Thank you to the voters of North Wiltshire for renewing your faith in me and your support for me. 32,373 people voted Conservative, 25 votes fewer than in 2017, but still 59% of all of those who voted. The majority in numbers went down a bit to a pretty healthy 18,000, because Labour lost about 3700 votes which largely transferred to the Liberal Democrats. They scored 27%, and Labour 10%. (I remain puzzled by the Lib Dems absurd Bar Chart campaigning method. – You remember: ‘Only the Lib Dems can beat James Gray here. Recent polling shows we are only 4% behind Gray.’ Wrong by a factor of 10.
Thank you too to my magnificent campaign team, so ably led by Nick Botterill and Ashley O’Neill. We touched every corner of North Wiltshire, as I believe it is my duty (and pleasure) to do. But we also found some time to help in Cheltenham (where we held off a tough Lib Dem challenge) and especially Stroud (which we won) as a contribution towards Boris Johnson’s great overall victory. We also lent a hand, although in the event they probably did not need it, in Thornbury and Yate, and Chippenham. A particular vote of thanks is due to my wife, Philippa, who has been central to the campaign, on the road every single day, but has also kept every aspect of the domestic agenda running.
On a side note, we do not want to create any littering of the countryside and will be taking down all Conservative posters used during the campaign. However, if anyone sees any posters that we may have missed please do either just take them down or let me know and we will ensure that they are removed.
In return for your votes, I renew my pledge to all of you to do what I can to serve the people of North Wiltshire; people from every corner of it, people of every kind, and people of every political persuasion and none. You cannot please all of the people all of the time. But you can be certain that every single thing I do and say, every single vote I cast will be for the benefit of the people of this great area as a whole.
That, I think, matches the Conservative Party’s pledge to swathes of Labour voters, especially in the Midlands and North of England who have ‘lent’ us their vote. They wanted to see Brexit done, and they could not stand their hapless Leader. We will now do all we can to repay their trust, and do so in spades. The Conservative Party has throughout history been the party of every class and area of Britain. Our strength was traditionally in the great cities. And so it must be again. The superb victory we won last Thursday – a clear majority of 80 seats, and getting on for double the number of Labour MPs, gives us the strength to drive forward our domestic agenda- the NHS, schools, roads, the environment, the public services, defence, in the way we promised during the Campaign. The Government looks set to hit the ground running in so many of those areas, barely taking a day or two off for Christmas.
The people have given us their trust and their votes. We must now repay that by delivering what they wanted and what we promised. You can be certain that we will.