Caroline Nokes is MP for Romsey and Southampton North

Caroline Nokes dances after her election victory

Gidley ousted by the Tories

Gidley ousted by the Tories

Gidley ousted by the Tories

First published in News

IN the female head to head that nobody could predict, Conservative Caroline Nokes dramatically snatched victory in Romsey and Southampton North.

Amid jubilant scenes the Tory candidate was declared the winner of one of the country’s tightest marginal seats with a majority of 4,156 votes.

After a night of high drama, she smiled widely after finally beating her arch rival, the Lib Dem’s Sandra Gidley.

Mrs Nokes said: “It’s been a long five years since the 2005 election when I stood in this same hall and lost by one of the narrowest margins. I was determined then I would keep on fighting for the constituency and I think today’s result is vindication of five years hard work”.

The Conservative’s joy spelled bitter disappointment for the Liberal Democrats, who have held the seat since 2000.

After serving the people of Romsey as MP for the last decade, Sandra Gidley bowed out stoically. She said: “I really don’t think it’s anything I’ve done. It’s a bit frustrating and being respected doesn’t seem to be enough.”

Victory was all the sweeter for Mrs Nokes as she had been denied victory by the Liberal Democrats in 2005 when Mrs Gidley beat her by just 125 votes.

This time around, the Conservatives had earmarked the seat as number four on their target list to capture across the whole country, with leader David Cameron even paying a visit to Romsey.

The atmosphere at Mountbatten School in Romsey throughout the night was tense. There was a definite split in the mood in the two camps with the Tories exchanging smiles while the Lib Dems looked downbeat.

Romsey and Southampton North is a new seat, covering the affluent Hampshire town and the Tory-leaning Southampton suburb of Bassett.

Experts have calculated that had this seat existed at the time of the 2005 General Election, the Liberal Democrats would have won it by just 204 votes over the Conservatives.

Traditionally a Tory stronghold, Romsey was seized by the Lib Dems when Mrs Gidley won a by-election in May 2000.

Achieving a 12.6 per cent swing from the Conservatives, she became MP following the death of the sitting Conservative MP, Michael Colvin, and retained the seat in the successive 2001 and 2005 elections.

The 2010 election campaign was hard fought with accusations of dirty tricks. Both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats called in the police to complain of vandalism and the disappearance of prominent posters in the tight race for the seat.

With a 72 per cent turnout, the result was declared at 3.45am.

The bookies’ favourite, Mrs Nokes attracted votes by opposing fluoridation of local water supplies and imposed regional housebuilding targets.

A Test Valley borough councillor for the last 11 years, the new MP has lived in the Romsey area for most of her life.

She was educated at Thornegate School, Wellow, Romsey Abbey Primary School, Romsey School, La Sagesse Convent in Romsey and then Peter Symonds' College, Winchester. Mrs Nokes read politics at the University of Sussex from 1991 to 1994.

Comments (11)

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11:58am Fri 7 May 10

David Coram says...

The first lie within minutes of being elected! What audacity to claim that was a 'clean campaign.' It stank, as did infamous previous efforts - the tasteless Valentine's card debacle, for instance. The people of Romsey have swallowed Ashcroft's pill and let the foreign millionaire triumph over a superlative track record of hard work and sound judgement.

I am sure we will all get the opportunity to examine carefully the campaign accounts. I for one would like to be assured that spending on Tory propoganda fell within the legal limits, since a rough tally-up suggests this is highly unlikely to be the case. Perhaps this information might be voluntarily published before it is demanded - which it will be, by a very disappointed 50.3% of the electorate.
The first lie within minutes of being elected! What audacity to claim that was a 'clean campaign.' It stank, as did infamous previous efforts - the tasteless Valentine's card debacle, for instance. The people of Romsey have swallowed Ashcroft's pill and let the foreign millionaire triumph over a superlative track record of hard work and sound judgement. I am sure we will all get the opportunity to examine carefully the campaign accounts. I for one would like to be assured that spending on Tory propoganda fell within the legal limits, since a rough tally-up suggests this is highly unlikely to be the case. Perhaps this information might be voluntarily published before it is demanded - which it will be, by a very disappointed 50.3% of the electorate. David Coram
  • Score: 0

12:00pm Fri 7 May 10

Jammy Donut says...

Just how long before she is exposed as a puppet with Daddy Roy Perry pulling the strings
Just how long before she is exposed as a puppet with Daddy Roy Perry pulling the strings Jammy Donut
  • Score: 0

12:04pm Fri 7 May 10

David Coram says...

