VICTORIA Prentis has held her Conservative seat in Banbury.

She won the majority vote of 34,148, which was announced just after 4.30am this morning at Spiceball Leisure Centre in the town.

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Ms Prentis received more votes than in the 2017 General Election, where she gained 33,839.

She hopes that with a 'stonking' majority, she will help take the country forward.

She said: "This is obviously a great day for my party, the Conservative party. We’re having a whole series of extraordinarily good results. 

"This will enable us to - I hope - get Brexit done, but I hope it will enable us to do so much to concentrate on the other issues which we found some consensus on during the course of the campaign.

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"To concentrate on the climate emergency and to concentrate - as we all said we wanted to do - repeatedly on helping the most vulnerable people in society.

"I really hope with this stonking majority that we will be able to take the country forward in a unified and positive way."

This year, voter turnout of 70.24 per cent was 3.5 per cent lower than last year which saw a 73.6 per cent turnout.

Candidates who were up against Ms Prentis included Suzette Watson (Labour), Tim Bearder (Lib Dem) and Ian Middleton (Green).

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They watched as votes were counted all night, whereas Ms Prentis arrived at around 3am.

Despite the exit polls predicting a Conservative majority, Ms Watson was hopeful for a win, but after the result was declared he said she does not know what is next.

She said: “I wanted to win.” When asked what was next for her political career, she said: “I really don’t know. I’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Mr Middleton, who is also a district councillor for Kidlington East, said: “I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to keep my deposit. I think I did slightly better than I did in the last election so that’s a positive - you just have to look at the positives in these things.”

He will be at two Cherwell District Council meetings next week, one of which will include discussions about the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway which he is committed to preventing.

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Mr Middleton said he did not want any majority vote in this election but would have preferred a coalition government instead.

Similarly,  Mr Bearder expressed his views that a coalition between the smaller parties is the best solution. 

He said: “What we’re going to have to do is break from this tripartite opposition to beat Victoria Prentis and work out a sensible coalition.

“My treaty really is that if you’re going to persuade people to not vote Conservative - which they have to do in their thousands to stop Victoria winning that massive majority - we’re going to have to have a centre moderate ground party and it's simply not going to be Labour because of it’s socialist manifesto.

“The people voting Conservative are not going to buy into that.”

Despite Mr Bearder's loss, the Lib Dems received more than double the amount of votes this election with 8,831 compared to 3,452 in 2017. He added: "We've created a real buzz amongst the local party so there's real momentum and a platform to build on."