ELECTION 2017 SOUTH NORTHANTS: Conservative's Andrea Leadsom sweeps to re-election victory with nearly two-thirds of total votes
Andrea Leadsom has been re-elected for a third term as the MP for South Northamptonshire.
The Conservatives, who have held the seat since 1950, comfortably maintained their majority and took 62.7% of the votes, an increase of 2.6% and some 4,000 votes on the 2015 election.
Mrs Leadsom said: "It's a privilege to serve as MP for such a beautiful place. It's been a fantastic campaign.
"I will work as hard as I can for the residents of South Northamptonshire, as I have done for the last seven years, and represent them whoever they are, wherever they are."
Mrs Leadsom's nearest rival in the historic Tory stronghold was Labour's Sophie Johnson, who grew her party's share of the vote to 17,759, a gain of around 7,000.
Speaking before the results were called, Mrs Johnson said: "I'm not going to get carried away. I'm very realistic and I know this is a safe seat for the Tories. I can only hope we increase our share of the votes."
In third place, Liberal Democrats' share remained almost exactly the same as last year, with Chris Lofts securing 3,623 - up only 10 votes on 2015.
Mr Lofts said: "I realise it's an uphill struggle for the Liberal Democrats here in South Northamptonshire, but we are quite active locally and we have four seats in the district council."
UKIP support in Northamptonshire South dropped from 8,204 votes in 2015 to just 1,363, while independent candidate Josh Phillips won 297.
Andrea Leadsom, who is also the Minister of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, says she has 'no doubt' that Theresa May will remain as Prime Minister by the end of the week.
She said: "I think Theresa May will continue as this country's Prime Minister. She is the right person to take us out of the EU and she is an exceedingly good leader.
"The Prime Minister was right to call this election and to give her the mandate she needs for the EU negotiations."
Looking to the future, Mrs Leadsom said: "I love my job as minister of state and I would love to keep carrying on doing it, but that as always is up to the Prime Minister."