Conservatives hold Sleaford and North Hykeham with increased majority

Recently elected Tory MP Caroline Johnson has held her Sleaford and North Hykeham constituency seat which she won at a by-election just six months ago.

Labour came a reasonably strong second but Mrs Johnson achieved an increased numerical majority.

She said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been re-elected as the Conservative MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, my home constituency. I am pleased with the increased majority relative to the last general election.

“It has been a mixed picture nationally but there is a long way to go.

“My intention now is to get on with the job of representing Sleaford and North Hykeham.”

Prior to the result, talking to The Standard at the counting hall, Mrs Johnson had said: “It is natural to feel nervous and that’s good because it keeps you keen to do the right thing.”

Re-elected with bigger majority. Caroline Johnson (Conservative) with husband Nik. EMN-170906-041635001

Re-elected with bigger majority. Caroline Johnson (Conservative) with husband Nik. EMN-170906-041635001

Mrs Johnson said unlike the by-election, the focus had very much swung towards the national campaigns which was natural. People have mostly been talking on the doorsteps about national issues, especially making sure Brexit is delivered.

The former paediatrician said the health service had cropped up very little apart from regarding Grantham Hospital.

She said: “The focus has been on the economy, Brexit and social care and elderly care issues.”

Having been attacked by a dog during canvassing for last month’s county council elections, she said she had been in the wars again, this time being chased by a canine while a fellow canvasser had been bitten. “I have never run so fast,” she said.

Tory candidate Caroline Johnson at the counting hall in North Hykeham. EMN-170906-012242001

Tory candidate Caroline Johnson at the counting hall in North Hykeham. EMN-170906-012242001

With turn out lower at the by-election, the big test was if Mrs Johnson ended up with a majority similar to her predecessor Stephen Phillips achieved in 2015 when he won a 24,000 vote majority. She surpassed that, with around 25,000 majority, bucking the trend elsewhere in the country with a strong Labour showing resulting in a hung parliament.

Jim Clarke congratulated Mrs Johnson: “I am proud to represent a party that stands for the working people. I urge Dr Johnson to ensure that she looks to local people first particularly with Brexit potentially affecting workers’ rights and businesses. I hope she will fight to ensure our NHS services receive the support and funding they need.”

Full results are:

Sally Chadd (UKIP) 1,954

Jim Clarke (Labour) 17,008

Paul Coyne (Independent) 900

Caroline Elizabeth Johnson (Conservative) 42,245

Fiona McKenna (Green) 968

Ross David Pepper (Liberal Democrat) 2,722

In the Sleaford Town Council Quarrington Ward by-election:

Melody Shanahan-Kluth (Conservative) 1488

Linda Edwards-Shea (Labour) 672

Claudia Nel (Lincs Independents) 363

Francesca Richards (Independent) 221.

Turnout 73%

NKDC Ashby de la Launde and Cranwell Ward by-election:

Pearl Clarke (Lincs Independent) 1152

Quentin (Dan) Gray (Conservative) 1638

Turnout 70.1%