Patrick McLoughlin claims election victory

PATRICK McLoughlin has won the race to become the first MP for the newly-formed Derbyshire Dales constituency - and the Liberal Democrats have come second.

The Conservative candidate, who had represented West Derbyshire for 14 years until boundary reforms this year, collected 24,378 votes.

Mr McLoughlin said: "I'm delighted to have been re-elected for the Derbyshire Dales and I'm delighted to have achieved 50 percent of the vote."

He also thanked staff at the count and his wife Lynn for her support.

There was a big turnout, as expected after televised leaders debates and a high-profile campaign, with 73.96 percent of those eligible to vote visiting polling stations - a rise on the 69% turnout in the 2005 election.

Liberal Democrat candidate Joe Naitta came second with 10,512 votes. He thanked his team and those that supported and voted for him.

Labour candidate Colin Swindell came third with 9,061 vote.

Mr Swindell thanked his "fantastic" campaigning team and family. "Whatever's happened tonight I will continue fighting for the Labour party," he said.

Ian Guiver, of UKIP, came fourth with 1,779 votes.

The Green Party's Josh Stockell finished fifth with 772 votes.

Nick Delves of the Monster Raving Loony Party came sixth with 228 votes.

Humanity candidate Amila Y'Mech finished with 50 votes.

Votes were counted at Wirksworth Leisure Centre.

Returning officer David Wheatcroft declared the result at around 3.30am.

For more about the voting and reaction to the results, buy the Matlock Mercury on Thursday.