THE Conservatives are celebrating after Stephen Metcalfe held onto his South Basildon and East Thurrock seat.

Mr Metcalfe won with a clear 19,788 votes - way ahead of second place Ian Luder, standing for Ukip, who bagged 12,097 votes.

Former Basildon Hospital chairman Mr Luder quit his role after the South Basildon and East Thurrock seat was dubbed a key target for Ukip.

Mike Le-Surf, Labour's candidate, won 11,493 votes.

Independant candidates Stuart Hooper, Kerry Smith, Terry Marsh- who changed his name by deed poll by X None of the Above- and Lib Dem candidate Geoff Williams all lost their £500 deposit after failing to secure five per cent of the votes.

Mr Metcalfe said: "It has been an enjoyable and respectful campaign.

"We ran a campaign that went door-to-door talking to people, finding out what matters to them."