Newark by-election: Conservatives win comfortably as Ukip climbs up to second place

Lib Dems suffer latest political humiliation, coming sixth overall behind Green and independent candidates

Deputy Political Editor

David Cameron won a major boost when the Conservatives clinched a comfortable victory early today in the Newark by-election.

The party saw off a strong challenge from Ukip to retain the Nottinghamshire constituency, but saw its majority cut from more than 16,000 to 7,403.

The Tory candidate, Robert Jenrick, was elected with 17,431 votes and 45 per cent of the vote after the party poured massive resources into defending Newark, which was among its 50 safest seats at the last general election.

Roger Helmer, the former Tory Euro-MP who stood for Ukip, came a strong second with 10,028 votes and 26 per cent of the vote. The party had come a distant fourth in Newark in the 2010 general election with less than four per cent support.

Labour’s Michael Payne came third with 6,842 votes (18 per cent).

Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats suffered their latest electoral humiliation by limping in sixth behind the Greens and an independent with just 1,004 votes and 2.6 per cent support.

The by-election was caused by the resignation of Patrick Mercer after he was caught up in a lobbying scandal.

 

Today’s victory marks the first time for a quarter of a century that the Tories have won a by-election victory when they have been in government.

Conservative strategists were desperate to see off Ukip, which topped the poll at last month’s Euro-elections. They will seize on the Newark result as evidence that the bubble is beginning to burst for Nigel Farage’s party.

David Cameron visited the constituency four times, while all Tory MPs were ordered to campaign in the by-election and up to 1,000 party activists blitzed the area on polling day.

Ukip also, in Mr Farage’s words, “threw the kitchen sink” at the contest but found itself up against a formidable Conservative organisation.

For it to have defied the odds and win the seat would have provided one of the biggest by-election upsets in British political history. However, Ukip’s showing last night will come as a relatively disappointing for the party given its stunning successes in the Euro and town hall elections.

Mr Jenrick, the 32-year-old Tory victor, said: “I want to thank the prime minister for his personal support to my campaign and I want to thank the Government for its commitment to re-building Britain.

“I hope now I can repay the faith and trust that the people of Newark have put in me as your new member of parliament - and in the months and years to come I can build a reputation as a strong and effective MP.“

Speaking ahead of the declaration, Mr Farage said: “This has been a stunning campaign that we've fought in a very short space of time. We've been up against probably the biggest ever Conservative machine, defending about their 40th safest seat in the country. If the indications are right, we'll be celebrating a massive advance for our party.”

Newark by-election: result in full

Robert Jenrick (Con) 17,431 (45%, -8.8%)

Roger Helmer (Ukip) 10,028 (25.9%, +22%)

Michael Payne (Lab) 6,842 (17.7%, -4.7%)

Paul Baggaley (Ind) 1,891 (4.9%)

David Kirwan (Green) 1,057 (2.7%)

David Watts (Lib Dem) 1,004 (2.6%, -17.4%)

Nick The Flying Brick (Loony) 168 (0.43%)

Andy Hayes (Ind) 117 (0.30%)

David Bishop (BP Elvis) 87 (0.22%)

Dick Rodgers (Stop Banks) 64 (0.17%)

Lee Woods (Pat Soc) 18 (0.05%)

 

Con majority 7,403 (19.13%)

15.5% swing Con to Ukip

Turnout 52.7%

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent