A RECORD number of votes saw North Shropshire Conservative Party candidate re-elected for the seventh consecutive election.

Mr Paterson took 35,444 of the 56,728 votes cast, resulting in a resounding victory.

His closest competition came from Labour Party candidate Graeme Currie who took 12,495 of the votes, and Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan with 5,643.

The result came as part of a huge night for the Conservative Party, who looked to be heading for a large majority in the exit polls announced at 10pm on Thursday.

Although Mr Paterson was pleased with his own victory, he was keen to mention the success of fellow candidates in neighbouring constituencies who were able to overturn Labour majorities from the 2017 General Election.

“This is huge; it takes us back to a place we haven’t been in since the mid-80s,” he said.

“It’s extraordinary. I’m now entirely surrounded by Conservative seats for the first time.

“Getting things done will be a lot easier, especially when it comes to roads and other cross-border issues.”

On a personal note, Mr Paterson was pleased with the result which gave him a bigger majority than ever before, and insisted he is looking forward to focusing on the issues his constituents feels are most important.

He said: “It’s a record number of votes, a record majority and a record percentage.

“I obviously had an idea how the result was going to go judging by the national results coming through, but it was also very noticeable driving around the polling stations this morning and this afternoon.

“It was a very exceptional turnout, especially in the bad weather, and they voted to leave.

“That’s what it’s all about; 90 per cent of people in Oswestry and surrounding areas speak to me asking when are we going to leave?

“That has 100 per cent been a driving factor in this result. They voted to leave, why should the establishment mess them around?”

Labour Party candidate Mr Currie said although there were some positives to take from the election, he was disappointed overall.

He said: “I’m more upset for the young people.

“Moving away from this election, I want to build on the levels of commitment, enthusiasm and positivity that I’ve seen from people supporting the Labour Party.

“We’ve been out campaigning with up to 20 people at times, and that’s what we’re going to have to build on.

“Those levels of enthusiasm are what’s going to change north Shropshire and Oswestry.”