Election 2015 England

Election 2015: Conservatives maintain Berkshire dominance

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Media captionThe Liberal Democrat vote dropped drastically in both Reading seats

The Conservatives have maintained their dominance across Berkshire, winning all but one seat in the county.

Richard Benyon, Theresa May, Adam Afriyie, John Redwood and Phillip Lee were all re-elected with increased majorities.

Fellow Tories Alok Sharma and Rob Wilson held off opposition challenges in Reading West and Reading East.

The only seat not to go blue was in Slough, where Fiona Mactaggart increased her majority for Labour.

'Whiskey and bacon'

Despite a bruising night for her party nationally, Mrs Mactaggart admitted the campaign locally had felt "extremely positive".

Image caption A victorious Labour team celebrated with Fiona Mactaggart in Slough
Image caption Labour's Fiona Mactaggart said her campaign felt "extremely positive"

"The people of Britain have grown up realising that after the recession, any party in government had to take on tough decisions," she said.

"I don't think that makes it easy for the opposition."

Labour would have fancied their chances of taking at least one of the two seats in Reading from the Conservatives, but their anticipated challenge failed to materialise.

Alok Sharma slightly increased his majority in Reading West to 6,650 while Rob Wilson weathered a slight fall in his Reading East advantage as the Liberal Democrat vote fell by 20%.

Rob Wilson said "Britain had chosen" to continue with the long-term economic plan of the Conservatives.

He said: "Tomorrow we start the hard work of finishing that job, but today I'm off for a bacon sandwich and a scotch whiskey."

He added that a third Thames bridge for Reading would be one of his priorities in the next parliament.

'Slagging off'

Re-elected Maidenhead MP Theresa May said in her victory speech she was "honoured" to be voted back in.

But speaking on BBC Radio Berkshire she avoided answering the question of whether she wanted to remain Home Secretary: "I've always taken a very simple view in politics that actually you wait to be asked and whatever job you're asked to do you just get on and do it to the best of your ability."

In nearby Windsor, Adam Afriyie was equally buoyant.

Image caption Bracknell MP Phillip Lee was among the seven Berkshire Conservatives to hold their seats
Image caption Counters in Wokingham were kept busy throughout the night

"I feel incredibly energised and I'm really just overwhelmed by the level of support," he said.

"I feel like I'm ready to get on and protect our constituency in the wider national picture."

The smiles were equally as broad for Richard Benyon in Newbury as he more than doubled his 12,248 majority from 2010 to more than 26,000.

He said he knew what style of campaigning his constituents liked: "My judgement locally is that people in West Berkshire like a positive message, and every piece of literature that I've written is about my record and about what I want to achieve/

"That cuts more ice with West Berkshire people than me slagging off my opponents."

"This is one of the most exciting, most invigorating and most demanding constituencies to represent and I feel very privileged to continue to represent it in parliament," he said.

"It's a challenge I absolutely relish."

Phillip Lee benefitted from a drop in the Liberal Democrat vote in Bracknell of 15% to return to parliament with a majority of more than 20,000.

Former Conservative leadership challenger John Redwood increased his majority by almost 11,000 in Wokingham as the Liberal Democrats experienced a similar decline in their share of the vote.

Image caption Bracknell UKIP candidate Richard Thomas was edged out in to third place behind Labour

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