Brexit frustration key for voters, says MP who grew majority from 500 to 5,000
PUBLISHED: 14:49 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:51 13 December 2019
A Norwich MP who grew her majority from 500 to almost 5,000 said frustration over Brexit uncertainty was a key influence for voters.
Conservative Chloe Smith held onto Norwich North on Thursday, winning 23,397 votes compared to Karen Davis' 18,659 for Labour.
The seat had become a key focus, with Labour identifying it as a possible gain after Ms Smith's majority dropped to 507 in 2017.
But it rose back to 4,738 on Thursday, in a night which saw prime minister Boris Johnson secure a solid majority.
Ms Smith said the race appeared to be close during campaigning, and that she had not taken her seat for granted.
"We felt it was a close campaign, but at the same time we knew there was a clear message coming from us to get Brexit done, and from there to move onto the other priorities both locally and nationally.
"In the end it doesn't surprise me that there was such a positive result, and the prime minister now has a mandate."
When asked if she was confident she would hold onto her seat despite 2017's slim majority, she said: "I never take anything for granted, and I have always worked incredibly hard for Norwich North and have been very honoured time and time again to see more and more people support me."
She said Brexit had been a key issue for those she spoke to during the election campaign.
"It was very clear on the doorstep throughout the campaign that people had no patience for another year or more of uncertainty and instability," she said.
"It's time to move on. I'm really looking forward to being part of that in parliament with Boris Johnson."
Looking forward, she said her priorities for the constituency were to ensure the jobs market remained strong, fund the NHS and schools, improve transport in the city, including building the western link to complete the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, and continue to build homes, and infrastructure, around Norwich.
Elsewhere, Lib Dem's Dave Thomas received 2,663 votes in Norwich North and Green candidate Adrian Holmes 1,078. UKIP's David Moreland got 488.