I’m pleased the results are beginning to come through but there is much more to do.”