Daniel Zeichner to fight hard Brexit 'tooth and nail' after retaining Cambridge seat
Labour candidate expands majority after beating Lib Dem Julian Huppert in 2017 General Election
Labour’s Cambridge candidate Daniel Zeichner retained his seat in the 2017 General Election, beating the Liberal Democrat’s Julian Huppert by 12,661 votes on a voter turnout of 71.4 per cent – a huge increase on the 2015 General Election turnout of 62.3 per cent.
“Wow! Thank you to everyone,” Mr Zeichner tweeted after the result was announced in the Guildhall. “It is a huge honour and privilege to be re-elected as Cambridge MP.”
By morning, as the nation adapted to the new political reality in the UK – a reshaped Parliament in which the Conservative Party has 318 MPs, Labour 261, the Scottish Natioonal Party 35, Liberal Democrats 12, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) 10, and others 13 – Mr Zeichner addressed the specific concern of many of his constituents: the effect of a hard Brexit on the city’s success as a regional economy with a global footprint.
“Last night’s results were proof that May has no mandate for #HardBrexit,” he said. “I will be fighting this tooth and nail on behalf of #Cambridge.”
The result is a huge affirmation for Zeichner, whose 29,032 votes against Julian Huppert’s 16,371 votes boosted his margin of victory from just 599 in the 2015 General Election to 12,661 in the 2017 result. The increase of the Labour party’s vote from the previous election was 15.9 per cent, with the Liberal Democrats suffering a 5.6 per cent loss since the 2015 poll.
Mr Zeichner in his acceptance speech expressed his belief that democracy can triumph after the recent terrorist attrocities in Manchester and London.
“What’s really nice this time is I think people know me better now,” the returning MP for Cambridge told the Cambridge Independent.
“Last time, they were voting for Daniel Zeichner, who they didn’t really know, now they’re saying they’re voting for Daniel. It’s a subtle shift.”
He also praised Dr Huppert’s five years in office, from 2010 to 2015.
The Liberal Democrat candidate said after his defeat: “It’s been a very strange election - surely the worst by a Prime Minister in living memory. Surely there is no way she can continue as Prime Minister, even if she hangs on in terms of the number of seats.”
Dr Huppert was pleased that a section of society often accused of not being interested in politics turned out to vote. He said: “I am delighted to see so many young people show up to vote; to see so many people taking the opportunity to vote. I wish that had happened last year - then we would not be facing a Brexit that is causing so much harm.”
Dr Huppert finished with a message for his rival: “Daniel, good luck over the next five years, or however long it is.
“Cambridge needs somebody who will stand up for this great city in these difficult times.”
The result proved to be a spectacular own goal for the Conservatives, with Prime Minister Theresa May announcing her intention of forming a minority government, with the DUP’s support.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, elated after a “fantastic” young voter turnout propelled Labour into a position in which it could also form a minority government, called on the Prime Minister to resign, as did Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.
Meanwhile UKIP’s leader Paul Nuttall did resign after winning zero seats, and questions were asked of the Scottish National Party’s leadership under Nicola Sturgeon after the party lost one-third of its seats in Scotland.
The Conservatives retained control of all the Parliamentary seats surrounding Cambridge.
These included Heidi Allen who was returned as a Conservative MP for South Cambridgeshire, Lucy Frazer, who was re-elected for South East Cambridgeshire, Jonathan Djanogly who retained his seat in Huntingdon and Conservative Matt Hancock who held his West Suffolk seat.
MPS will return to Parliament next week following the election of the Speaker of the House of Commons on Tuesday.
Cambridge General Election result 2017
Daniel Zeichner (Labour): 29,032
Julian Huppert (Liberal Democrat): 16,371
John Hayward (Conservative): 9,133
Stuart Tuckwood (Green): 1,265
Keith Garrett (Rebooting Democracy): 133