WATCH: Normally mild-mannered MP Norman Lamb celebrates after retaining North Norfolk seat

PUBLISHED: 06:36 09 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:29 09 June 2017

General Election 2017. North Norfolk count. Norman Lamb MP with his wife Mary. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

General Election 2017. North Norfolk count. Norman Lamb MP with his wife Mary. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

archant 2017

It was always expected to be one of the most keenly contested seats in the General Election.

And with UKIP urging its 8000 supporters to vote Conservative, it didn’t look good for Norman Lamb in North Norfolk, who only held a majority of half that from last time around.

The Liberal Democrat candidate revealed he had put his heart and soul into representing the constituency in parliament over the past 16 years.

But with the Conservative candidate James Wild being joined on the campaign trail by some of his party’s most senior members, Mr Lamb admitted he thought his time had come to an end.

MORE: Norfolk General Election Results 2017

When he retained his seat, he admitted he felt enormous relief - which will explain the normally mild-mannered MP’s extremely enthusiastic celebrations after giving his winner’s speech at the count in North Walsham in the early hours of Friday morning.

The Liberal Democrat candidate polled 25,260 votes - 3512 votes more than Conservative candidate James Wild, who polled 21,748 votes.

However, despite turnout up to 75.84pc compared to 71.96pc in 2015 and 73.30pc in 2010, his majority was cut from 4043 at the last election in 2015.

MORE: Election 2017: We’ve got a hung parliament, so what happens now?

Labour’s Stephen Burke polled 5180 votes.

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