Page last updated at 05:05 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 06:05 UK

Tory leader David Cameron retains Witney seat

David Cameron
Mr Cameron said it was clear that the country wanted change

The Conservative leader David Cameron has retained his seat in Witney in Oxfordshire and increased his share of the vote to nearly 60%.

Mr Cameron picked up 33,973 votes to win ahead of the Liberal Democrats' Dawn Barnes who had 11,233 votes.

In Oxford West and Abingdon, Lib Dem Evan Harris lost the seat he held for 13 years by 176 votes to the Tories.

The Conservatives held their seats in Henley, Wantage and Banbury, while Labour retained Oxford East.

After the announcement in Witney Mr Cameron said the Labour government had lost its "mandate" to govern the country.

Mr Cameron said in his speech: "Nationally we have to wait for the full results to come out but I believe that it is already clear that the Labour government has lost its mandate to govern our country.

"Most important of all, what is clear from these results is that this country, our country wants change. That change is going to require new leadership."

Opera singer

He said the Conservatives stood ready to do what they could to help bring about "strong, stable, decisive and good government".

Promising to put the "national interest first", Mr Cameron said he would be guided by what was right for the country.

The only seat to change in Oxfordshire was Oxford West and Abingdon.

Dr Harris, who has been the MP there since 1997, narrowly lost his seat to the Tories' Nicola Blackwood, who polled 23,906 votes - only 176 more than Harris's 23,730 votes.

Ms Blackwood then fulfilled a promise to sing live on air on BBC Oxford.

Earlier in the night she promised she would sing if she won - after fellow Tory MP Ed Vaizey revealed she is a trained opera singer.

Nicola Blackwood
Nicola Blackwood scraped into the Oxford West and Abingdon seat

Dr Harris posted a message on Twitter to his supporters following his defeat.

He wrote: "Sorry that you guys have to share my disappointment. thanks for the messages. I'm Ok & will come back from this and re-win."

In Henley, John Howell was re-elected with 30,054 - a 16,588 majority over the Liberal Democrats. He first won the seat in a by-election in 2008.

Ed Vaizey retained his seat in Wantage with 29,284 votes - 13,547 ahead of the Lib Dems.

The Tories' Tony Baldry also held Banbury with 29,703 votes - 18,227 ahead of Lib Dem's David Rundle.

Labour's Andrew Smith won in Oxford East with 21,938 votes.

The Lib Dems had seen Oxford East as a target seat which they were hoping to win but they came second with 17,357 votes - 4,581 behind Labour.



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