Norman Lamb's double-celebration in North Norfolk
Victoria Leggett It is back to the day job for Norman Lamb today as he heads down to London for his first party meeting as re-elected Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk.
It is back to the day job for Norman Lamb today as he heads down to London for his first party meeting as re-elected Lib Dem MP for North Norfolk.
He had hoped to celebrate another important Norfolk victory - Norwich City's triumph in League One - at Carrow Road this afternoon but will have to relinquish his tickets in favour of parliamentary duties.
Having added 1,020 to his majority to make 11,626 and increasing his share of the vote by 2.3pc to take the seat for the third time, he was very happy anyway.
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He said it was a “great honour and privilege” to represent the people of North Norfolk adding: “There are some fantastic communities here and wonderful people who have been very generous to me and appreciative of the work the team and I have done.”
On the country's fate - and whether he expected to play a part in any future coalition cabinet - Mr Lamb remained tight-lipped.
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As Lib Dem health spokesman it is possible the 52-year-old could take on ministerial responsibilities if his party went on to forge a deal with Labour or Conservatives.
But he would not be drawn, saying: “We will just have to see what emerges. I don't think it's possible to reach any conclusions yet.”
Tory candidate Trevor Ivory admitted defeat was “disappointing” but said the result - which saw Labour's share of the vote drop from 9.2pc to 5.8pc - was a sign the country was “voting for change”.
Labour's Phil Harris was positive, insisting the result was important progress for the group which only managed fourth place in the 2009 European elections.
Michael Baker, of UKIP, who nearly trebled his party's votes to 2,680, said the strong performance for the party puts them in a good position for later battles.
RESULT: NORMAN LAMB (LD) 27,554; Trevor Ivory (Con) 15,928; Phil Harris (Lab) 2,896; Michael Baker (Ukip) 2,680; Andrew Boswell (Green) 508; Simon Mann (Ind) 95.
LD hold. Maj 11,626. Turnout 73.3pc