May 8, 2015
Conservative James Heappey elected as Burnham-On-Sea's MP

Conservative James Heappey has been elected as Burnham-On-Sea's MP following the General Election in which Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt lost the seat.

Mr Heappey took the seat after winning 26,247 votes and a majority of 7,585, with Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt coming in second with 18,662.

UKIP's Helen Hims came in third with 5,644 votes, Labour's Chris Inchley with 3,780, and the Green party's Jon Cousins won 2,331.

Independent Paul Arnold had 83 votes, followed by Dave Dobbs of the Birthday Party with 81 and Independent Gypsy Watkins with 76.

Lib Dem Tessa Munt has vowed to be back in 2020 and 'to be causing trouble somewhere' until then.

In her exit speech she said that 'money talks' and she will be handing over her 'bulging' case file to James Heappey.

Mr Heappey thanked his wife and children for their support during his campaign, as well as Tessa Munt for all her hard work over the last five years, adding that he hoped they could work together over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.

"The result reflects a nationwide rejection of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats, and a widely held belief that towns and villages across the Wells constituency could not afford and did not want a Labour government," he said.

"People have voted resoundingly for a Conservative majority government and it looks this morning as if that has been achieved."

"Into those strong headwinds, Ms Munt and her hardworking team have fought on and it is absolutely clear here to everybody in this room that the result tonight does not reflect that work."

Tessa praised Mr Heappey on the success of his campaign, but said she believed "money does talk."

She also thanked her 'loyal, hardworking' team who supported her over the last five years.

"I'd like to thank the voters who put their trust in me in 2010 and given me the opportunity to defend this amazing part of the West Country."

Turnout at the polls was 71.9%, the highest in three elections in the Wells constituency.

James Heappey lives in Axbridge with his wife Kate and his two children, Charlie and Matilda.

He is a self-employed project manager specialising in business risk and resilience. Before entering politics in 2013, he served in the Army for ten years reaching the rank of Major in the Rifles.

After leaving the military, James worked for North Somerset MP Dr Liam Fox for nine months as a parliamentary researcher.

During this time he gained an insight into the inner workings of Westminster as well as contributing to important local campaigns such as stopping National Grid's plans for huge electricity pylons between Hinkley Point and Avonmouth.

Video: James Heappey's delight at election victory

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