Voters back Tories in council and general electionsBy Pete Castle
May 04, 2010
GERALD Howarth has been returned as Aldershot’s MP in an election that showed hardly any movement in the political fortunes of the main contenders.
The announcement at 4.20am on Friday showed that people in Aldershot and Farnborough appeared to have ignored 'Cleggmania' and the criticism Mr Howarth suffered over his expenses, on the whole following similar voting lines to those shown in 2005.
Mr Howarth said he was “delighted” with his win for the Conservatives, but admitted the result had not been a foregone conclusion.
In the end though, Liberal Democrat candidate Adrian Collett was unable to cut the 5,000-vote gap between himself and Mr Howarth.
While the overall result of the general election remained unclear on Friday morning, Mr Howarth said he was “available” to become a Tory minister – if he was wanted.
"I'm thrilled and honoured to be returned as the MP for Aldershot for the fourth time, and maintaining the Conservative tradition here," he said.
Aldershot has never been any colour other than blue since it was created as a constituency nearly 100 years ago.
North East Hampshire
The count for North East Hampshire did not take place until later on Friday morning, with the seat being one of the last constituencies in the country to declare a winner.
But at around 12noon on Friday, sitting MP James Arbuthnot was announced as the clear winner, with a massive majority of around 18,000 - albeit in a slightly different territory than his previous constituency, in which boundaries were redrawn for this election.
The seat now covers Fleet, most of Hart including Yateley, and large rural parts of the Basingstoke and Deane district, outside of the urban Basingstoke centre.
In Rushmoor, the Tories tightened their grip on power, taking a seat from the Lib Dems in Farnborough and regaining the seat that went to UKIP when former Conservative Eddie Poole defected last year. They now have 29 councillors on the council, while both Labour and the Lib Dems have six each.
In Hart, the Conservatives managed to tip the scales of power back in their favour on the council where they had previously relied on the support of Independent councillors to have a working majority.
The Tories secured an extra three council seats at the expense of one Community Campaign Hart candidate and two Independents.