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General Election 2019: Conservative James Cartlidge re-elected in South Suffolk

Re-elected Conservative MP for South Suffolk, James Cartlidge, said his party's substantial Parliamentary majority will bring the level of stability that the country needs.

Mr Cartlidge comfortably retained his seat with 33,270 votes, increasing his majority in the constituency by more than 5,000 votes, on a night when the Tories recorded their best general election performance since 1987.

Suffolk turned entirely blue once again, after the Conservatives reclaimed the Ipswich seat that they had lost to Labour at the previous election in 2017.

General Election 2019 result - SOUTH SUFFOLK (24154111)
General Election 2019 result - SOUTH SUFFOLK (24154111)

Following the declaration of the results in the early hours of this morning, Mr Cartlidge described it as "an incredible privilege" to be voted in for the third time in under five years.

"I'm incredibly honoured and very grateful to the people of South Suffolk," he said.

"Elections can be quite exciting, but we don't want to keep having them every year. The people wanted a Government with a clear majority, without all the division and deadlock we have had in recent months.

"We must get back to Parliament quickly and clear that cloud of uncertainty. By passing a Brexit deal, the Government will have more time to focus on other issues."

Labour's Elizabeth Hughes, who placed second with 10,373 votes, voiced disappointment at her party's performance, which saw its nationwide share of the vote significantly decline, with major losses in former heartland constituencies.

"I think we will have a very different political landscape next week," she said. "I think this has been a protest vote from people who are fed up and disengaged.

"Of course, Brexit has been hovering over everyone's heads. With such a large majority, if it goes well, the Conservatives will take the credit, but if they get it wrong, they have to take the blame."

David Beavan, of the Liberal Democrats, came third, with 6,702 votes, but he lamented that his party could not convert its increased vote share into more seats.

"It is disappointing," he said. "Brexit has overshadowed everything else. My opinion has always been that Brexit is not good for the country, and I will continue to say that until I'm proven wrong.

"Lots of people asked me why are Labour and the Lib Dems fighting each other? We should have had more agreements. In an ideal world, where we have a proportional voting system, we would not have to make these deals."

Green Party candidate Robert Lindsay finished fourth, with 3,144 votes.

The turnout in South Suffolk was 70.59 per cent, down from 71.8 per cent at the previous national poll two years ago.