CONSERVATIVE candidate Rishi Sunak swept to a resounding victory in the Richmond seat, building on his majority from the previous campaign.

In truth, there was never much doubt as to the outcome of the contest given that the constituency has been under Conservative rule since its formation in the early 1900s.

However, Mr Sunak was clearly pleased to have won almost 10,000 more votes than he did in 2015, with his total of 36,458 announced in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Northern Echo:

His closest competition came from Labour’s newcomer to the seat, Dan Perry, who took 13,350 votes.

The Liberal Democrats, The Yorkshire Party and The Green Party won 7,205 between them, with the Greens bringing up the rear.

Interestingly, UKIP did not field a candidate this year, despite coming second in the constituency in 2015 with more than 8,000 votes.

It would appear that Mr Sunak has been the main beneficiary of those lost UKIP votes.

The overall turnout was 71 per cent, with 57,148 votes cast – an increase on the 64.71 per cent in the last election in 2015.

Speaking after the declaration, Mr Sunak said he was “absolutely delighted” with the result.

He said: “It is really nice to have an improvement on the result we had a couple of years ago, but obviously having now had the job for a couple of years it is a small reflection on the work we have been doing and hopefully people can see that.

“We are over the moon and it is lovely to have all my friends, family and supporters here; it is really great.”

Mr Sunak thanked all those voted for him and said it was an “enormous privilege” to represent Richmondshire in Parliament, adding that he would continue to work hard on the issues that matter to residents.

Labour’s Dan Perry, a Newcastle councillor, described his vote share as “better than expected”.

And commenting on the national picture which saw Labour make some gains, he added: “It just goes to show people want something positive, the ending of the austerity message – people have had enough of that over the last seven years.”