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WATCH: Election 2015 means first woman MP for Eddisbury

Antoinette Sandbach says it is a 'huge honour' and pays tribute to predecessor Stephen O'Brien

Antoinette Sandbach has made history as Eddisbury's first female MP after securing 24, 167 votes in a tense count that stretched on for hours.

It came as no huge surprise that the former member of the Welsh Assembly managed to retain a Conservative victory in the notoriously safe Eddisbury seat, but Labour candidate James Laing put up a commendable fight with the ballot tables showing what appeared to look like a close call.

But as predicted, the Tories romped ahead, leaving Labour trailing behind with just 11, 193 votes.

It wasn't the best night for the other parties either - the Liberal Democrats received 4, 289 votes and the Green Party got 1, 624. UKIP fared better with 5,778 of the votes but 18 year old George Antar's CISTA party had the fewest number of votes at 301.

On the move

Ms Sandbach, who announced her official resignation from the Welsh Assembly said she would be moving to Eddisbury as soon as possible and couldn't wait to get started in her new role.

Speaking to clapping crowds, she said: "I want to thank the people of Eddisbury who have voted me in as their MP. I am committed to being a powerful advocate to this seat in Westminster and taking the voice of Eddisbury with me. It's a huge honour and I pay tribute to the work Stephen O'Brien has done with the seat over many years."

She spoke of key issues that she wants to tackle, including the regeneration of Winsford where she hopes to 'help deliver the Neighbourhood Plan, Rural broadband, planning and mobile signals'.

She also paid tribute to her colleagues and constituents in Wales, calling it a 'privilege' as well as those who helped on her campaign.

Smiles all round

Speaking to the Chronicle afterwards, Ms Sandbach couldn't hide her smiles as she said she 'can't wait to get to work'.

" I want to be a really good constituency MP who will fight the corner for what's important for people here which is regeneration, jobs, and planning issues," she added.

"I'm delighted people have trusted me to be their MP and I can't wait to get to work. "

Labour candidate James Laing congratulated his counterpart and conceded it wasn't the result he had hoped for but promised Labour would continue to fight.

"It's obviously not a result we had hoped for in Eddisbury but it was a challenging seat and Labour came a very close second. I look forward to fighting a fight here again."

Rob Millington, UKIP's candidate didn't appear to be too downhearted with his party's result, and said : "We've made a great deal of progress since 2010 and can work hard to build and continue the reputation we have now."

The Liberal Democrats' Ian Priestner agreed it had been a 'pretty dismal night' for his party but said 'a little light keeps flickering for liberal democracy' and wished Ms Sandbach the best in her new role.

Andrew Garman from the Green Party said he was 'very proud' to be the party's first candidate in Eddisbury: "We are a party who has had to grow slowly by we will be back in the next election."

And 18-year-old George Antar standing for CISTA which aims to legalise cannabis, raised a few smiles by addressing the crowd as "Sisters, friends and comrades alike."

He thanked those who had 'made our democracy possible and allowing me to stand.'

He said: "I may have been called a crackpot, and insane and been ignored but it hasn't worked because here I am. It shows some people in Eddisbury do actually think about this issue."


David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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