Conservative Jack Lopresti has run out the clear winner in the vote for the Filton and Bradley Stoke constituency.
Labour’s candidate Ian Boulton defied the bookies’ odds to clinch second place by a narrow margin over Peter Tyzack of the Liberal Democrats.
- Jack Lopresti (Conservative) 19,686
- Ian Boulton (Labour) 12,772
- Peter Tyzack (Liberal Democrats) 12,197
- John Knight (UKIP) 1,506
- David Scott (BNP) 1,328
- Jon Lucas (Green Party) 441
- Ruth Johnson (Christian Party) 199
- Vote Zero-None-Of-The-Above 172
How the count unfolded at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre
A sterling performance by the count team from South Gloucestershire Council saw the result declared by just after 1:15am, well in advance of the 4am estimate of the Press Association. This was despite the constituency registering a massive 70.1% turnout, compared to the national average of around 65%.
Ballot boxes began arriving at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre within minutes of the polling stations closing at 10pm and the majority had been delivered within the first half hour.
With the count taking place in the main sports hall, cars delivering the boxes were directed to the rear of the Leisure Centre, from where the boxes and sacks were carried into the hall via the back door.
The team of 84 counters then got to work, first checking that the number of votes in each box tallied with the number given by the Presiding Officers. The papers were then sorted according to chosen candidate and collated into large boxes in the centre of the hall.
An army of party supporters observed the count, attempting to keep their own tally of the votes cast for each candidate.
Seven of the eight candidates arrived at the count within the first hour, leaving favourite Jack Lopresti to complete the line up shortly before midnight.
A Conservative victory could be foreseen from as early as 11pm, when observers estimated Mr Lopresti’s share of the vote at around 40%.
By 11:30pm, the boxes in the centre of the hall were showing the Conservatives as having claimed 16,000 votes with the other two main parties trailing on 9,000 votes each.
Shortly before 1am, the Conservatives had reached 18,000, with Labour and the Lib Dems fighting it out for second place on 12,000 apiece.
The candidates soon began to assemble for the formal declaration of the result by the Returning Officer, which came just after 1:15am.
Supporters politely saved their cheers until the Returning Officer completed her speech, which was then followed by Mr Lopresti thanking all and sundry in the time-honoured manner.
Second-placed Ian Boulton couldn’t resist a jibe against Mr Lopresti for his support for the re-introduction of fox hunting and he called on the new MP to do his utmost to support the aerospace industry in the constituency.
As might be expected, Zero None-Of-The-Above made the most of his few minutes in the spotlight with a lengthy speech calling for reform of the voting process.
The BNP representative, who was last to speak, was noticeably snubbed by the other candidates, who left the ‘stage’ en masse as he began to talk.
It was then left for Mr Lopresti to complete the obligatory round of media interviews before heading off to celebrate with his supporters.
Last 5 posts in Politics
- Jack Lopresti re-elected for fourth term as MP - 18th December 2019
- Former Bradley Stoke mayor launches new political party - 2nd October 2019
- Liberal Democrats select prospective candidate for Filton and Bradley Stoke - 16th March 2019
- Labour party selects local MP candidate - 22nd March 2018
- Jack Lopresti holds FaBS but has majority halved - 9th June 2017