Conservative Mike Penning has today retained the seat that he has held in Hemel Hempstead since 2005.
Mr Penning took to the stage at the Sportspace in the town centre after it was announced that he had secured 26,245 votes, 53% of the total.
In his victory speech, he joked: “I am incredibly humbled and deeply honoured to be voted in for a third term, but it doesn’t get any easier!
“I am very proud of our town and surrounding area and I’m very aware of the trust invested in me by the people of Hemel Hempstead.
“I will continue to work hard for local people and put the needs of the Hemel Hempstead constituency first and foremost in everything I do.
“Whatever happens in the coming few days, I’m a constituency MP at heart and I will do everything I can to help local people in whatever way I can.
“I thank everyone who voted for me and all the many, many people who helped during my campaign. I am looking forward to getting on with the job.”
Referring to his opponents, he said: “It was very hard to lose and the guys put their heart and soul into it.
“One of the reasons we can stand up here today, on the 70th anniversary of VE Day, is because of a generation that defended our country so we could have a democracy.”
Mr Penning went on to thank the counting staff for their dedication and paid tribute to his wife and daughter, who were standing in the crowd.
Coming second was Labour’s Tony Breslin who secured 11,285 votes.
He said: “It has been a great honour and a privilege to fight this campaign, and to seek to engage with the people of Hemel Hempstead and the wider constituency.”
He also paid tribute to the counters, who had been counting votes for more than nine hours.
He said: “They have been fantastic. It has been a fine privilege to have people welcome me into their homes and work places, and I have been touched.
“We will keep campaigning because we think that is reallt important. We will keep doing it because we believe it’s the right thing to do.”
Mr Breslin was followed by UKIP’s Howard Koch, who had 7,429 votes.
Lib Dem Rabi Martins – who went home before the count was announced – came in fourth with 2,402 votes.
Green Party candidate Alan Borgars secured 1,660 votes and independent Brian Hall came in last with just 252 votes – both lose their £500 deposits.