Harlow General Election count Live

Politics / Thu 7th May 2015 at 09:51pm

By Maurice Richmond

So that’s it, congratulations to Robert Halfon as he wins and increases his majority. Harlow is a Conservative seat for the next five years.

Commiserations go to Suzie Stride, Sam Stopplecamp, Murray Sackwild, Geoffrey Seeff, Dave Brown and Eddy Butler. But they can be proud of the way they fought the election campaign.

That’s all from me, thank you for following our coverage.

Good morning.

Suzie Stride, in her speech following the announcement of the result, said:

“I want to say thank you to the returning officer, council staff who have helped tonight.I also thank the wonderful Harlow Labour Party who are amazing inspiring people.

“It’s been a long and hard campaign, it’s been a great campaign, lots of fun.

“I would like to congratulate Robert Halfon and wish him all the best.”

“To the residents of the Harlow, thank you for your support.”

Robert Halfon: “It wasn’t about a six weeks election, I’ve been championing Harlow for the last five years been a hardworking community MP for Harlow residents.

“Cutting fuel duty, ensuring students from disadvantaged backgrounds have free school meals at the college.”

“In the face of intense provocation, I campaigned on a relentlessly positive campaign. I didn’t even mention my opponents in my literature and I campaigned on my record.”

“I want to carry on focusing on the issues that matter to real people, particularly jobs. We’ve made huge progress in cutting unemployment in the town. But, there’s so much more to do. We’ve got to get youth unemployment down. I want to carry on supporting apprenticeships and see them coming to Harlow.”

“I live in Harlow, I love Harlow and I champion Harlow.”

Robert Halfon has retained his Harlow seat, polling 21,623 votes. Suzie Stride took second place with 13,272 votes. Sam Stopplecamp polled 7,208 votes in third place.

Suzie Stride breezes in, still no sign of Halfon in the hall.

65.27% General Election voting turnout in Harlow, up 0.1% on last election’s figure.

Labour’s Suzie Stride and TUSC’s Dave Brown are yet to grace us with their presence. The caffeine must be wearing off, whispers going around suggest our result time has been pushed back to 4am.

Lib Dem Geoffrey Seeff is the epitome of calm, “pretty relaxed.”

Whether or not it was down to the caffeine, we’re on time. Results estimated to be given at 3:30am. From the boxing analogy, the wait moves us more into cricketing realms.

No Las Vegas style boxing weigh in planned for the candidates, they just seem to be floating around the Leisurezone at their own pace as we’ve moved into Friday morning.

Word in the sports hall is that the Green Party’s Murray Sackwild has resigned himself to fourth place.

The vast rainforest of ballot papers knocking around here is matched by the number of coffee cups on show, everybody seems to be getting their caffeine fix in early. Mine’s a Red Bull.

00:00 The Others
Sam Stopplecamp – UKIP:
“Common sense” politics has been Stopplecamp’s byword throughout this campaign, and he hopes his experience as a provider of a community transport scheme can motor his way towards Halfon and Stride.

UKIP will be looking to bounce back from that by-election defeat, and has predictably dropped comments in about an EU referendum, in addition to employment and the cost of government.

It could well be a long night ahead for him.

Dr Geoffrey Seeff – Liberal Democrats:
Seeff has resolutely defended his party’s coalition with the Tories, and performed particularly well at the Hustings.

The Accountant has focused his campaign on NHS funding and has made valid points, however his Harlow connection is tenuous at best.

A wise and experienced voice, for a party largely expected to struggle in this election.

Murray Sackwild – Green
Sackwild also performed strongly at the Hustings, particularly in the eyes of younger voters.

He has seemingly got to grips with issues relevant to Harlow, and the town could double in size in the next thirty years. Whilst unlikely to make headway in this election, most commentators would argue he has given a good impression of himself.

Dave Brown – Trades Union and Socialist Coalition.
“Why are we paying for the mistakes made by the bankers?” Brown has proved a candidate never shy at coming forward on the attack.

His manifesto makes for impressive reading, but ultimately costings will ultimately prove an issue.

Eddy Butler – English Democrat
Butler made a few appearances early on and then was seen no more. The Loughton man was also on the offensive at the Hustings, his campaign certainly hasn’t lacked aggression.

23:45 Suzy Stride – Labour:
Halfon does have a tough opponent across the other side of the road, namely Labour’s Suzy Stride.

An East End girl, who came to Old Harlow via Cambridge, she’s been determined to wrestle back Labour’s control of Harlow after losing it to the Tories five years ago.

Her agenda has mainly focused on Sure Start centre closure, plans to help a struggling A and E and tackle unemployment.

Where Cabinet Minister Iain Duncan Smith supported Halfon at Bingo, comedian Eddie Izzard made a memorable appearance in Harlow as part of Stride’s campaign.

She does have a strong pedigree, yet some may argue that she would need to spread herself across more issues outside public services to serve as an MP in Harlow.

A strong candidate, but she has a tough task on her hands.

23:40 Robert Halfon – Conservative:
Seen by many as the odds-on favourite to retain his seat in this election, the last five weeks has seen Halfon’s campaign-trail park regularly by the BP garage on the A414. Given his high-profile Petrol Promise campaign, the move was quite symbolic.

His detractors will point to his voting record in the commons on issues such as the minimum wage, equal-marriage and VAT.

But ultimately, most will argue he has batted well for Harlow. Engaging with the community, local businesses and charities. In addition to standing strong on key issues in Harlow, including fighting against closure of respite centres and illegal encampers.

Halfon is held in high regard by his party, and they expect him to win comfortably.

23:00 Good evening, and a very warm welcome to Harlow’s General Election Result night. I’m Maurice Richmond, and I’ll be taking you through proceedings tonight, and indeed right through until tomorrow morning when we get the result we’ve all been waiting for.

My drive here to the Leisurezone took me along the A414, which has bizarrely proved to be a key battleground for most of the parties over the last five weeks of campaigning.

Coming up shortly, we’ll go through a guide of the runners and riders in the race to become Harlow’s MP.

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