John Whittingdale has annihilated his election rivals with a massive 30,000-vote majority.

A delighted Mr Whittingdale said: "From my party's point of view it is a remarkable night in that we are now going to have Conservative representation, not just in traditional seats but in seats we haven't held for generations, and I hope that does mean that we can begin to unite the country.

"The first thing to do is to deliver Brexit and then we need to move on and and address other issues which, to be honest, we have been prevented from doing for the last two and a half years."

Labour candidate Stephen Capper said: "It's not the evening we obviously wanted and clearly some of the factors we knew about have come into play - not least the Brexit issue.

"It is disappointing and the party is going to have to decide after it is over what direction it is going in."

He added: "We will be holding the new Government to account on the promises it is making.

"If Boris Johnson and his cabinet are serious about their promises on health and the NHS, lets make sure they deliver with those and take us forward in the right direction.

"But in some ways this is a victory for the billionaires over the people."

The Lib Dems had hoped to steal second place from Labour in Maldon, but came third by a narrow margin of 273 votes.

Colin Baldy said: "I am incredibly proud of the Liberal Democrats in Maldon.

"We increased our vote share by 7.5%, getting on for three times the number of votes we received last time, which is pretty remarkable.

"Since September, Maldon LibDems have gone from virtually no organisation on the ground to a situation where we have a great group of volunteers and activists who are fired up to continue the fight for a fairer society for all.

"Nationally, our vote was up 4.2%: the biggest increase for any party, and yet we have one less MP.

"Moreover, 57% of the population voted for someone other than Boris Johnson.

"This just highlights how seriously undemocratic our voting system is. It is no surprise that so many people feel there is no point in voting when their votes are, effectively, ignored.

"I, and Maldon LibDems, will be doing what we can to work to change this iniquitous system.

"Locally, we will now focus our efforts on the County Council elections in 2021."

Acting returning officer Paul Dodson says 50,755 votes were cast in Maldon - a turnout of just over 70 per cent.

Janet Band said: "The EU negotiators are in place, they are hopeful for a soft Brexit but Brexit is not 'done', and there a danger of a no-deal which will devastate the north.

"The Union is the danger especially in Ireland where if we deviate from EU standards, a complex set of arrangements will be necessary, which will take a lot of time.

"The Green Party has been influential in focusing on the Climate Emergency, we will see what the government will do, otherwise the young people will be devastated.

"The Green Party will continue to warn the dangers and advocate the New Green Deal.

"Like Greta Thunberg, we will listen to the science."

Colin Baldy (Lib Dem) 5,990 Janet Band (Green) 1,851 Stephen Capper (Lab) 6,263 John Whittingdale (Con) 36,304