General Election 2010: Calder Valley chooses Tory as new MP
May 7 2010 By Joanne Douglas
GIVE me a chance to make a difference and I will.
Those were the words of new Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker to his constituents moments after he secured a win with a majority of 6,431.
The Rastrick dad-of-three took the seat, which includes Brighouse, Elland and Rastrick, from the Labour party with 20,397 votes.
Lagging behind him was the Labour Party candidate Steph Booth with 13,966 votes.
Closely behind in third place, with just 959 votes separating them, were the Liberal Democrats, whose candidate Hilary Myers polled 13,037 votes.
The turnout was 67.57% which means 51,780 votes were cast.
After the win Craig Whittaker said he would stick to his promise to be a great local MP fighting for constituents.
And he had a message for those who did not vote for him, saying that he would listen to them.
Just an hour after the result was announced at 7am, one of the last to be called nationally, the new MP was taking his youngest daughter Bethany to sit her Spanish GCSE exam.
Speaking to the Examiner, Craig said: "I suspected we would win the Calder Valley but I could never imagine how much our majority would be.
"But our majority clearly shows that people wanted change.
"We’ve seen the collapse of the Labour party and they need to listen to the voters voice.
"The Nick Clegg bubble we all expected hasn’t materialised, which I think surprised many people, that to me shows the Labour and the Liberal Democrat parties that the people don’t want them in power.
"The next few days will be interesting.
Click on the image below for a gallery of photos from last night's counts.
"My message to all those in the Calder Valley who did not vote for me is this – I will work as hard for you as those who did vote for me. From here on in, there is no difference in my mind.
"I’ve lived in both the Upper and the Lower Calder Valleys, I understand the differences between the villages and the towns.
"I’ve said all along that I want to be a great local MP and it feels fantastic that I’ve been given that chance.