'Disastrous night' for Conservatives in Devon

It was a "disastrous night" for the Conservative Party in Devon, according to one party candidate.

Kevin Foster, former MP and candidate for Torbay, made the comments after the party lost seven seats in the region and Labour won the general election.

The Liberal Democrats made six gains, taking Torbay, Newton Abbot, North Devon, South Devon, Honiton & Sidmouth and Tiverton & Minehead.

Labour made one gain, with Fred Thomas snatching Plymouth Moor View from Johnny Mercer.

Labour MP Luke Pollard
Labour's Luke Pollard celebrated holding his Plymouth Sutton and Devonport seat [BBC]

Mr Mercer, who was the Conservative minister for veterans' affairs, received 12,061 votes while Mr Thomas received 17,665 votes.

Mr Thomas said he wanted to do "very well" in the role.

"I really want to deliver for constituents and for the voters who put their trust in me," he said.

"Doing that will be a huge honour."

It means the overall picture for Devon sees the Liberal Democrats with six seats, the Conservatives with four and Labour with three.

The four remaining Conservative consistencies in the county are South West Devon, Exmouth and Exeter East, Torridge and Tavistock and Central Devon.

South West Devon was won by new MP Rebecca Smith with 17,916 votes and a 34.3% share of the vote.

It was a close call though, with Labour's Sarah Allen receiving 15,804 votes and a 30.3% share.

In the 2019 general election, the Conservatives held this constituency, with Gary Streeter winning 62.4% of the vote – with 33,286 votes in total.

Kevin Foster
Conservative candidate Kevin Foster described it as a "disastrous night" for his party [BBC]

Exmouth and Exeter East needed a partial recount after David Reed beat Labour's Helen Dallimore by just 121 votes.

Torridge and Tavistock's Geoffrey Cox took 31.6% of the vote, beating Liberal Democrat candidate Phil Hutty by 3,950 votes.

Central Devon was the last constituency to be declared and the most marginal following a recount.

Mel Stride held on to his seat with 16,831 votes, just 61 votes more than Labour's Ollie Pearson.

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