Gidley goes as Tories win Romsey

Caroline Nokes dances after her election victory

Caroline Nokes dances after her election victory

First published in Elections Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

IN the female head to head that nobody could predict, Conservative Caroline Nokes dramatically snatched victory in Romsey and Southampton North.

Amid jubilant scenes the Tory candidate was declared the winner of one of the country’s tightest marginal seats with a majority of 4,156 votes.

After a night of high drama, she smiled widely after finally beating her arch rival, the Lib Dem’s Sandra Gidley.

Mrs Nokes said: “It’s been a long five years since the 2005 election when I stood in this same hall and lost by one of the narrowest margins. I was determined then I would keep on fighting for the constituency and I think today’s result is vindication of five years hard work”.

The Conservative’s joy spelled bitter disappointment for the Liberal Democrats, who have held the seat since 2000.

After serving the people of Romsey as MP for the last decade, Sandra Gidley bowed out stoically. She said: “I really don’t think it’s anything I’ve done. It’s a bit frustrating and being respected doesn’t seem to be enough.”

Victory was all the sweeter for Mrs Nokes as she had been denied victory by the Liberal Democrats in 2005 when Mrs Gidley beat her by just 125 votes.

This time around, the Conservatives had earmarked the seat as number four on their target list to capture across the whole country, with leader David Cameron even paying a visit to Romsey.

The atmosphere at Mountbatten School in Romsey throughout the night was tense. There was a definite split in the mood in the two camps with the Tories exchanging smiles while the Lib Dems looked downbeat.

Romsey and Southampton North is a new seat, covering the affluent Hampshire town and the Tory-leaning Southampton suburb of Bassett.

Experts have calculated that had this seat existed at the time of the 2005 General Election, the Liberal Democrats would have won it by just 204 votes over the Conservatives.

Traditionally a Tory stronghold, Romsey was seized by the Lib Dems when Mrs Gidley won a by-election in May 2000.

Achieving a 12.6 per cent swing from the Conservatives, she became MP following the death of the sitting Conservative MP, Michael Colvin, and retained the seat in the successive 2001 and 2005 elections.

The 2010 election campaign was hard ||fought with accusations of dirty tricks. Both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats called in the police to complain of vandalism and the disappearance of prominent posters in the tight race for the seat.

With a 72 per cent turnout, the result was declared at 3.45am.

The bookies’ favourite, Mrs Nokes attracted votes by opposing fluoridation of local water supplies and imposed regional housebuilding targets.

A Test Valley borough councillor for the last 11 years, the new MP has lived in the Romsey area for most of her life.

She was educated at Thornegate School, Wellow, Romsey Abbey Primary School, Romsey School, La Sagesse Convent in Romsey and then Peter Symonds' College, Winchester. Mrs Nokes read politics at the University of Sussex from 1991 to 1994.

Comments (20)

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4:25am Fri 7 May 10

Adrian Smith says...

Perfect. 58.7% of those voting voted against her. Her views on the shooting in Chandlers Ford are no longer relevant. Welcome aboard Caroline.
Perfect. 58.7% of those voting voted against her. Her views on the shooting in Chandlers Ford are no longer relevant. Welcome aboard Caroline. Adrian Smith
  • Score: 0

6:25am Fri 7 May 10

Condor Man says...

CN worked very hard to win this seat, well done.
CN worked very hard to win this seat, well done. Condor Man
  • Score: 0

6:42am Fri 7 May 10

southy says...

Condor Man wrote:
CN worked very hard to win this seat, well done.
both work hard. but they will regret it later on in the year.
[quote][p][bold]Condor Man[/bold] wrote: CN worked very hard to win this seat, well done.[/p][/quote]both work hard. but they will regret it later on in the year. southy
  • Score: 0

7:00am Fri 7 May 10

Condor Man says...

southy wrote:
Condor Man wrote: CN worked very hard to win this seat, well done.
both work hard. but they will regret it later on in the year.
Perhaps if you applied yourself to push your views as CN has you might be in within a sniff of getting elected?
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Condor Man[/bold] wrote: CN worked very hard to win this seat, well done.[/p][/quote]both work hard. but they will regret it later on in the year.[/p][/quote]Perhaps if you applied yourself to push your views as CN has you might be in within a sniff of getting elected? Condor Man
  • Score: 0

8:44am Fri 7 May 10

Jammy Donut says...

Suckers
The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia
Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia Jammy Donut
  • Score: 0

8:58am Fri 7 May 10

southy says...

Jammy Donut wrote:
Suckers
The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia
how very true
[quote][p][bold]Jammy Donut[/bold] wrote: Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia[/p][/quote]how very true southy
  • Score: 0

9:01am Fri 7 May 10

Adrian Smith says...

Jammy Donut wrote:
Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia
Wrong - it's one step closer to a Tory government. We need a Tory government to deal with our debt crisis head on.
[quote][p][bold]Jammy Donut[/bold] wrote: Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia[/p][/quote]Wrong - it's one step closer to a Tory government. We need a Tory government to deal with our debt crisis head on. Adrian Smith
  • Score: 0

11:34am Fri 7 May 10

Brite Spark says...

