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The Tories' Sally-Ann Hart acknowledges her victory.

The Tories’ Sally-Ann Hart acknowledges her victory.

Sally-Ann Hart wins Hastings & Rye seat for the Tories

In the end this was an election dominated by Brexit, in Hastings & Rye as elsewhere across the country, and the Conservative candidate Sally-Ann Hart was elected to Parliament with an ample majority. Nick Terdre reports.

At Horntye Park, where the count took place, there were some technical glitches with verification of the votes – checking the numbers of ballots cast – which meant that it wasn’t until well after 4am that the result was declared.

There was no need for a recount this time, as there was two years ago – instead the Tories’ Sally-Ann Hart was the clear winner, with a majority of 4,043 over Labour’s Peter Chowney.

While there was no Ukipper this time to syphon off a small part of the Tory vote, nor a Brexit Party candidate following Nigel Farage’s decision not to stand representatives in Tory-held seats, the call for a tactical vote for Labour as the party best placed to unseat the Tories appears to have had little effect – while Chowney’s vote went down, the Liberal Democrats’ Nick Perry more than doubled his 2017 return.

Independent Paul Crosland took substantially more than the 365 votes he had aimed for, and well over the number cast for the independent candidate two years ago. The turnout was 68%, somewhat down on 2017’s 69.9%, the squally rain perhaps having deterred some from voting.

General Election 2019, Hastings & Rye

Candidate                 Votes received    %age of total    Change in votes over

Sally-Ann Hart  (C)             26,896                   49.6                       +1,228

Peter Chowney (Lab)          22,853                   42.1                        -2,469

Nick Perry  (Lib Dem)           3,960                     7.3                       +2,075

Paul Crosland  (Ind)                  565                     1.0                              —

The outcome over the country as a whole reflected the persistent Tory lead recorded in the polls throughout the election campaign, though it underestimated the margin of victory, which turned out to be their best since 1983. Once all seats had been declared, they had an outright majority of 80, with a total of 365 against Labour’s 203, the Scottish Nationalists’ 48, the Lib Dems’ 11, the Democratic Unionists’ eight and others’ 15. It was Labour’s worst result since 1935.

In her acceptance speech Hart repeated the Tory mantra that the party would get Brexit done – this was a once-in-a-lifetime change, she said. She would represent all those who lived in the constituency, and work to heal the divisions and build the economy. “Today we need to all come together,” she said. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Technical issues resolved, the count gets under way in earnest.

Technical issues resolved, the count gets under way in earnest at Horntye.

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Posted 17:27 Friday, Dec 13, 2019 In: Election 2019


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  1. Keith Piggott

    In view of comments on ‘transparency’ and ‘nonexistent funds’ used in covert property deals with private bodies, I am reminded of the 1960’s notorious Poulson and Hall planning scandal exposed in a north-east local authority. Both men were jailed, others lost livelihoods. Perhaps time to initiate professional investigations, and refrain from comments in matters potentially sub-judice?

    Comment by Keith Piggott — Monday, Dec 23, 2019 @ 02:03

  2. Penny

    Mugsborough rules.
    I hoped socialism might address immediate issues like homelessness, poverty, inequality, etc.
    This council seems to ignore major social issues and gamble away nonexistent funds to support private enterprise.
    The ratepayers lose yet again. No wonder Labour didn’t get the votes they expected. At least Conservatives are overt capitalists, and do what it says on the tin. This lot endorse it behind closed doors.

    Comment by Penny — Friday, Dec 20, 2019 @ 06:36

  3. Ms.Doubtfire

    Last night the Cabinet agreed to the plans for the old public toilets in Harold Place…reading some comments on other media it is very clear that yet again our elected councillors have been persuaded that this project is a good investment but the figures quoted by the finance officer seem to show otherwise.
    This link shows a report by the Hastings in Focus team which should stand as a warning: last nights meeting had a further agenda closed to the we will not know what further commercial purchases are lined up until after the event..the day of reckoning looms…

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Thursday, Dec 19, 2019 @ 13:41

  4. Bolshie

    Noting the comment by Penny about the council being “transparent.” Followed by Mrs Doubtfire’s response of which I quite agree. Since this Labour cabal have had a long term control of this council, transparency has all but diminished. This is apparent when you see HBC acquiring a portfolio of commercial properties the public know nothing about until after the purchase. You have other issues such as the Bathing Pool, Solar Panels, Rocklands landslip, Visitors Centre, past legal issues with the pier costing the tax payer seven figures. The Foreshore Trust and with its ominous Labour connections. The list does not stop here where the issue of “transparency” is of concern Penny. While it is on your “wish list” I don’t think it is going to happen.

    Comment by Bolshie — Thursday, Dec 19, 2019 @ 08:28

  5. Keith Piggott

    Someone had to win, ballot papers omitted “None of the Above”.
    So Sally Ann Hart is new incumbant to replace tired Miss Rudd

    2020 is nigh upon us… shall vision also foresight be restored?
    Boris’ eighty is upon us too… soon Brexit chaos be resumed?

