Stephen Crabb is celebrating an emphatic victory this morning (Friday), as he held onto his Preseli Pembrokeshire seat by an overwhelming majority.
The Preseli Pembrokeshire result was announced shortly after 4am, following a tense recount of both Labour candidate Mari Rees' and Liberal Democrat candidate Nick Tregoning's ballot papers.
Mr Crabb retained the seat by a majority of 4,605, a huge difference from the 2005 election when he took the seat from Labour with only 607 votes.
“I'm absolutely thrilled with the result,” he said. “To win with a substantially increased majority, we're delighted with that.
“We knew that it would be a tough fight, a close race. Pembrokeshire is a marginal area. To get returned with a majority of over 4,000 is very pleasing indeed.”
Mr Crabb thanked the voters of Pembrokeshire for giving him the opportunity to go back to Westminster and represent this “very very special constituency”, saying it was a huge
privilege and honour to be a member of parliament.
The former Tasker Milward student said his pledge to his constituents remained the same one he made five years ago.
“I don't want Pembrokeshire to have ever had a harder working MP than myself,” he said.
“My promise is to always put the interest of local people first, whatever the issue that comes up in the House of Commons.”
The Conservative team were planning to celebrate at Haverfordwest's Balfour Club followed by breakfast at the nearby Wetherspoons . Mr Crabb said he hoped that his party would find itself in a
position to form the national government.
“I do believe this country needs that change,” he said.
Mr Crabb's main opponent was Labour's Mari Rees, who moved back to her native Pembrokeshire to fight for the Preseli Pembrokeshire seat.
Ms Rees said that she was disappointed both for the people who voted Labour, and who wanted a Labour government, as well as her hard-working campaign team.
She said that the feeling on the doorsteps of Pembrokeshire had been very positive and supportive towards the Labour government.
“ I do think that we have been subject to the Lib Dem bounce and the national trend,” she added.
Mari said she had made Pembrokeshire her home and would be more than happy to stand again.
“We may not have been victorious this time,” she said, “ but we will be back and we will be victorious.”
The full results for the Preseli Pembrokeshire constituency were: Stephen Crabb (Welsh Conservative) 16,944 Mari Rees (Labour) 12,339 Nick Tregoning (Liberal Democrat) 5,759 Henry Ellis
Jines-Davies (Plaid Cymru) 3,654 Richard Maxwell Lawson (UKIP) 906