WILL Quince has returned as MP for Colchester after increasing his majority at the General Election.

Tory Will, who was first elected in 2015, beat Tim Young (Lab), Sir Bob Russell (Lib Dem), Mark Goacher (Green) and Robin Rennie (CPA) to the seat, with Tim Young coming second. 

Mr Quince increased his majority from 5,575 over the Lib Dems in 2015 to 5,677 this year.

At the count this morning, Will Quince said he is honoured to have served and to continue to serve Colchester. He thanked his family, volunteers and wife for support.

"It has been an enormous privilege to serve as MP for the last two years," he said.

"And it is amazing to come back and increase my majority on what is an uncertain night nationally for the Conservative party.

"I would like to thank the people for putting their trust in me for the next five years.

"This evening some people will be leaving happy and others sad.

"Imagine if we put the same amount of effort into working together as we did into the General Election campaign how much we could achieve for this great town.

"We must work together to build a better Colchester."

Speaking to The Gazette he said: "It was amazing two years ago and has been an honour to serve.

"It really is the most humbling thing to have that trust returned with an increased majority."

Mr Quince said both he, and Labour candidate Tim Young benefited from the lack of UKIP candidate in Colchester.

He said campaigning as the sitting candidate was much different to battling to win the seat.

He said: "It is completely different.

"You are defending your record and the record of the government of which you are a small part as a backbencher.

"It is a double edged sword because instead of saying you are going to do things, you can say you have done things."

Mr Quince said his campaign on parental bereavement would continue, while he also wanted to get Colchester General Hospital out of special measures, work to ease congestion in Colchester and on the A12 and A120.

Mr Young spearheaded a surge of Labour support which saw their votes more than double since 2015.

He said: "We knew we were running second during the campaign and thought it would be close, but did not know how close.

"My team have put on a fantastc campaign and we have had hundreds of people on the streets.

"Nationally Jeremy Corbyn has appealed to the whole country.

"The number of young people out voting is incredible.

"This is now a Tory, Labour marginal.

"It is a great position for us to be in to soon have a Labour MP in Colchester."

Sir Bob Russell finished in third place after Lib Dem support collapsed in Colchester still further.

He said: "What we are seeing is a polarisation and a move back to a two party system in England.

"The traditional small parties are being moved to the side because people have decided there is going to be a Labour or Conservative government.

"When I was first elected, in 1997, people decided they wanted to get rid of the Conservatives, and I won a three way marginal.

"Once I had my nose in front I was able to increase my majority in subsequent elections.

"It came as a shock to lose two years ago but it is not a shock not to regain the seat.

"I think we are in a political system which is unfair.

"Essex could have 18 Conservative MPs which would not be representative.

"I thank Theresa May for giving me the opportunity, I was never going to stand in 2020."