Keith Simpson holds Broadland

Keith Simpson MP wins the Broadland seat. Picture: Antony Kelly

Keith Simpson MP wins the Broadland seat. Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

Veteran MP Keith Simpson has held on to his Broadland seat with a 16,838 majority.

The 66-year-old has been at the helm of the safe Conservative battleground since 1997 and there was little question - even amongst his opponents - of defeat this time.

Despite a quiet campaign from all candidates, Mr Simpson's loyal voters did not fail to turn out and support him.

Despite this, there was some change to the previous year's voting pattern. In 2010 the Liberal Democrats took second place in Broadland with 17,046 votes. But this time around - and in line with the national picture - they had just 5,178.

All the other parties made gains.

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Labour's Chris Jones held second place with 9,970 votes, and UKIP's Stuart Agnew reached 8,881 from his 2,382 in 2010.

Mr Agnew used the outcome to send a strong message to the Conservative Party, telling them there was now nowhere to hide over a referendum on Europe. Mr Simpson, who marked his sixth campaign, said the county had followed in the national trend and said he was grateful for their backing.

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He spoke of fear that a SNP and Labour pact would drain money out of Norfolk.

He added: 'I am hugely grateful for the support of the people in Broadland and feel lucky to be re-elected.

'Now is time to think about what I am going to do for my constituency, focusing on the economic development of the area, housing, care in the community and foreign affairs and intelligence.''

He also highlighted the importance of accountability at the Broads Authority and said he would be working hard to bring change about.

Overall, this year's campaign was low key, with only a peppering of election posters at the roadside.

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