Tory candidate Caroline Johnson talks of perils of campaigning in Sleaford and North Hykeham

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 it looking hard to overturn her 13,000 vote majority won at December’s by-election, Tory candidate Caroline Johnson was looking as confident as possible ahead of the general election result for Sleaford and North Hykeham tonight (Thursday/Friday).

Talking to The Standard at the counting hall, Mrs Johnson said: “You will have to wait for the votes to be counted and we will see in a few hours time.

“It is natural to feel nervous and that’s good because it keeps you keen to do the right thing.”

She said no conclusions could be drawn from the first few results.

Mrs Johnson said unlike the by-election, the focus had very much swung towards the national campaigns which is 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.

With turn out lower at the by-election, the big test will be if Mrs Johnson ends up with a majority similar to her predecessor Stephen Phillips achieved in 2015 when he won a 24,000 vote majority.