Adrian Smith wrote:
Jammy Donut wrote:
Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia
Wrong - it's one step closer to a Tory government. We need a Tory government to deal with our debt crisis head on.
Whoever is PM when this is sorted, is going to have be very tough and unpopular on making decisions to help boost the struggling economy. I'm not a fan but Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling know their stuff with regard to the national economy, and are best placed to take charge of the recovery.
[quote][p][bold]Adrian Smith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jammy Donut[/bold] wrote: Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia[/p][/quote]Wrong - it's one step closer to a Tory government. We need a Tory government to deal with our debt crisis head on.[/p][/quote]Whoever is PM when this is sorted, is going to have be very tough and unpopular on making decisions to help boost the struggling economy. I'm not a fan but Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling know their stuff with regard to the national economy, and are best placed to take charge of the recovery. Brite Spark
  • Score: 0

11:52am Fri 7 May 10

Adrian Smith says...

Brite Spark wrote:
Adrian Smith wrote:
Jammy Donut wrote: Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia
Wrong - it's one step closer to a Tory government. We need a Tory government to deal with our debt crisis head on.
Whoever is PM when this is sorted, is going to have be very tough and unpopular on making decisions to help boost the struggling economy. I'm not a fan but Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling know their stuff with regard to the national economy, and are best placed to take charge of the recovery.
You are correct that they (and only they) know just how bad things are. But you are wrong if you think they are best placed to lower our debt. Brown has destroyed our economy over the past 13 years. Remove his UK credit cards now and cut them up!
[quote][p][bold]Brite Spark[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Adrian Smith[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jammy Donut[/bold] wrote: Suckers The only one to benefit by her election will be CN and the Perry mafia[/p][/quote]Wrong - it's one step closer to a Tory government. We need a Tory government to deal with our debt crisis head on.[/p][/quote]Whoever is PM when this is sorted, is going to have be very tough and unpopular on making decisions to help boost the struggling economy. I'm not a fan but Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling know their stuff with regard to the national economy, and are best placed to take charge of the recovery.[/p][/quote]You are correct that they (and only they) know just how bad things are. But you are wrong if you think they are best placed to lower our debt. Brown has destroyed our economy over the past 13 years. Remove his UK credit cards now and cut them up! Adrian Smith
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Fri 7 May 10

goard says...

Having very great problems with the NHS and at top surgeon's request asked me to arrange meeting with Romsey representative to bring to the attn the concerns of front line staff - Caroline Noakes, on the phone, said 'what is your number and I will be back to you I have something else I need to do'. I never heard from her again. Mrs. Gidley was the next line to call. Immediately she arranged meetings with said doctors and then off to Westminster she went to get an official answer to the surgeon's concerns. Since then she has followed up every conceivable query by her constituants. I have not met her, have not spoken to her except by e mail, but I have a very great faith in her genuiness and abilities AND now we have Caroline, I will hold my breath at her coming back to me, even though it was a year or so ago.

goard
Having very great problems with the NHS and at top surgeon's request asked me to arrange meeting with Romsey representative to bring to the attn the concerns of front line staff - Caroline Noakes, on the phone, said 'what is your number and I will be back to you I have something else I need to do'. I never heard from her again. Mrs. Gidley was the next line to call. Immediately she arranged meetings with said doctors and then off to Westminster she went to get an official answer to the surgeon's concerns. Since then she has followed up every conceivable query by her constituants. I have not met her, have not spoken to her except by e mail, but I have a very great faith in her genuiness and abilities AND now we have Caroline, I will hold my breath at her coming back to me, even though it was a year or so ago. goard goard
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Fri 7 May 10

Adrian Smith says...

goard wrote:
Having very great problems with the NHS and at top surgeon's request asked me to arrange meeting with Romsey representative to bring to the attn the concerns of front line staff - Caroline Noakes, on the phone, said 'what is your number and I will be back to you I have something else I need to do'. I never heard from her again. Mrs. Gidley was the next line to call. Immediately she arranged meetings with said doctors and then off to Westminster she went to get an official answer to the surgeon's concerns. Since then she has followed up every conceivable query by her constituants. I have not met her, have not spoken to her except by e mail, but I have a very great faith in her genuiness and abilities AND now we have Caroline, I will hold my breath at her coming back to me, even though it was a year or so ago. goard
"Mrs. Gidley was the next line to call"

Surely you start with the MP?
[quote][p][bold]goard[/bold] wrote: Having very great problems with the NHS and at top surgeon's request asked me to arrange meeting with Romsey representative to bring to the attn the concerns of front line staff - Caroline Noakes, on the phone, said 'what is your number and I will be back to you I have something else I need to do'. I never heard from her again. Mrs. Gidley was the next line to call. Immediately she arranged meetings with said doctors and then off to Westminster she went to get an official answer to the surgeon's concerns. Since then she has followed up every conceivable query by her constituants. I have not met her, have not spoken to her except by e mail, but I have a very great faith in her genuiness and abilities AND now we have Caroline, I will hold my breath at her coming back to me, even though it was a year or so ago. goard[/p][/quote]"Mrs. Gidley was the next line to call" Surely you start with the MP? Adrian Smith
  • Score: 0

2:16pm Fri 7 May 10

goard says...

