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Reform UK’s Phil Walton says vote share in North West Norfolk shows there is ‘appetite for new ideas’

North West Norfolk’s Reform candidate was left “genuinely delighted” with his number of votes at the general election.

Phil Walton believes his 8,697 votes are a sign that people in the constituency have “a strong appetite for new ideas and alternatives”.

He is therefore hoping to take this momentum into the next few years in a bid to secure even more support by the time the next election comes around.

Phil Walton was left ‘genuinely delighted’ with his 8,697 votes
Phil Walton was left ‘genuinely delighted’ with his 8,697 votes

Conservative James Wild was re-elected as North West Norfolk MP after receiving 16,097 votes on Thursday, with Labour’s Tim Leaver second with 11,143. Mr Walton placed third.

Speaking to the Lynn News, he said: “As a new party candidate with relatively low initial visibility in the area, securing 8,697 votes is a testament to the desire for change among the residents of North West Norfolk.

“This significant tally, coupled with the fact that we halved the number of votes for the incumbent, underscores a clear message: there is a strong appetite for new ideas and alternatives.

Rob Colwell was disappointed with his number of votes but thoroughly enjoyed his campaign for the Lib Dems
Rob Colwell was disappointed with his number of votes but thoroughly enjoyed his campaign for the Lib Dems

“Many constituents have shared with me that while they were reluctant to support Labour, they also felt that Reform UK was too new to risk their vote on this time around. Thus, many opted for a tactical vote in favour of the Tories.

“This insight is invaluable and highlights the strategic challenges and opportunities we face.

“I am already channelling this momentum into planning for the next five years. I am laying down a solid foundation, building on the substantial support received, and focusing on increasing my engagement and visibility in the community.

“The next election will be about solidifying this base and converting it into a platform for real change.”

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat candidate Rob Colwell admitted he was disappointed after the result, which saw him place fourth with 6,492 votes.

However, he told the Lynn News that he thoroughly enjoyed his campaign and found it “amazing” to speak to thousands of residents on the doorstep.

“Residents often commented that I was the first politician to knock on their doors in 40 years,” he said.

“I understand why people wanted to register a protest vote with Reform, following a lack of faith in the main two parties who both ran campaigns based upon fear. I’m proud of the positive campaign I ran as the only genuinely local candidate from the main three parties.

“There was no time to pause over the weekend - I’ve already written to the new Health Secretary Wes Streeting, asking him to speak with his treasury colleagues to ensure the funds to rebuild the hospital are released without delay.

“I’m so grateful to those who voted for me, to the messages of support, and to the teams of local volunteers who helped on my campaign.

“I will redouble my efforts and continue to promote our policies of fairness, liberalism and equality.”

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