Conservative MP Mark Pawsey increases his majority in Rugby - and Labour candidate urges him to be 'brave'

Conservative MP Mark Pawsey has this morning, December 13, increased his majority by 5,235 votes.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 5:03 am
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 5:04 am
L to R: Adam Norburn, executive director of Rugby council, Mark Pawsey, Debbie Bannigan, Rana Das-Gupta and Becca Stevenson.

72,292 of residents in the Rugby and Bulkington constituency turned out to vote, giving a turnout of 71 per cent - very similar to the 2015 election's 71.1 per cent turnout.

Mr Pawsey retained his seat, which he has held since 2010, as part of a General Election which has seen significant Conservative gains across the country.

He received 29,255 votes, boosting his majority to 13,447.

Labour's share of the vote fell by 7.2 per cent since the 2017 election - meaning this time round it received 31.1 per cent of the vote, equating to 15,808 votes.

The Liberal Democrats increased their share since the last election by 2.7 per cent, getting 4,207 in total.

And the Green Party increased their share by 1.2 per cent, with a total of 1,544 votes.

Speaking onstage after the result was declared in the Benn Hall at around 2.30am this morning, December 13, Mr Pawsey said: "We're at the end of a long day - itself at the end of a long campaign at a time of the year when we're not used to being out knocking on doors.

"And I know that there have been volunteers from all parties being out and about knocking on doors and engaging in the process here in Rugby in a way that has been done with good humour and respect between the parties.

"We've had a tremendous effort today by all of the staff here and the returning officer and his team have got us through at a time that's great for Rugby.

"So thank you for doing that.

"I also want to say particular thanks to my team of volunteers and supporters who have worked so hard throughout the campaign.

"My job now is to hopefully pick up on the work that I've been doing over the past nine years as Rugby's MP and to carry on working for all of the residents of Rugby.

"We've had a great turnout in this election. One of the concerns I had was that turnout might be low because of people being frustrated with politicians.

"But the turnout has been high and I pledge to continue to work for all of Rugby's residents."

Labour's Debbie Bannigan then took her turn to make a speech.

She said: "I'd just like to have a word with Mark, and say, Mark - there's a few things I would like to ask.

"First of all, please be brave, please be bold for Rugby.

"Rugby needs and deserves better, Bulkington needs and deserves better.

"We'd really like to see you sticking up for us more and getting us more investment into this area.

"The second thing I'd like to say is that, across politics, I'd like to see more honesty.

"I think one of the things we've noticed is that truth has become the victim of ambition - and I think we have to return to a state of honesty in our politics.

"Finally, if we can be one thing, please be kind. We need to be kind to each other to get through some of the difficulties we've got.

"Whether we're leavers or remainers, whatever our political hue, we all have to share this one vulnerable planet together.

"So let's go forward in the spirit of peace, in the spirit of reconciliation and do the best we possibly can for Rugby and Bulkington."

Lib Dem candidate Rana Das-Gupta then said: "As a Lib Dem candidate I am fairly new to politics and I would like to thank particularly Jerry Roodhouse - he's really shown me the way.

"And I'd like to thank all of the people who've been out campaigning on our behalf.

"And I'd especially like to thank the four and a half thousand voters in Rugby for their support."

Becca Stevenson for the Green Party said: "Just a big thank-you to the Rugby Green Party team. We did it, we increased our vote share.

"And a big thank-you to everybody who voted Green."