PLAID CYMRU’S Ben Lake is the new MP for Ceredigion after he beat previous MP Mark Williams by just 104 votes in the election on Thursday night (June 8).
The count at Aberaeron Leisure Centre lasted until the early hours of Friday morning after two recounts were called for following the initial count.
A result was finally announced around 6:30am and it was Plaid who regained control of the seat that Liberal Democrat Mark Williams has held on to since the 2005 election.
Ben Lake secured 11,623 votes compared to 11,519 for Mark Williams while Labour’s Dinah Mulholland was third with 8017 votes.
Conservative candidate Ruth Davis was fourth with 7307 votes while other votes were shared between UKIP (602), The Green Party (542) and the Monster Raving Loony Party (157).
There was a 73% turnout in Ceredigion, something which a number of candidates were very impressed with.
There were tears shed by members of Mark Williams’ family after the result was announced but he had earlier told the Herald: “I hope to be back but we will let democracy take it’s course.”
On being elected, Ben Lake said: “I’d like to thank all the candidates, it is a testament to the labour we put in that they turned out at 73%. I’d like to thank Mark Williams for 12 years of dedicated service to this county.
“It is a very great honour to be chosen to represent the people of Ceredigion and to be trusted to represent them in Westminster. Let me be clear, that I will work tirelessly for each and every one of you and make sure that Ceredigion’s voice is heard loud and clear.”
Outgoing MP Mark Williams congratulated Ben on his new role and said: “It has been an immensely privileged position to be a member of parliament for the last 12 years and I genuinely know that Ben will serve this constituency with dedication and distinction. I wish you the best of luck in the month and years ahead.
“Can I thank electorate of this remarkable constituency who returned me on three occasions. It is a marvellous constituency, it has been a huge honour to serve and I am eternally grateful to people of all persuasions who have contributed to what I would like to achieve.”