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Last Updated: Friday, 6 May, 2005, 08:10 GMT 09:10 UK
Knight 'inspires' swing to Labour
Jim Knight MP
Mr Knight has secured his seat and increased his majority
Labour's Jim Knight has not only retained Dorset South but increased his majority in what was the party's most marginal seat.

It was in this constituency that Tony Blair chose to kick off his campaign, with Mr Knight holding on to a slim 153-vote majority from 2001.

But on Friday, he polled 20,231 votes with a majority of 1,812 (3.73%).

A delighted Mr Knight said: "I am stunned and overjoyed by the result."

Politics is a business where you cannot take anything for granted
Labour MP Jim Knight

He added: "I am going to carry on listening to the concerns of my constituents.

"By tackling issues such as affordable housing, affordable council tax - especially for pensioners, finishing off the relief road and trying to deliver a better police presence to keep the streets safer for everyone.

"I have lost a number of friends from Parliament and I feel very sad about that.

"Politics is a business where you cannot take anything for granted."

Champagne celebration

Mr Knight added that he would be cracking open a bottle of champagne with his family and his campaign team to celebrate his victory.

The Tories' Ed Matts received 18,419 votes, Lib Dem Graham Oakes polled 7,647 and UKIP's Hugh Chalker 1,571.

Vic Hamilton, of Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA), received 282 votes, Respect's Bernard Parkes, 219, Andrew Kirkwood Personality AND Rational Thinking? Yes! Party (PRTYP) polled 107, Colin Bex, of Wessex Regionalists, 83, and David Marchesi, Socialist Labour, polled 25 votes.

Mr Knight's victory confirmed a surprise 1.7% swing from the Conservatives to Labour.

The turnout was 48,584 (68.75%).