THURROCK’S Conservative MP said she has been left ‘speechless’ after she saw her majority rocket from just 345 to a massive 11,482.
Jackie Doyle-Price’s victory saw her secure 27,795 votes and came as a bitter disappointment for Labour’s John Kent who saw his share of votes slashed from the 19,535 he earned in 2017 to 16,313.
Brexit was the key issue on the doorstep and few voters across the UK were as certain about leaving the European Union in 2016 as Thurrock, where 72 per cent of the borough said they wanted out – the fourth highest in the country.
The high proportion of leave voters combined with the Brexit Party’s decision not to stand in the election gave a major boost to the Tories who have campaigned under the banner ‘get Brexit done’.
Mr Doyle-Price has also been a staunch Brexiteer and she reiterated her support for PM Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.
She said: “I think it’s very important we have an orderly exit from the European Union. Some people say we should leave with no deal at all but the fact of the matter is that we do have exports to EU, they’ve got established markets and we’ve got to get to a free trade deal that enables us to continue to trade with Europe.
“There is no point falling out of those arrangements when we can secure that deal so an orderly exit is very much my preference and that’s what we’ve got with Boris’ deal.”
The Tory victory in Thurrock marks the fourth election win for Ms Doyle-Price who has won every election since 2010 when she ended Labour’s 18-year hold over the borough.
During her victory speech, she said: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d achieve a result like that in Thurrock and it is extremely humbling to be elected for a fourth time. I’m speechless.”
She also paid tribute to her rivals, saying that they had all put themselves forward “because we believe in things and if we don’t have people who are willing to do that, our democracy would be all the worse”.
She added: It is pretty clear from the results that the people of Thurrock do want Brexit done. I thin kthe whole country wants to move on from theis period and wants to focus on the other things that matter in politics and I’ll be pleased to play my part to make sure deliver on the key Conservative commitments.”
Labour must do some ‘soul searching’, says candidate
After Labour faced a crushing defeat in Thurrock, Labour’s John Kent said congratulated his Conservative rival and said his party would need to do some “soul searching”.
Labour had their sights set on Thurrock as one of their key target seats in the 2019 election, with several shadow cabinet ministers visiting the town during the campaign including Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The party hoped they could swing voters to their side as it was Essex’s most marginal seat. Instead, they were dealt a crushing blow that saw Mr Kent lose more than 3,200 votes compared with the 2017 result.
He said: “I’ve got to say its been a really disappointing night for me and a disappointing night for my party. There will have to be some soul searching within the Labour Party but I give noticed we will be back and we will be stronger for it.”
Jackie Doyle-Price (Con) 27795
John Kent (Lab) 16313
Stewart Stone (LibDem) 1510
Ben Harvey (Green) 807
James Woollard (Ind) 1042