Jubilant Tory Wyre and Preston North MP Ben Wallace retained his Wyre parliamentary seat at the general election and just days later was celebrating again - after getting a Government promotion.
The former soldier, who once served as an intelligence officer in Northern Ireland, has been promoted to Under Secretary of State at the Northern Ireland office.
Mr Wallace retained his Wyre and Preston North seat with a reduced majority at the expense of the Lib Dems, polling 26,528 votes, ahead of Benjamin Whittingham (Labour) with 12,377, Kate Walsh (UKIP) with 6,577, John Potter (Lib Dem) with 2,712 and Anne Power (Green) with 1,699. The turnout figure was 70.9 per cent.
“It is a great privilege to be an MP and even more to represent this constituency. At the end of the day it is about people not ideologies or rows,” said Mr Wallace, whose massive majority of 16,000 was reduced to just over 14,000, from the 2010 election, his constituency regarded as one of the safest seats in the North West.
Other candidates said their efforts had not been wasted. Labour’s Benjamin Whittingham said: “This has been the most vigorous campaign we have fought in this seat and we have campaigned to make politics relevant to people.”
UKIP’s Kate Walsh said: “UKIP has created a dent in the Conservative vote thought campaigns for referendums we are aiming to give people a real voice and we feel we have plenty to build on in the next election.”