GENERAL ELECTION 2015: Conservative candidate pays tribute to former Labour MP after winning his Corby seat
Mr Pursglove, who won with a majority of more than 2,000 votes, paid tribute to the outgoing Labour MP and said Mr Sawford had worked very hard in the last two and-a-half years.
He added: “I want to be a hard-working Member of Parliament.
“Andy did a fantastic job and his are big shoes to fill.
“I want to step up to the plate now and make sure that when people have got issues or concerns that I can help them out.”
Mr Pursglove said his win was the culmination not only of a successful recent campaign, but of two years’ hard work in the area.
He added: “I have campaigned on key local issues. We have seen successes like Skew Bridge and Rushden Lakes and I want to keep going with that.
“In Corby, something I would like to see brought in is free parking, which has been a big success in East Northamptonshire.”
Speaking about his win, Mr Pursglove said although he had campaigned to win, he had not let himself believe it was possible until the result was announced.
Mr Sawford left the Lodge Park Sports Centre moments after the result was announced.
In his speech immediately following the result he said: “It has been a real honour to be the Corby MP.
“We will now dust ourselves off and we will carry on the fight.”
UKIP candidate Margot Parker, who won 7,708 votes and finished in third place, said: “Third is third. We do not have the resources of Labour or the Conservatives who threw tons of money at this election.
“We are building up our support and we may see some of our candidates elected in the local elections.”
The full results were as follows:
Peter Harris (Liberal Democrat): 1,458
Jonathan Hornett (Green): 1,374
Margot Parker (UKIP): 7,708
Tom Pursglove (Con): 24,023
Andy Sawford (Lab): 21,611
The count was held at Lodge Park Sports Centre in Corby and the turnout was 70.6 per cent.
Labour had been tipped to hold the constituency in pre-election polls and the seat was hotly contested in the run-up to the General Election, having been traded between the Conservative and Labour parties in 2010 and 2012.
Mr Sawford, son of the former Kettering MP Phil Sawford, was first elected as Corby MP with a majority of almost 8,000 in 2012 in a by-election triggered by the resignation of the former Conservative MP Louise Mensch.
Mrs Mensch had won the seat at the 2010 election but quit two years later when she moved to New York.