    Nothing to be done… Monarchy and Kingdom rain disasters,
    We but microbes on pawns here moved by our Grand Masters.

    A new ‘Union’ – joined for Economic integration, now disintegrate,
    So old ‘Unions’ – gained by arms or tariffs, cannot now be inviolate.

    In or Out, the EU’s colonial eastward marches, like ‘Lebensraum’,
    Shall force Russia’s historic paranoia to take to arms, our trauma.

    Sally Ann, too, soon shall know that her seat for Hastings and Rye
    Is merely the pawn to Boris’ grand plan, his ‘Overlord’, do or die.

    Tongue in cheek, the past is fact, whereas history is just invention.
    Veterans know too well that peace must lose to ambition’s intention.

    Comment by Keith Piggott — Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019 @ 23:08

  6. David Stevenson

    So we have the Conservative Party accused of being anti-Islamic, the Labour Party accused of being anti-Semitic, the Labour leader of the Council accused of being a dictator and the new Conservative MP accused of being anti everything else. Since there is no smoke without fire it just goes to show what an unpleasant bunch they are. Since they now realise that everything they say and do is recorded for eternity, they don’t even bother to try to deny their words and actions. Instead they try to defend their extreme views by saying that we “took it out of context”. If they were decent, normal, intelligent, mature people they wouldn’t say these outrageous things in the first place. Unfortunately these positive qualities have been missing from virtually all British politicians since the start of the 21st century. It is significant that Theresa May, the only squeaky clean Prime Minister in recent times, was forced out of office by the unwritten conspiracy between low-life MPs.

    Comment by David Stevenson — Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019 @ 12:56

  7. Ms.Doubtfire

    Penny mentions transparency – well guys there is a cabinet meeting tomorrow evening to discuss various topics and one of these is the proposal for this council to build a restaurant on the old public lavatory site in Harold Place and then lease it out to a private company….what on earth is this all about? Why are we building stuff for private companies? Why are we building the Aldi site for a multi million pound company? And when will all this borrowing stop. There is an item on tomorrow’s agenda which excludes the public. This item is to discuss further commercial property investment. This council’s arrogance knows no bounds.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Wednesday, Dec 18, 2019 @ 09:47

  8. Penny

    Lucky Luton North returned our Hastings born Sarah Owen.
    Politicians here must take note of what the people want, and be transparent. No more decisions taken in secret and presented to us as done deals. No more sitting on several boards wearing too many hats to remain objective.
    Mugsborough still rules, and will continue to do so until we, the Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, get reasonable representation.

    Comment by Penny — Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 @ 10:06

  9. Ms.Doubtfire

    Amazing how these comments accuse Sally Ann Hart of being a racist among other nasty things. People have short memories: Corbyn was photographed helping to hold a wreath in a ceremony to honour the Martys of Palestine. Was that appropriate? How can he deny the anti semites which have crawled out from the woodlwork in his party?
    Sally Ann Harts comments have been taken totally out of context but there again isn’t this what the Labour party thrives on? I am glad we have a Tory MP back in this town…we need a fairer distribution of opinions here and at the moment with the huge labour majority in this council we do not have a democractic system. Time for change and not before time. Hopefully the next round of local elections will set the bar here and we can look forward to a fairer distribution of power. The Tory victory in the general election has proved that you can’t fool all the people all of the time…although this Labour council here in Hastings has a jolly good try at it…time for change down here.

    Comment by Ms.Doubtfire — Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 @ 08:59

  10. David Stevenson

    “She would represent all those who lived in the constituency, and work to heal the divisions and build the economy. Today we need to all come together. Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” Sorry, but we’ve heard it all before. Only a naive person is going to believe that she is going to be better than any other politician. After all, they all come out of the same mould. Parliament exists on division and conflict. The clue is in the words Government and Opposition. I give her a few weeks until she is dragged down to the level of the lowest common denominator. which in politics is depressingly low.

    Comment by David Stevenson — Monday, Dec 16, 2019 @ 19:22

  11. Patrick Burton

    Maybe your commentators hadn’t noticed that this wasn’t a local election. I don’t think people voted on local issues. I suggest the result locally and nationally was a result of Brexit and Labour’s incoherent and divided position on it, an unfocussed and unbelievable manifesto with more unfunded goodies being added every day (the even longer suicide note in history), the long-term decline in support for the Party evidenced even in the latter Blair/ Brown years; and for whatever reason, the unpopularity of Corbyn (even more than Johnson) and a perceived lack of strong leadership or action on a number of issues. Also, the Tories ran a ruthless, coherent and effective campaign.
    Hopefully a more centrist social democrat leadership will eventually be elected (as in Scotland) and Labour will find a new purpose for its existence.

