Three GPs elected MPs as Dr Louise Irvine steals chunk of Hunt majority
GP Dr Paul Williams has won his bid to unseat the Conservative Party in his constituency of Stockton South, while two other GPs held their seats following last night’s general election results.
Dr Williams, a GP at Tennant Street Medical Practice and chief executive of Hartlepool and Stockton Health GP federation, drew 48.5% of the vote, just edging out the Tory candidate James Wharton by 888 votes.
During his campaign, Dr Williams emphasised his plans to make the NHS one of his top priorities as MP.
Stockton South falling to Labour with swing of 5.7% is most significant result of the night. @theresa_may electoral strategy demolished— Robert Peston (@Peston) June 9, 2017
Elsewhere in the country, Dr Philip Lee, a Conservative MP, held on to his seat in Bracknell with 58.8% of the vote.
Conservative Totnes MP and former chair of the House of Commons health select committee, Dr Sarah Wollaston, also held on to her seat with 53.7% of the votes.
But other GPs campaigning for a seat were not as successful.
Dr Diana Warner, Green Party candidate in Filton and Bradley Stoke, and Dr Louise Irvine, who was hoping to unseat health secretary Jeremy Hunt in South West Surrey, both failed to get enough votes.
But Dr Irvine, who represented the National Health Action party, described the result as ‘amazing in such a safe Tory seat’ as she gained 20% of the votes – an 11.5% increase on 2015.
She told Pulse: ’It means that our party is very relevant. It plays a vital role in alerting the public to what’s happing to the NHS but also holding to account Jeremy Hunt, and also the politicians that make decisions on the NHS to show that they can’t just get away with saying "everything’s fine, we’re spending more money". Everything is not fine.’
She added that her party’s gains show that their message resonates with people, and she said she expects those gains to grow.
Former Conservative MP Dr James Davies also lost out. The Vale of Clwyd GP lost his seat to Labour MP Chris Ruane, who saw an 11.9% surge in votes, compared with 2015.
How Dr Louise Irvine caught up on Jeremy Hunt
Hunt vote share - 33,683 (56%), compared with 34,199 in 2015
Irvine vote share - 12,093 (20%), compared with 4,851 in 2015