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High-profile GPs lose seats in Conservative landslide


By Isabel Shaw
13 December 2019

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Three high profile GPs have lost their seats in yesterday’s General Election – including Sarah Wollaston, who defected from the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats earlier this year.

In total, 22 GPs stood for election across the UK but only five were elected, all of which were Conservative.

Labour candidate Dr Paul Williams lost his marginal seat in Stockton South losing 7.4% of the vote share to Conservative Matt Vickers.

Prior to polling, Liberal Democrat candidate Brendan Devlin had urged Teessiders to ‘vote tactically’ appearing to endorse his opponent Paul Williams, describing him as ‘an honest, sincere man’ who was ‘committed to social justice’.

Former Conservative Bracknell MP Dr Phillip Lee failed to win the Wokingham seat from veteran Conservative John Redwood. Dr Lee defected to the Liberal Democrats in September, leaving the Government without a majority.

But he did make considerable advances, winning an additional 21.7% of the vote share.

 

Tough fight

 

It was a tough fight for Dr Wollaston and Dr Lee, whose constituencies both had large Conservative majorities.

Former Tory MP Dr Wollaston denounced Prime Minister Boris Johnson as someone ‘prepared to lie and avoid scrutiny’ as she lost her Totnes seat in Devon to Conservative Anthony Mangnall.

Dr Wollaston, who defected to Change UK in February before moving across to the Liberal Democrats in August, was previously chair of the Liaison Committee and Health Select Committee.

She faced a hostile election campaign with her agent, councillor John Birch, claiming one resident said he wanted to ‘see Sarah’s head on a pike’.

Yesterday she received 15,027 of the votes, trailing behind the Conservatives on 27,751.

 

Seats won

 

In Wales, Dr James Davies won back the marginal Vale of Clwyd seat from Labour’s Chris Ruane, winning an additional 2.3% share of the ballot with 17,270 votes.

He narrowly won the seat in 2015 from Ruane who had held the constituency for 18 years. Dr Ruane won the seat back again in 2017.

Dr Liam Fox comfortably held his majority in Somerset North as did Dr Luke Evans in Bosworth, Leicestershire and Dr Julian Lewis in New Forest East who secured 64.5% of the vote.

Meanwhile, Dr Andrew Murrison held his Conservative seat in Wiltshire South West with 33,038 votes.

A minor cabinet reshuffle is expected following the Conservative election victory, which saw the party gain a majority of 76.

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