SWINDON stayed blue after Justin Tomlinson and Robert Buckland clinched victory in the General Election – but it was a narrow win for Mr Buckland.

Mr Buckland saw his majority reduced to just 2,464, down from 5,785 in 2015. He was pushed all the way by Labour’s Sarah Church, who polled 22,345 to his 24,809.

Mr Tomlinson will return to Westminster for his third term representing the constituency where he served as a councillor for over 10 years.

Justin received 29,431 votes, with Labour’s Mark Dempsey taking the second spot with 21,096 votes.

The result had never really been in doubt and the Conservative team had been confident of success since the beginning of the campaign.

But it was the size of the majority that many were watching closely. In 2015, it was 11,786 votes but this time around Labour took a dent out of that number and narrowed the gap to 8,335.

A delighted Justin Tomlinson sought to divert opinion from the importance of majorities, instead stressing the size of his individual vote.

“I’m delighted to have been given an opportunity to continue representing my fellow local residents,” he said.

“I’m thrilled to have secured a record result of over 29,000 votes.

“We were cautiously optimistic in that campaign and I’m delighted that for the second election in a row I was the first Conservative MP elected on the night.

“What we’ve seen in this election has been a focus on the two main parties.

“The fringe parties have completely fallen by the wayside and voters have coalesced around whether they want Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn to be the Prime Minister.

“By a decisive, record number, they have backed myself and Theresa May.

“North Swindon has always been the seat that hands the keys to the winning Prime Minister and if North Swindon is anything to go by it’s going to be a good night for the Conservatives.”

For Labour’s Mark Dempsey it was a night of mixed emotions as he took the runner up spot for the second election in a row.

“I think we feel really pleased to have closed the gap on the Conservative Party,” he said.

“But more so for me is the fact that 21,000 people in this election have voted Labour.

“We detected in this election that those 21,000 people wanted a voice.

“The Labour Party has given those people a voice, with an exciting set of policies on schools, on restoring the NHS, and on building a fairer society.

“That’s an incredible thing to see.”

In 2015, it was UKIP that clinched third place in North Swindon with more than 8,000 votes.

This time around their vote disappeared and they were left with only 1,564 – a total that saw candidate Steve Halden relegated to fourth place in the constituency.

Mr Halden may have had a feeling that it would not be his night as he was a no-show at the count.

The Liberal Democrats came back from a disappointing fifth place in 2015 to take third, with political newcomer and outspoken Brexit opponent Liz Webster receiving almost 2,000 votes.

The Green Party rounded off the night with 858 votes for Andy Bentley.

The South Swindon result came in at 1.10am, just as the Adver went to press. The turnout there was 71 per cent.

A reduced Conservative majority in North Swindon and a better-than-expected exit poll had Tory nerves jangling. Early indications were that there was evidence of tactical voting by some Liberal Democrat and Green voters which would bode well for Labour candidate Sarah Church.