GENERAL ELECTION: Labour vote surges across Sussex

Labour's share of the vote surged across Sussex with the party taking Brighton Kemptown easily from the Tories and running them close in a number of areas.

Hove's Peter Kyle and Brighton Kemptown's Lloyd Russell-Moyle celebrate Labour's election success in the city, with city council leader Warren Morgan
Hove's Peter Kyle and Brighton Kemptown's Lloyd Russell-Moyle celebrate Labour's election success in the city, with city council leader Warren Morgan

Home Secretary Amber Rudd retained her Hastings and Rye seat by her fingertips by just 346 votes after a full recount, fighting off leader of Hastings Borough Council Peter Chowney.

Labour ran the Tories close in Crawley where Henry Smith was re-elected, while in Hove Peter Kyle turned a slender advantage from 2015 into a massive majority of more than 18,000 votes.

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The only other change was in Eastbourne, where Stephen Lloyd won back the seat he lost to Conservative Caroline Ansell in 2015.

Eastbourne General Election - Town Hall 8/6/17 Stephen Lloyd wins (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170906-042135001

Meanwhile in Lewes, the other Sussex seat that flipped from the Lib Dems to the Tories two years ago, saw Conservative Maria Caulfield increase her majority.

Rather than increase her majority in the Commons as was widely expected, Prime Minister Theresa May is confronted with a hung Parliament, and is facing calls to resign this morning (Friday June 9).

Under Jeremy Corbyn the Labour Party outperformed expectations, and its candidates secured second-place finishes in every constituency in West Sussex.

As predicted the UKIP share of the vote evaporated both nationally and in Sussex, with Labour appearing to be as much beneficiaries of this as the Tories.

General election count at Horntye Park, Hastings. Peter Chowney and Amber Rudd SUS-170906-061608001

After beating Tory Simon Kirby in Brighton Kemptown, newly elected Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle said: “I am very pleased and delighted that the people have given their trust to me and I hope that we will be able to take their hopes forward and achieve success for people across the constituency from Woodingdean to Peacehaven from Moulsecoomb to East Brighton.

“We will work hard to make sure that there is a future for their children, their health service, and for their houses.”

After his election win in Eastbourne, Mr Lloyd said he was looking forward to ‘returning to work and getting the best deal for Eastbourne immediately’.

In East Worthing and Shoreham, Labour candidate Sophie Cook, who was bidding to be the country’s first transgender MP, reduced Tim Loughton’s majority to just 5,106 votes.

General election count at Horntye Park, Hastings. Amber Rudd SUS-170906-061401001

She said: “We fought a campaign based on belief, integrity, honesty and policies, and we reached out to more of our constituency than any party had ever done.

“Yesterday the country voted for change, nationally and here in East Worthing & Shoreham. They voted for a more caring society, for the many, not the few.

“We still have a way to go to achieve that change here, in our constituency, but we will continue fighting towards that aim.”

Meanwhile Labour’s Susannah Brady, who finished second behind Conservative MP for Horsham Jeremy Quin, added: “Thank you so much for believing in us. It’s very easy to write Labour off. We have proven that we can make that kind of leap in four weeks of campaigning. Imagine what we can do in the next five years.”

Greg Mountain Labour candidate for Mid Sussex with party members

Apart from Crawley and East Worthing and Shoreham, West Sussex Conservatives were returned with large majorities.

This was also the case in two East Sussex constituencies, Bexhill and Battle and Wealden, where Huw Merriman and Nus Ghani were respectively returned to Parliament.

Conservative Gillian Keegan, who was elected Chichester MP early this morning, became only the third woman to be elected to Parliament in West Sussex.

Nationally both Labour and Lib Dems picked seats off the Tories across England and Wales, but the impact was lessened by Conservative gains in Scotland at the expense of the SNP.

High profile figures to be unseated include former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, and former first minister of Scotland Alex Salmond.

What do you think of the results? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

Gillian Keegan, new Tory MP for Chichester (photo submitted).