TEST Valley residents have reacted to a Conservative candidate who stormed to victory in last week's General Election.

Caroline Nokes, who has been been the MP for Romsey and Southampton North since 2010 after gaining the seat from Liberal Democrats, won the seat for the fourth time after bagging 27,862 votes.

In 2017, Ms Nokes secured 28,668 votes, which is approximately three percent down on the last election.

Liberal Democrat Craig Fletcher, who finished in second with 16,990 votes, gained 11.9 percent since the 2017 election when the party won 10,662 votes under Catherine Royce.

Labour candidate, Claire Ransom finished with 5,898 votes after losing 7.7 percent of the vote since 2017, while UKIP's Geoff Bentley (640) came fourth.

Ms Nokes said: "“I’m both delighted and honoured to have been elected to serve my community again in Parliament.

No one would doubt this has been a fairly unusual year, both nationally and for me as a local MP, but the fact that my vote has held within a tiny percentage is, I think, a testament to the high level of service I strive to give my constituents."

Chairman of the Romsey and Southampton North Conservative Association, Nick-Adams King, said: "We are very pleased with the result, we put in an awful lot of work and we faced a Liberal Democrat campaign that was clearly far better funded than ours.

"The Liberal Democrats also targeted former Labour and Green voters to vote tactically, but we are happy Caroline's majority stayed the same.

"Caroline's majority is still bigger than it was in 2010 and you have to remember in 2010 this constituency was still a Liberal Democrat seat."

He added: "I think the three percent drop Caroline had is because this area in on balance a Remain vote area and in Remain areas the Conservatives vote did go down.

"I think people recognise Caroline as a moderate one nation Conservative MP."

Cllr Alan Dowden, who represents Valley Park on the borough council, said: "This has been a major achievement for the Liberal Democrat candidates; Craig Fletcher was a fantastic candidate, but unfortunately he was against the Brexit situation where the Conservatives had brought out the get Brexit done message.

"Craig cannot knock himself because he could not have worked any harder and we all worked our socks off."

He added: "People were also fearful of Jeremy Corbyn and if the party got rid of him a long time ago then they could have had a very different situation.

"In Winchester, they had an excellent Liberal Democrat candidate, Paula Ferguson, who could have got rid of Mr Brine."