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Triumphant Burt retains Solihull while Spelman is returned with a thumping majority

THEY said every vote would count and it did - Lib Dem Lorely Burt has managed to cling on to her seat by less than 200 votes.

lorely burt

THEY said every vote would count and it did - Lib Dem Lorely Burt has managed to cling on to her seat by less than 200 votes.

After three counts and more than nine-hours, the result was declared this morning. Mrs Burt polled 23,635 votes, just edging Ms Throup’s 23,460.

The result was met with thunderous applause by Solihull's Liberal Democrats, who had waited all night to see if their candidate could keep her place at Westminster.

Ms Burt said she had been overwhelmed by the support and promised to work hard for local residents.

“I’m really humbled by the majority, there’s a real sense of deja vu [she had an almost identical majority when she won the seat in 2005].

“I would like to thank everyone who stayed so late and worked so tirelessly for us, it’s been an incredible night.”

Like Caroline Spelman, who had won Meriden a few hours before, Mrs Burt admitted that the national picture remained unclear.

“It will probably be 24 hours before we know what the situation is,” she said.

Mrs Burt also paid tribute to her opponent, who had hoped to wrestle back control of Solihull.

Although Mrs Burt is the incumbent MP, the result will actually be classed as a Lib Dem gain - because boundary changes made the seat “notionally Conservative”.

Ms Throup also thanked supporters for their help during the campaign.

Solihull constituency results: Lorely Burt (Lib Dem) - 23,635, John Ison (UKIP) - 1,200, Sarah Merrill (Labour) - 4,891, Andrew Terry (BNP) - 1,624,

Maggie Throup (Conservative) -23,460, Neill Watts (SAMRA) -319

Meanwhile a delighted Caroline Spelman was returned as Conservative Party MP for Meriden on Friday morning with a thumping majority of over 16,000 over Labour’s Ed Williams.

As the vote for Solihull went to a re-count, Mrs Spelman said: "I’d like to thank the electorate of Meriden for putting their trust in me.

"Whoever governs there will be some tough choices to make and I hope there will be a strong government to follow.

"I am indebted to so many people who have gone the extra mile for me."

Labour polled 10,703 votes, a massive 11.7 per cent down in 2005, while the Lib Dems’ Simon Slater polled 9,278.

The result was declared at 5.35am after a massive turnout of 72.4 per cent in Solihull and 63.7 per cent in Meriden put the results timetable hours behind schedule.

Mark Rogers, returning officer, said the process had also been hampered by some voters who had taken postal votes to polling stations.

However, the candidates didn’t think that Solihull had been hit by some of the difficulties that had caused havoc in other parts of the UK - such as a shortage of ballot papers.

Candidates were practically unanimous in praising the turn-out, but it seemed that most people had decided to keep their support with the three main parties.

Neill Watts, standing for SAMRA in Solihull, said: "I think the situation has squeezed the vote of the smaller parties and in Solihull it seems they have decided to go with either the Lib Dems or Tories."

Meriden constituency result: Barry Allcock (UKIP) 1,378, Frank O’Brien (BNP) 2,511, Nikki Sinclaire (SAMRA) 658, Simon Slater (Lib Dem) 9278, Caroline Spelman*(Cons) 26,956, Elly Stanton (Greens) 678, Ed Williams (Labour) 10,703



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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