Oh, and since Mrs Nokes spoke so ardently at the Churches Together hustings on the sanctity of God-given life, no matter what the circumstances or suffering, may we soon expect a statement on the foxes' right not to be hunted to a frightening and painful death? 50.3% of the electorate would like to know. Thank you.
Oh, and since Mrs Nokes spoke so ardently at the Churches Together hustings on the sanctity of God-given life, no matter what the circumstances or suffering, may we soon expect a statement on the foxes' right not to be hunted to a frightening and painful death? 50.3% of the electorate would like to know. Thank you. David Coram
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Fri 7 May 10

FishlakeP says...

I'm surprised that the swing wasn't higher since Mrs Gidley was caught with her fingers in the till and having the highest expenses in hampshire. And what did she actually achieve in 10 years? Nothing. Okay she may have been high profile but I can't recall her getting any legislation on the books. I hope that when we have the inevitable election re-run that the result is replicated
I'm surprised that the swing wasn't higher since Mrs Gidley was caught with her fingers in the till and having the highest expenses in hampshire. And what did she actually achieve in 10 years? Nothing. Okay she may have been high profile but I can't recall her getting any legislation on the books. I hope that when we have the inevitable election re-run that the result is replicated FishlakeP
  • Score: 0

5:34pm Fri 7 May 10

Bartat says...

Coram and Donut are talking out of their posteriors! (As usual in Jammy's case!). Gidley abused the expenses system as per the dreaded Agent's Handbook and 99% of her claimed 20,000 helped were jobs her TVBC Councillors should have done. Now we have an MP who will do an MP's job! The LD campaign was the dirtiest ever and the insults against opponents beggared belief.
Coram and Donut are talking out of their posteriors! (As usual in Jammy's case!). Gidley abused the expenses system as per the dreaded Agent's Handbook and 99% of her claimed 20,000 helped were jobs her TVBC Councillors should have done. Now we have an MP who will do an MP's job! The LD campaign was the dirtiest ever and the insults against opponents beggared belief. Bartat
  • Score: 0

5:53pm Fri 7 May 10

Jammy Donut says...

Ilkley
Deluded and brain washed...you must be one of the clan Perry
Ilkley Deluded and brain washed...you must be one of the clan Perry Jammy Donut
  • Score: 0

7:52pm Fri 7 May 10

Bartat says...

Dodger,

One day - when you show your face - you'll realise I have never been brainwashed nor am I deluded - I don't say the same of you - just that you are ill-informed and give me just 30 mins of your time and I'll show you why. We seem to frequent the same watering holes so why don't you reveal yourself?

Are you a real Donut or just a Chicken??
Dodger, One day - when you show your face - you'll realise I have never been brainwashed nor am I deluded - I don't say the same of you - just that you are ill-informed and give me just 30 mins of your time and I'll show you why. We seem to frequent the same watering holes so why don't you reveal yourself? Are you a real Donut or just a Chicken?? Bartat
  • Score: 0

8:35pm Fri 7 May 10

warness says...

Bartat wrote:
Dodger, One day - when you show your face - you'll realise I have never been brainwashed nor am I deluded - I don't say the same of you - just that you are ill-informed and give me just 30 mins of your time and I'll show you why. We seem to frequent the same watering holes so why don't you reveal yourself? Are you a real Donut or just a Chicken??
Who is Roy Perry?
[quote][p][bold]Bartat[/bold] wrote: Dodger, One day - when you show your face - you'll realise I have never been brainwashed nor am I deluded - I don't say the same of you - just that you are ill-informed and give me just 30 mins of your time and I'll show you why. We seem to frequent the same watering holes so why don't you reveal yourself? Are you a real Donut or just a Chicken??[/p][/quote]Who is Roy Perry? warness
  • Score: 0

6:07am Sat 8 May 10

Bartat says...

Roy Perry is currently Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and when he was an MEP fought hard to reduce the costs of the Euro Parliament. He is also the father of Romsey's new MP.
Roy Perry is currently Deputy Leader of Hampshire County Council and when he was an MEP fought hard to reduce the costs of the Euro Parliament. He is also the father of Romsey's new MP. Bartat
  • Score: 0

8:08am Sat 8 May 10

Day Dreamer says...

Gidley goodbye.. Noakes No-hope shame we did not have a green party candidate round here!
Gidley goodbye.. Noakes No-hope shame we did not have a green party candidate round here! Day Dreamer
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Sun 9 May 10

dune says...

Ms. Nokes availed herself of the newly implemented facility for candidates for parliamentary elections to withhold their address from the ballot paper.

So beloved is she of her people that she skulks behind an adulteration of accountability before even being elected.
Ms. Nokes availed herself of the newly implemented facility for candidates for parliamentary elections to withhold their address from the ballot paper. So beloved is she of her people that she skulks behind an adulteration of accountability before even being elected. dune
  • Score: 0

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