SOUTH Essex once again returned a sea of blue candidates, mimicking much of the rest of the country.

While the final seat was not declared until 2.30am, Conservative candidates appeared confident from very early on in the night - with Rayleigh and Wickford’s Mark Francois leaving it very late to arrive to hear of his 30,000 majority.

The Brexiteer was a guest on the BBC’s election coverage before making a mad dash to get back to Clements Hall Leisure Centre, in Hawkwell.

Conservative candidates across south Essex had, of course, been given a boost when the Brexit Party opted not to stand candidates in Tory held seats

The results would suggest big backing from voters across south Essex for PM Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal.

First up was Rayleigh and Wickford, where Mr Francois took 39,864 votes. His nearest challenger was Labour’s David Flack, who took 8,864 votes.

In Basildon and Billericay, John Baron comfortably held the seat with 29,590 votes.

Stephen Metcalfe, meanwhile, held South Basildon and East Thurrock with 29,973 votes while Sir David Amess comfortably held Southend West with 27,555 votes.

Jackie Doyle-Price lengthened her previously slim majority from fewer than 400 votes, to 11,000, after garnering 27,795 votes.

James Duddridge arrived at the Rochford and Southend East count to a round of applause and things only got better for him when he was the final candidate of the night to be declared the winner with a majority of 13,000, having taken 27,063 votes.

In Castle Point, Rebecca Harris was once again victorious.

South Essex voters have been having their say on the results on the Echo Facebook page.

Dave Law posted: “For the record Corbyn was the wrong person at the wrong time but make no mistake this is a sad night, those voting Tory have been hoodwinked by an individual who, let it never be forgotten, burned £50 notes in front of homeless people.”

“I despair for this country.”

Kevin Walby added: “Fingers crossed that this is the end of the current Labour Party,” while Bradley Key posted: “Great news. Now for Corbyn to resign and let’s get on with Brexit.”

Fabio Puntocastello asked: “How could the Labour leadership have got it so wrong, misread the people?”

Billy James posted: “This is effectively another referendum. People voted for Brexit. There was a backlash - now people have voted again and it’s the same results, the people want to leave.”

But Si Reed railed against the results, declaring: “Nine years of Tory mess and people vote Tory to clear up the mess the Tories have created over the last nine years.

Darren Holding added: “[The] country is in trouble. Say goodbye to the NHS, hello to increases in homelessness, a rise in food banks, working people being even worse off than they already are, poverty will get worse and the rich will get richer.”