Election 2015 England

Norman Baker loses Lewes while Greens' Caroline Lucas re-elected

Norman Baker
Image caption Norman Baker was a Home Office minister in the coalition government

Norman Baker, the former Lib Dem Home Office minister, has said his political career is over after he lost his Lewes seat to the Conservatives.

Mr Baker, an MP since 1997, resigned as a minister in November after a public spat with the Home Secretary Theresa May over UK drugs laws.

Fellow Lib Dem Stephen Lloyd has lost his Eastbourne seat to the Tories.

Caroline Lucas held on to Brighton Pavilion for the Green Party while Labour won Hove back from the Tories.

Peter Kyle took the seat with a majority of 1,236 over the Conservatives. The Lib Dems came fifth, behind the Greens and UKIP.

Ms Lucas, who won with a majority of almost 8,000, said: "We've shown we can represent the people."

Amber Rudd retained Hastings and Rye seat for the Conservatives. The seat was one of Labour's target seats.

Health service concerns

Image caption Maria Caulfield defeated Norman Baker to take the Lewes seat for the Conservatives

Maria Caulfield, who won the Lewes seat for the Conservatives, said: "I'm over the moon - it was a very close election.

"The incumbent MP had been here for 18 years and certain things hadn't happened which people feel strongly about, including improvements to the A27, the rail service and Newhaven town."

She said people were also concerned about health services moving from Eastbourne District General Hospital to Hastings.

"The national scene probably takes precedence and people were choosing their next prime minister," she said, adding Mr Baker had been a hard working MP.

Political career 'over'

Mr Baker said: "I don't think it was about anything which happened here. We ran a good campaign.

"This is about the national picture and fear of the SNP.

"My political career is finished as far as I'm concerned. I shall now do something else. I will not be standing for Parliament again."

Defeated Mr Lloyd, who had won Eastbourne from the Tories in 2010, said: "To serve a town like Eastbourne and the people of Eastbourne is such an enormous privilege, I've just loved it.

"For anyone who says an MP can't do anything, they're so wrong.

"You know if you're a hard working MP you can so much - you can do so much good.

"I've achieved more for good in Eastbourne in the last five years than in the previous 30."

Mr Lloyd lost his seat to the Conservative's Caroline Ansell by 733 votes.

Brighton's Green MP

Image caption Carline Lucas increased her majority for the Greens in Brighton Pavilion

Ms Lucas said: "I'm disappointed, of course, not to be joined on the benches by some more Green voices but more people voted Green than ever before.

"We will hold Parliament to account and push for real reform," The Greens' only MP said.

"I'll be campaigning in earnest for electoral reform, so in future those votes translate into representation.

"It's time for change - for a politics that better reflects the people, a politics that is a transparent, accountable and truly representative public service."

Image caption Peter Kyle is the sole Labour representative from the South East

'Multicoloured city'

Peter Kyle took the only seat for Labour in the South East, after winning Hove and Portlade from the Conservatives with a majority of 1,236.

The previous Conservative MP, Mike Weatherley, stood down at the last election.

Mr Kyle said: "Today I feel an immense sense of pride and overwhelming sense of responsibility.

"It's a huge honour to have been elected the member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade.

"I promise to work everyday to repay the trust you have put in me."

Emilie Fellingham, from Brighton tweeted: "A multicolour city retaining its multicolour reputation" #sevote green, red and blue! #GE2015"

More on this story

Around the BBC