I think it is fair to say that very few people, me included, saw that result coming.
I would be lying if I was said I was not disappointed with the overall result. Quite simply, it was not the result I anticipated or wanted and my Party and I need to reflect on why we didn’t win an overall majority. That being said, in spite of a poorly received national campaign, I am delighted with the result locally and it is an honour and a privilege to be re-elected for a third consecutive time as your Member of Parliament.
Daventry had its highest turnout in a General Election since 1992, in the top 13% of the country, and I was fortunate enough to receive the highest percentage of the vote and the biggest vote increase in the County. For that especially, I am extremely grateful to everyone who turned out and voted for me.
I accept that there were many issues raised in the manifesto which turned people away from voting Conservative. Personally, I believe this was down to poorly explained policies more than poorly conceived policies. Some, like the inclusion of repealing the Hunting Act, even surprised me. However, for whatever reason the Conservative Party was unable to get our message across and we paid the price at the ballot box. Now that the dust is starting to settle I can assure you that as a Party, we will be working hard to understand what went wrong, and learning from the mistakes made in the campaign.
I am bemused that Jeremy Corbyn thinks he is ready to form a minority Government and that Labour were somehow victorious in this election. Yes, it was a disappointing night for my Party, and I accept that Labour picked up some unexpected seats in the country - like Kensington, but in reality they have 55 less MPs than the Conservative Party and also lost seats, like Mansfield and Stoke-on-Trent South.
My Party also secured 42.4 per cent of the vote overall – the highest share for the Conservative Party since 1983 and we also made great gains in Scotland.
So the Labour Party lost, just not as badly as was expected. Jeremy Corbyn does not have the numbers to form a government, even if he could get the Liberals and the SNP on board. And as with Labour’s economic policy, the numbers simply don’t add up.
What the country needs now more than ever is certainty, and having secured the greatest number of votes and the greatest number of seats in the General Election, it is clear that only the Conservative and Unionist Party has the legitimacy and ability to provide that certainty by doing what it can to form a government
Currently we are talking to the pro-union and pro Brexit DUP about a “confidence and supply arrangement” and I will welcome any deal being agreed, as it will bring the stability and certainty the whole country requires as we embark on Brexit and beyond.
There have been two commonly raised issues in the correspondence I have received from constituents: the Conservative Party’s commitment to equal rights and the implementation of Brexit. I would like to take this opportunity to assure you our commitment to each remains unwavering.
Conservatives in government introduced same sex marriage and earlier this year passed ‘Turing’s law’ to remove historic convictions for consensual acts. As we work with others to govern in the national interest – we will continue to promote and champion the equal rights we believe in.
In regards to our withdrawal from the EU I am confident we will guide the country through the crucial Brexit talks (that begin shortly) and deliver on the vote of the British people to leave the EU. This means leaving the single market, but retaining our access to it, stopping free movement and policing our borders properly so we can control immigration and leaving the Customs Union, so we can negotiate and sign up to new trade deals with countries outside of the EU. This is all work that needs to be done now and concluded by the end of March 2019 and only my Party has a plan for doing this.
If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch!
* the above graphic was taken from the BBC website, all rights reserved.