Peter Baggs (Ind) 23
Thomas Burridge (LPUK) 36
Anne Fryatt (NOTA) 59
Bill Holden (Ind) 166
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 144
Craig Murray (Ind) 953
Chris Ostrowski (Lab) 6,243
April Pond (Lib) 4,803
Rupert Read (Green) 3,350
Chloe Smith (Con) 13,591
Glen Tingle (UKIP) 4,068
Robert West (BNP) 941
This is a great victory for Chloe Smith. A 16.5 swing is momentous in anybody's language, together with a majority of more than 7,300 fully vindicates the Tory campaign. She didn't quite get 40% of the the vote (she got 39.5%), but in the circumstances that is hardly surprising with the number of fringe candidates taking part.
For Labour it is worse than a disaster. To go from 44% to 18% takes some doing, even in these circumstances. They can explain it away all they like, but it would seem unlikely they can recover their position in the nine months available before the general election. But at least they just clung onto second place.
The result will be a huge disappointment for the LibDems. To only get 14% of the vote having thrown the kitchen sink at the seat will be debilitating indeed. That's 2% less than they got in 2005! One wonders whether April Moat will now stick by her decision to remain in Norwich North for the general election.
UKIP did rather well, beating the Greens into 5th place.
So what now for Chloe Smith? She can't take her seat until October so for three months she will be operating in a political no man's land. She could do worse than spending the next nine months preparing for the next election - spending as much time in the constituency as possible and dealing with casework. She should also take the time to build up the local political infrastructure. Her local association desperately needs an injection of new blood, and hopefully several new activists will have been recruited during the campaign. It's an exciting time for her and I couldn't be more delighted that she has come through her first big political test with such flying colours. It can't have been an easy time, but she really hasn't put a foot wrong. It bodes well for a successful political career.
UPDATE: According to the BBC, Chloe Smith is Britain's "Youngest Labour MP". Wishful thinking?
13.08: Mark Senior, LibDem spinner in chief, thinks it's a bad result for the Tories as they polled 2,000 fewer votes than in 2005. He omits to mention the fact that his beloved LibDems polled nearly 3,000 fewer. Fail.
13.46: Former Blears SPAD Paul Richards waits less than half an hour to stick the boot into the Labour campaign on the Progress Blog. He outlines the five lessons Labour needs to learn. Only 5?
13.54: Nick Robinson offers a very amusing translation service to the post election spin.