THE roar of a crowd filled the tennis hall at Abingdon’s White Horse Leisure Centre as the results came in for the Oxford West and Abingdon poll.

Lib Dem candidate Layla Moran returned a huge vote of 31,340, or a majority of almost 9,000, and a far cry from her narrow victory of an 800 majority in 2017.

Ms Moran thanked her fellow candidates for an ‘amicable’ campaign where they had all got to know each other.

She said: “With over 50 per cent of the vote, we can see categorically that the people of Oxford West and Abingdon do not want to get Brexit done, because we know what it will to do our local economy.”

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She promised to protect the interests of Oxford’s universities, its car industry and science sector against the effects of Brexit.

The newly re-elected MP also promised to campaign on local issues including the A34 and the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway, saying in her speech at the podium that there was ‘no problem too little’ to approach her with.

Her nearest rival in the competition was James Fredrickson for the Conservative Party, backed by 22,397 electors.

Mr Fredrickson said: "Thank you to everyone who came out to vote for us. Our campaign stressed the importance of respecting the result of the referendum - and whilst we didnt win in the constituency, I'm hopeful that message landed across the country."

A member of Mr Fredrickson’s campaign team described the Tory campaign for the Oxford West and Abingdon seat as an entirely grassroots effort.

All of Conservative Central Headquarters’ campaigning efforts went towards smashing through Labour’s ‘red wall’ in the North, they said, so local campaigners were left to their own devices.

The campaign included an effort by Mr Fredrickson to draw the attention to local concerns over the route of the expressway by surveying 1,000 of his potential constituents.


Layla Moran

Coming in third and fourth place for the seat respectively were the Labour and Brexit Party candidates.

Labour’s Rosie Sourbut had the vote of 4,258 electors.

Ms Sourbut said the night’s result had already led the party to reflect on its future direction.

She said: “We have got to figure it out. I hope we can convince the country next time we are offering what they need.”

While most of the candidates did not arrive until late into Friday morning, Brexit Party candidate Allison Wild was watching the count from the start as ballot boxes were wheeled into the leisure centre from across the constituency.

Ahead of the vote being counted, she had conceded the contest for Oxford West and Abingdon, and by the break of dawn she discovered 829 voters in the constituency had given her their support.

Ms Wild said: “I thought that since it is not a leave majority seat I would expect to have a percentage of the leave vote... but realistically voters might be persuaded to vote for the Tories because of the scare tactics the Conservative team has been running.”

She said she hoped Mr Johnson’s new government would pursue a Brexit with no political, legal or tax alignment with the EU.

In the future, she said she would be keen to join Nigel Farage’s planned reform party to bring about a proportional representation voting system.

As victory was declared for Ms Moran, candidates exchanged hugs.