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Election 2017: Chloe Smith holds Norwich North - but only by a narrow margin

PUBLISHED: 04:08 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:55 09 June 2017

Chloe Smith has retained her Norwich North seat. Photo: Luke Powell

Chloe Smith has retained her Norwich North seat. Photo: Luke Powell

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Conservative candidate Chloe Smith has retained her Norwich North seat - but only by a margin of just over 500 votes.

Chris Jones. Picture: Matthew Usher.Chris Jones. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Just two years ago at the 2015 general election, Ms Smith was a comfortable 4,463 votes ahead of her closest rival, Labour’s Jess Asato.

But tonight, she saw that lead close to just 507 votes against Labour candidate Chris Jones.

Ms Smith, who has represented Norwich North since 2009, said she was “delighted” with the result.

However, she refused to answer any questions regarding Labour’s gain, adding that she did not “fret” about numbers.

“I take nothing for granted ever in the work I do here in Norwich North,” she said.

“I am delighted to have been reelected to serve and I never focus on the numbers within that. I am honoured that so many people have put that trust in me, and I would have been honoured whether it was a majority of one or 100.

“There is a lot of work ahead and a lot I want to carry on doing for my constituency.”

The Conservative candidate received 21,900 votes - narrowly beating Mr Jones, who received 21,393.

They were followed by Liberal Democrat Hugh Lanham, who took 1,480 votes, Green Party candidate Adrian Holmes, who received 782 votes, and Pirate Party candidate Liam Matthews, who received 340.

A further 82 ballot papers were spoiled.

Mr Jones, who received applause as his result was read out at The Space in Sprowston, said it was “frustrating” to have missed out by such a narrow margin.

But he said he had a “huge amount” of gratitude towards those who voted for him

“Obviously it is frustrating to miss out by such a small margin,” he added. “And to think that those 21,000 people won’t have the Labour MP they had hoped for.

“I have been saying to people for last two weeks that it was going to be close one way or another. It was always going to be a stretch to win a seat like Norwich North.”

This year’s election saw 68.68pc turn up to vote in Norwich North - an increase on the 67.8pc who voted in 2015.

Green candidate Adrian Holmes said: “The Green vote got squeezed and we knew it was going to happen. In a way I am quite sad Chris Jones could not get in.”

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