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Election 2017: Conservative George Freeman wins in Mid Norfolk while Labour support grows and UKIP and Liberal Democrats collapse

PUBLISHED: 04:53 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 04:53 09 June 2017

Conservative George Freeman after winning the Mid Norfolk seat in the 2017 general election. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI.

Conservative George Freeman after winning the Mid Norfolk seat in the 2017 general election. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI.

Archant

Conservative George Freeman said he was humbled to hold his Mid Norfolk seat by a majority of 16,086, while Labour were also pleased with a big increase of votes in the constituency.

Labour's Mid Norfolk candidate Sarah Simpson. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI Labour's Mid Norfolk candidate Sarah Simpson. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI

Mr Freeeman secured 32,828 votes, almost 60pc of the total number cast.

Labour’s Sarah Simpson finished second and was delighted to receive with 16,742 votes, 7,157 more than the party received in the 2015 general election.

The Liberal Democrats and UKIP performed poorly in Mid Norfolk.

The Liberal Democrats finished third with 2,848 votes and UKIP, who came second in 2015, came fourth with 2,092 votes.

The Green Party's Mid Norfolk candidate Hannah Lester. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI The Green Party's Mid Norfolk candidate Hannah Lester. Picture: ADAM LAZZARI

Neither Lib Dem Fionna Tod or UKIP’s Tracy Knowles turned up to Dereham Leisure Centre to hear the results.

The Green Party’s Hannah Lester, who was standing at the age of just 22, finished fifth with 1,158 votes.

Mr Freeman said: “I’m absolutely humbled and delighted by the scale of the turnout for me here in Mid Norfolk.

“To win nearly 60pc of the vote is beyond my wildest dreams.

A scene from the Mid Norfolk coun at Dereham Leisure Centret.Picture: ADAM LAZZARI A scene from the Mid Norfolk coun at Dereham Leisure Centret.Picture: ADAM LAZZARI

“This area clearly wants an MP that knocks on doors and reaches out to people.”

Mr Freeman added: “The truth is, however, that this result nationally creates some huge challenges for the government and for the Conservative Party which will need to be carefully thought through.”

Mrs Simpson said: “I’m very please to have got 30pc of the vote share, which is much better than the 2015 result here for Labour. It’s clear that not everyone who has abandoned UKIP has voted Conservative.”

She added; “I’ve seen in the last few weeks there are areas of Mid Norfolk where people are really showing support for us and we’re taking note of that. “We’re making sure there is quality Labour representation on offer here in the national and local elections.”

Miss Lester, meanwhile, hopes to inspire other young people to engage with politics.

She stood for the Greens after being frustrated at having to pay £9,000 per year tuition fees and high rent prices.

She said: “These things made me angry but I decided to get involved and try to change things rather than just sit back.”

Turnout in Mid Norfolk was 69.68pc, a slight increase on the 68pc turnout in 2015.

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