Jeremy Hunt narrowly retains Surrey seat by 900 votes

Jeremy Hunt has narrowly retained his seat in Surrey, defying predictions that he would become the first chancellor in history to lose his seat in a general election.

In a closely fought contest, Hunt won by just 891 votes, a stark contrast to earlier exit polls that had given him only a 19% chance of victory in the Godalming and Ash constituency. At 4:35 am, his Liberal Democrat opponent, Paul Follows, conceded defeat, much to the surprise of onlookers.

Following his win, Hunt returned to 11 Downing Street with his wife to pack up their belongings. In his victory speech, he extended his best wishes to Rachel Reeves, his successor as chancellor, and commended her and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer as “decent people.”

Addressing the significant losses faced by the Conservative Party, Hunt remarked, “Across the country, tonight is a bitter pill to swallow for the Conservative Party. Some Conservatives will wonder whether the scale of our crushing defeat is really justified. But when you lose the trust of the electorate, all that matters is having the courage and humility to ask yourself why, so that you can earn it back again.”

Hunt, 57, acknowledged the grueling nature of the campaign and vowed to his constituents, “I will not let you down.” He expressed gratitude to his wife, Lucia, highlighting her invaluable support during the campaign.

Despite the slim margin of his victory, Hunt’s success may bolster his prospects for a leadership bid. As a moderate, Hunt is likely to advocate for the Conservative Party to adopt a centrist stance and modernize, rather than shifting further to the right to appeal to Reform voters.

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