General Election 2019: NE Cambs Labour, Lib Dem and Green Party candidates’ reaction as Steve Barclay is re-elected
A picture paints a thousand words – and it was just so in Wisbech last night as the faces of Labour, Lib Dem and Green party candidates reflected the agony of being on the receiving end of a Tory drubbing.
Conservative Steve Barclay steamrollered his way to an extraordinary 29,993 majority as 38,423 people turned out to vote for the MP who has served the region since 2010.
Rupert Moss Eccardt of the Lib Dems said he knew Mr Barclay would win but not necessarily by such a considerable margin.
"The fact he wasn't campaigning much in the constituency indicates he was confident," said Rupert.
It was a bleak picture too for Labour-hopeful Diane Boyd who told me she was "pretty sad and disappointed" at the results of the exit poll.
"It's a bit of a shock and a bit sad," she said. I though our manifesto was something we could really get behind. It seems Brexit has dominated."
Boyd came in second place with 8,430 votes, Moss-Eccardt followed in third with 4,298 and Ruth Johnson of the Green Party was fourth with 1,813 votes.
"I'm hugely honoured by the vote, a very clear mandate from an area that voted to leave in the referendum result," said Mr Barclay.
"I think it has sent a clear message for me to take back on their behalf to the House of Commons that they want the legislation on Brexit through.
"Both as a local MP and as Brexit Secretary, the clear message on Brexit is that the people in this area want that delivered."
Ruth Johnson got up on stage and congratulated Steve following his victory and thanked all of the election count team.
She said: "I'm very proud to stand for the second time on behalf of the Green Party; it's been a good night for us as far as we're concerned."
Diane Boyd also congratulated Steve on his win as she prepared to head back to her job as a criminal barrister on Monday (December 16).
She said: "I'm really proud to have stood for Labour having never stood before. I did everything I could and I've really enjoyed getting to know the communities.
"I'm sure the constituents will go on and be served well by Steven Barclay in the coming term of year of parliament."
Rupert Moss-Eccardt took the opportunity, not to congratulate Barclay but to call-out "careless" party members in the UK.
He said: "This is the first election I've been at where the police have been firm about giving me safety advice and where we've had officers at the count.
"That is partly because some people in leadership positions in some parties have been one hopes only careless.
"But I feel rather more vicious about how they have used language to make things that would be unacceptable some years ago, things that are now talked about freely as if it was normal.
"This has made out country poorer, our discourse poorer and has led to fractious debate."
He added: "This is not good and I feel sorry for those who have not much to lose who will lose even more as a result of what's happened leading up to tonight and what has happened tonight."