Wallace retains Wyre and Preston North

Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace

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Ben Wallace retained his Wyre and Preston North seat.

Mr Wallace retained the seat with 26,528 votes, ahead of Benjamin Whittingham (Labour) with 12,377, Kate Walsh (UKIP) with 6,577, John Potter (Lib Dem) with 2,712 and Anne Power (Green) with 1,699.

The turnout figure was more than 70 per cent.

Mr Wallace said: “It is a great privilege to be an MP and even more to represent this constituency, At the end of the day it is about people not ideologies or rows.”

As party representatives gathered at Garstang YMCA, the result was declared at just after 5am this morning.

Mr Wallace had a slightly reduced majority from the 16,000 he held after the 2010 election in the affluent constituency, which is regarded as one of the safest seats in the North West.

But the other candidates who battled to make a dent in the Tory safe seat told The Gazette their efforts had not been wasted.

Mr Wallace’s election rivals say the fight was worth making.

Labour’s Benjamin Whittingham said: “This has been the most vigorous campaign we have fought in this seat and we have campaigned to make politics relevant to people.

“I want my community to get the best person and as long as the winner works hard for these constituents that is a good thing.”

Lib Dem John Potter said: “You have to do your best and even if you don’t get the votes you want it is still a privilege to get the support of the constituents who do vote for you.”

UKIP’s Kate Walsh said: “UKIP has created a dent in the Conservative vote thought campaigns for referendums we are aiming to give people a real voice and we feel we have plenty to build on in the next election.”

Mr Wallace went into the election defending a huge majority of almost 16,000 after he took 26,877 in May 2010.

The postal vote finished on Thursday at 77 per cent, with the overall turnout also expected to be high.

By 1.45am this morning counters were still completing the verification with counting starting at around 2.30am and the result coming at just after 5am.

Prior to the count beginning, Mr Wallace said: “There is really no such thing as a safe seat, when I was first elected 10 years ago there was a swing away from Labour.

“With all the boundary changes that have occurred over the years, nothing is guaranteed, just look what happened to Labour in 
Scotland.”

* In the print version of Friday’s Blackpool Gazette we incorrectly say that Mr Wallace’s majority has increased. We apologise for this error and are happy to include the correct information above.