    Comment by Patrick Burton — Monday, Dec 16, 2019 @ 17:22

  12. Francis Sheppard

    Labour can’t whinge and moan about the result it’s all very fine the activists and foot soldiers spending every minute trying to convince everyone to vote labour you only have to look at some teams in the premiership and no matter who was playing for them if the management team haven’t got a clue then they are going to lose and that’s exactly what happened to Labour. There were too many people with their fingers in the pie that in the end no one knew who was leading. The unions were controlling the show and wanted their own people heading it up with no questions to be answered. How can that endear people to sign up when they can’t even question or choose their representative. Which happened in a few places people would argue the tories did the same the difference was they were in office not so labour. If Boris gets it it right and gives the people what they labour will only see the inside of No 10 when their visiting.

    Comment by Francis Sheppard — Monday, Dec 16, 2019 @ 16:04

  13. J B KNIGHT

    Well, I am glad it now shows that Nicholas did not split the vote, because if people did not vote for him they would not vote for Labour but that would not show.

    The vote this time and before shows a vote against Labour, last time Labour depended on the new members and young inexperienced and alienated and insulted everyone else, then wondered how they lost, after a hurl of abuse by their supporters if ever questioned or the Pension theft brought up.

    Labour lost it and Chowney lost it. As many would not vote for Labour and many would not vote for Chowney. Good Choice, Er, Bad Choice.

    Done it to themselves as I predicted and said the other previous elections, but they don’t listen.

    The analysis is incredible again on social media Labour and Socialists are obviously always right, and its the elecorate and everyone else who is stupid and dumb and need educating

    What is the response to the Labour loss? Oh its again to go out there, come alongside and win people by educating them about socialism, as if they have never heard it before.

    I am 60 January I feel I have been in a Groundhog Day all my life.

    They never listen, my parents and grandparents were always telling and saying how Labour and socialists will never win the ordinary working class and majority of Britain because we are not socialists and never will be. No matter what teaching, or riots are organised.

    I am glad that Nicholas Mr Ethical is exonerated. But then the abuse he got is just a normal sample of what people experience everyday from the Hastings Labour lot and their mates, be it Solidarity, Momentum, Community Organisers, Unitethe Union etc etc.

    Maybe it is not us, maybe it is you.

    You know where to find me if you want to threaten me again

    Comment by J B KNIGHT — Monday, Dec 16, 2019 @ 15:04

  14. DAR

    Held my nose and voted for Chowney because I liked some Labour policies, and thought that Labour would need every seat it could get to rein in the prospect of a “hard Brexit”, and that Boris & Co. would get only around 20 as a majority. Unfortunately, the result means Chowney and the local Labour cabal will keep on supporting ruinous housing developments in the area. I told Labour doorsteppers that I wouldn’t be voting for them locally because of this.

    PS I wonder if Amber Rudd is now kicking herself for abandoning the constituency!

    Comment by DAR — Monday, Dec 16, 2019 @ 11:54

  15. Nicholas Wilson

    I hope this result will dispel the stupid theory from 2017 that I split the Labour vote. The fact that an alleged racist and someone who doesn’t believe learning disable dpeople should receive minimum wage, was elected on a bigger majority than Amber Rudd in 2015 shows that all I did in 2017 was demolish Rudd’s majority by exposing her corruption. I have had no end of abuse for doing that.
    Hastings deserves this MP

    Comment by Nicholas Wilson — Sunday, Dec 15, 2019 @ 21:11

  16. Jb

    Sally was bussed down from another constituency because she didn’t win there in 2017. She barely lived in Hastings and the surrounding area. She is also under investigation for homophobic abuse and religious abuse that she committed on Twitter. Also she defends her comments about disabled people should be paid a lot less compared to non disabled and pretty much become slaves as she thinks non disabled people are smarter. Guess she never heard of Stephen Hawking. She doesn’t believe in equal opportunities. Would rather have Amber back as our MP than Sally!

    Comment by Jb — Sunday, Dec 15, 2019 @ 09:40

  17. Bolshie

    The majority was a real surprise when you consider the previous one with Amber Rudd’s last election contest. That certainly conveyed the message for Cllr Chowney. It might also be a message how the electorate in the borough is getting rather weary of this cabal of Labour controlling the council. After all over the past few years I think it is fair to say how this administration level of democracy and opacity with the public has seriously deteriorated. Having said that I am sure there is someone out there who will tell me I am totally incorrect on these aspersions.
    I also think had there been this transition of Cllr Chowney to the Hon Chowney MP. it would have created a totalitarian set up with this Labour controlled council. Rather like being on “The Square.” ask friends if you do not know what that means.
    And finally from a personal angle I find this to be a form of poetic justice when knowing the local Labour manifesto contains a fallacy that from Cllr Chowney down will deal with or even reply to those who have tirelessly tried to get this claim removed. There should never ever be any falsehoods in a manifesto. Any discrepancies is subject to doubt and suspicion.

    Comment by Bolshie — Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 @ 16:54

  18. Ms. Doubtfire

    Congrats to Sally Ann Hart. Lets hope this heralds a new dawn for this town – we need a total turn around here – this council is far too one sided politically and that is not a good thing.

    Comment by Ms. Doubtfire — Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 @ 08:51

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