Of course, Mr. Smith, naive as I was, at the time I was recommended to contact her and given her tel. No. I know better now and won't be doing it again even tho' she is MP - no confidence!
Of course, Mr. Smith, naive as I was, at the time I was recommended to contact her and given her tel. No. I know better now and won't be doing it again even tho' she is MP - no confidence! goard
  • Score: 0

3:50pm Fri 7 May 10

Paramjit Bahia says...

Wonder which class Sandra Gidley will travel now?
Wonder which class Sandra Gidley will travel now? Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

4:56pm Fri 7 May 10

Lone Ranger says...

goard wrote:
Of course, Mr. Smith, naive as I was, at the time I was recommended to contact her and given her tel. No. I know better now and won't be doing it again even tho' she is MP - no confidence!
Dont worry Goard it will only be for a couple years
[quote][p][bold]goard[/bold] wrote: Of course, Mr. Smith, naive as I was, at the time I was recommended to contact her and given her tel. No. I know better now and won't be doing it again even tho' she is MP - no confidence![/p][/quote]Dont worry Goard it will only be for a couple years Lone Ranger
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Fri 7 May 10

Jammy Donut says...

The only financial expertise of CN is the price of fizz at Waitrose
The only financial expertise of CN is the price of fizz at Waitrose Jammy Donut
  • Score: 0

5:58pm Fri 7 May 10

Bassett-Mikey says...

I have a lot of time for some of the Lib Dem policies, however with some exceptions, the folk presented for both the national and local election this year have left me cold! A local candidate - nice chap - with zero life experience, loses out - thank goodness!, a seasoned politition (SG) who sent dozens of semi-understandable leaflets to me, topping it off with a pseudo 'Dear Neighbour' letter, from which it was impossible to decipher the sender. They got what they deserve - lets home the new will work hard and help us all through the times to come! Best of luck to both of you!!!!
Mike
I have a lot of time for some of the Lib Dem policies, however with some exceptions, the folk presented for both the national and local election this year have left me cold! A local candidate - nice chap - with zero life experience, loses out - thank goodness!, a seasoned politition (SG) who sent dozens of semi-understandable leaflets to me, topping it off with a pseudo 'Dear Neighbour' letter, from which it was impossible to decipher the sender. They got what they deserve - lets home the new will work hard and help us all through the times to come! Best of luck to both of you!!!! Mike Bassett-Mikey
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Fri 7 May 10

Adrian Smith says...

goard wrote:
Of course, Mr. Smith, naive as I was, at the time I was recommended to contact her and given her tel. No. I know better now and won't be doing it again even tho' she is MP - no confidence!
I wonder why you were recommended to contact CN? She wasn't an MP, just a member of Test Valley borough council . You may as well have contacted me - at least I have a very close connection in a senior role at SUHT. SG was the shadow for health and always well placed to help you with medical stuff. Blame whoever mis-directed you.
[quote][p][bold]goard[/bold] wrote: Of course, Mr. Smith, naive as I was, at the time I was recommended to contact her and given her tel. No. I know better now and won't be doing it again even tho' she is MP - no confidence![/p][/quote]I wonder why you were recommended to contact CN? She wasn't an MP, just a member of Test Valley borough council . You may as well have contacted me - at least I have a very close connection in a senior role at SUHT. SG was the shadow for health and always well placed to help you with medical stuff. Blame whoever mis-directed you. Adrian Smith
  • Score: 0

9:43pm Fri 7 May 10

Denzil says...

That will teach Gidley to take the kebab van away from The Luzbrough and turn the pub into wine bar.
That will teach Gidley to take the kebab van away from The Luzbrough and turn the pub into wine bar. Denzil
  • Score: 0

10:46pm Fri 7 May 10

treakleworker says...

What a con. The Lib Dems pleaded with the voters for Romsey not to vote labour as it would let the tories in,then the LD,s were let down by the voters so now they want to suck up to them. What an insult to their supporters. The might just as well ignored them & voted Tory. Well done Lib Dems
What a con. The Lib Dems pleaded with the voters for Romsey not to vote labour as it would let the tories in,then the LD,s were let down by the voters so now they want to suck up to them. What an insult to their supporters. The might just as well ignored them & voted Tory. Well done Lib Dems treakleworker
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Tue 11 May 10

Milly in Bassett says...

Sandra said: “I really don’t think it’s anything I’ve done. It’s a bit frustrating and being respected doesn’t seem to be enough.” How true Sandra - being honest would have helped - your expenses were an outrage - £180k expenses (inc your rent) and pocketing £30k for yourself! Methinks you should seriously reconsider your position and pay it back.
Sandra said: “I really don’t think it’s anything I’ve done. It’s a bit frustrating and being respected doesn’t seem to be enough.” How true Sandra - being honest would have helped - your expenses were an outrage - £180k expenses (inc your rent) and pocketing £30k for yourself! Methinks you should seriously reconsider your position and pay it back. Milly in Bassett
  • Score: 0

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