The Conservative Party has held the seat of Rushcliffe with 28,765 votes, a majority of 7,643.

Conservative candidate Ruth Edwards takes over from former Father of the House Kenneth Clarke, who has held the seat for nearly five decades.

Edwards was delighted to win, saying: “I’m absolutely thrilled. I’m really honoured and excited. It’s a huge privilege.

“My first constituency engagement is on Saturday, then I’ll be off to Westminster next week. I understand we’ve got a Queen’s Speech, swearing in and probably even a Brexit bill before Christmas – so lots to get on with!”

She was keen to acknowledge the guidance she received from Clarke during the campaign, saying: “Ken’s been a fantastic support. We’ve met with him quite a few times since I’ve been selected. He’s given me lots of advice about Parliament and the constituency.

“It’s been a privilege to get to know him. He’s a fantastic guy,” she said.

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Runner-up Cheryl Pidgeon, who received 21,122 votes, was positive in defeat.

“I’d like to thank all the electorate that have voted with us from different parties and have tried to make the difference here. We’ve had an incredible campaign and I’m immensely proud of my brilliant team,” she said.

Pidgeon was also keen to recognise the contribution of Clarke to Rushcliffe and the UK. “I’d like to pay tribute to Ken Clarke, who’s been an outstanding ambassador for this constituency and this country.”

Turnout in Rushcliffe increased for the sixth consecutive year, with 78.85% of the electorate voting on December 12.

Liberal Democrat Jason Billin gained 9,600 votes, with UKIP’s Matthew Faithfull earning 591, and independent candidate John Kirby winning the votes of 427.