image_498Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: The dust is still settling on the results of yesterday’s General Election. Pundits had long said that it was wide open and hard to predict, but in the final analysis a strong showing from the Conservatives was a factor from the exit poll onwards. Congratulations to new and returning MPs who are committed to representing our countryside.  Notable results from the election include former Chief Executive Simon Hart, re-elected to the Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire seat for the Conservatives and increasing his 2010 majority. Notable also was the result of our former Chairman Kate Hoey, who has served the Vauxhall constituency for the Labour Party since 1989 and last night increased her share of the vote to 53.8%. Jeremy Quin, who has been Chairman of The Countryside Alliance Foundation for many years now, won the Horsham seat for the Conservatives, taking the majority from 11,460 votes in 2010 to 24,658.

The hard work will now begin. Thank you to the thousands of you who took part in our e-lobby, asking candidates to back our own manifesto priorities for the countryside. We come to this new parliament well equipped to continue pushing for those priorities, including on wildlife management, digital communications and food & farming. I know there are particularly pressing issues for the membership which I will be pursuing at the earliest opportunity. We will write to all parliamentarians in the coming week and will continue to speak up for the interests of our members and supporters.