Re-elected South Holland and The Deeping MP John Hayes has called predictions that UKIP will win only one seat at Westminster a “death blow” to the party.
Mr Hayes was speaking after retaining his seat for the fourth time, with a 18,567 majority, on a night where the Conservative Party could gain enough MPs to be able to form a majority government.
UKIP were beaten into second place in South Holland and the Deepings where the party’s candidate David Parsons gained 10,736 votes.
Labour was pushed into third place after its candidate Matthew Mahabadi polled 6,122 votes, ahead of economics student Dan Wilshire who scored 1,580 for the Green Party.
On a bad night for the Liberal Democrats, George Smid came fifth with 1,466 votes.
Mr Hayes said: “I am very proud to have won here for the fifth time which makes me feel proud and makes me feel humble.
“I’ve had more people working for me in this campaign than ever before, 200 people ranging from my 14-year-old son (William) to the oldest voter who was 107.
“People know who I am, they know I work hard locally, they know that I do what I say I’m going to and I don’t promise what I can’t deliver.
“I’ve visited every part of my constituency in this campaign and met thousands of people which has been a great delight.” Mr Hayes could find out later today whether he will play a major role in a second term of a Conservative government, should predictions be borne out by actual results.
“It’s great news that the Conservatives are gaining seats and great that UKIP hasn’t broken through,” Mr Hayes said.
I hope we have seen the last in our area of the blemish that is UKIPMP John Hayes
“It may be that UKIP ends up with a solitary seat, half of what they’ve got now, and that will be a death blow for them.
“Then hopefully they will fade away and disappear from our sight, never again to create the blemish which they are on civilised society.”
Meanwhile, Mr Parsons said he was “ecstatic” about his second place finish and called it a “truly remarkable result”.
“To get nearly 11,000 votes when we only polled (about) 3,000 in (the) 2010 general election is a truly remarkable result,” Mr Parsons said.
“I’m ecstatic and I owe the people of South Holland and The Deepings because they have put their faith in us.
“It’s a huge platform for us to fight future elections on.
“People wanted to talk about bringing immigration, notably from the EU (countries) down, defending our public services and getting our country back.
“That was the message we took to people and we have a huge response from them.
“I would like to give my services again to people here in whatever election they choose to stand me in.”
But Mr Mahabadi admitted his disappointment in coming third, behind a party in UKIP that he claimed was using “scapegoating and blame to progress its political future”.
“I’m disappointed and I’d have loved to have achieved more, but I’m not surprised,” Mr Mahabadi said.
“One of the keys things that disappointed me most of all was that so many people chose to vote for the wrong sort of party.
“A party (UKIP) that basically uses scapegoating and blame to progress its political future.
“Overall, people have voted for moderate parties and now is a really good time for our democracy.”
FRIDAY 7AM: Convincing win for Hayes
John Hayes has this morning been elected to serve a fifth term as MP for South Holland and the Deepings.
After the count at Springfields Events and Conference Centre in Spalding, Hayes equalled his 2010 achievement in receiving about 60 per cent of the votes (29,303). Second place at the 4.30am count result was UKIP’s David Parsons with 21.7 per cent (10,736).
Third was Matthew Mahabadi of Labour with 12.4 per cent (6,122) and fourth the Green Party’s teenager Dan Wilshire with 3.2 per cent (1,580).
In keeping with a dismal night for the Liberal Democrats, George Smid came fifth with 3 per cent (1,466).
Turn out was 64.59 per cent.
Hayes told the Free Press immediately after his victory: “I am delighted and humbled.” But he added: “I hope we have seen the last of the blemish that is UKIP in our area.”
His vote was 366 down on last time, with UKIP increasing their share by 7,490 (up 15 per cent). Lib Dems were second in 2010 with 7,759 but lost 6,293 votes (down 13 per cent).
Labour were also third last time out but their vote goes down from 7,024 (down two per cent). The Green party’s Dan Wilshire saw his party gain 856 votes on last time (up two per cent).
Both Conservatives and UKIP performed better than at our hustings event opinion poll, where they scored 52 per cent and 15 per cent of the votes respectively.