General Election 2024: Results for East Thanet and Herne Bay and Sandwich constituencies

Polly Billington wins the East Thanet seat

National picture

Labour achieved the landslide victory that was predicted with 412 seats (a gain of 211). Conservatives have shrunk to 121 seats (loss of 250) Lib Dems 71 (63 gain) SNP 9 (38 loss) Reform 4 (gain 4) Green 4 (gain 3) other 29.

Labour leader Keir Starmer will become Prime Minister after meeting the King.

Nigel Farage, Reform UK, was elected to the Clacton seat.

In his resignation speech, outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “To the country, I would like to say, first and foremost, I am sorry.

I have given this job my all.  But you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change…and yours is the only judgement that matters.

“I have heard your anger, your disappointment; and I take responsibility for this loss.”

Results- Herne Bay and Sandwich a Tory hold

Sir Roger Gale, Conservatives, has taken the Herne Bay and Sandwich seat – which includes Westbrook, Birchington, Garlinge, Thanet villages wards and Westgate.

Sir Roger (Con) 17,243

Helen Whitehead, Labour, 14,744

Amelia Randall, Reform, 10,602

Thea Barrett, Green, 3,529

Angie Curwen, Lib Dem, 2,709

Turnout was 63%

The prior North Thanet seat has been held by Sir Roger Gale (Conservative) since 1983. In the 2019 election he received 30,066 votes – equalling 62% of the poll. Labour’s Dr Coral Jones took 12,877 – 27%.

This time around his majority, at 2,499, is greatly reduce from the 17,189 in 2019.

Following the election result, Sir Roger said: “As it has been a great privilege to have been the only Member of Parliament for the former North Thanet constituency so it is an honour to be elected to represent the new Herne Bay and Sandwich constituency for the first time.

“I have found the level of personal support that I have received truly humbling and my duty now is to represent all constituents, whether they voted for me or not, to the best of my ability and to honour the pledges that I have made in regard to local issues. That, I shall endeavour to do.”

Prior to Sir Roger holding the seat it formed part of the then-East Thanet constituency (abolished in 1983) and was held by Conservative Jonathan Aitken.

Results – East Thanet a win for Labour

A win for Labour’s Polly Billington who thanked all the candidates and her team. There was a close margin between Conservative Helen Harrison on 10,083 votes with Paul Webb for Reform with 8,591 votes and a doubling of the vote compared to 2019 for the Greens.

Ms Billington said people feeling “everything is broken” was responsible for turning East Thanet, and many constituencies around the country, red.

She added that there had been “a sense of despair” but people had chosen to trust in Labour’s “carefully costed initial steps” to improve access to everything from GPs to specialist teachers to school breakfast clubs.

Locally she has pledged to help create a year round economy for Thanet building on hospitality, tourism, creative industries and hi tech and legacy industries. She said a priority is making sure young people can obtain qualifications and jobs to give them ambition and aspirations.

Polly Billington, Labour, 17,054

Helen Harrison, Con, 10,083

Paul Webb, Reform, 8,591

Steve Roberts, Green, 4,590

Jai Singh, Lib Dem, 1,365

Grahame Birchall Ind 563

Paul Holton Ind 369

Mo Shafaei Ind 98

The Herne Bay and Sandwich result is yet to be announced. Nationally (as of 4.30am) Labour has won 266 seats, Conservatives 47, Lib Dem 33, Reform 4, SNP 4, other 10.


Labour’s Polly Billington and Conservative Helen Harrison have arrived at the count.

Helen Harrison says she has found it to be a “brilliant campaign.”

She added: “I have enjoyed every second of it and being selected as the candidate has been a huge honour and a privilege even though it was under circumstances none of us wanted.

Helen Harrison

“I am absolutely delighted to hear Craig is getting a peerage, he is an absolute hero.”

Ms Harrison said Thanet is “beautiful” and added: “Whatever the result I am amazingly proud of the team I have been working with and amazingly proud of what we have done.”

Polly Billington said she would like to wait for the results before making any statements.

Verification finishing and turn out

The last box for verification is underway and the count of votes is now beginning (1.27am). Turn out for East Thanet was 57.26%.

Candidates arriving

Verification is now taking place at the East Thanet count. So far, of the candidates, we have spotted Green Party’s Steve Roberts, Independent Paul Holton, and since midnight Paul Webb from Reform UK and Lib Dem Jai Singh. There is also a smattering of representatives from the various parties in attendance.

Independent Grahame Birchall is also now in attendance (00.50).

Paul Webb

(We confess to have started in on the sweets already, sugary intake at election counts is an unspoken rule)

Steve Roberts

Steve Roberts (Green) says he feels ‘very positive’ and believes Greens may have done significantly better than in the 2019 election.

He said: “We have a good reputation as local councillors and the Green agenda is at the forefront of people’s minds and many have become disillusioned with the mainstream parties.”

Conservative councillor Marc Rattigan says he is “pleased” about the news that former South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay has been nominated for a peerage

Mr Mackinlay returned to Parliament in May following his sepsis battle and the amputation of his limbs and had planned to campaign as the bionic MP. But he declared he would not be fighting for the new East Thanet seat when Rishi Sunak announced the early July election.

Tonight he said he was “overwhelmed at being elevated to the House of Lords” and added: “The Bionic MP changes into the Bionic Lord.”


Polls closed

The polls closed at 10pm tonight (July 4) and all the General Election votes are now waiting to be verified and counted.

There are some changes in this general election count compared to the last one in 2019. The venue is St George’s School – previous years the count was hosted at the Winter Gardens apart from in 2019 when the venue had a Razorlight gig and so the count took place at Hartsdown Leisure Centre.

The other change is, of course, the constituencies. The former North Thanet seat has mostly been swallowed up by the new Herne Bay and Sandwich constituency. The count for that seat is being hosted by Canterbury City Council at the Westgate Hall with the result not expected until around 5.30am. The predicted time for East Thanet results is 2.30am-3am.

We shall be at the East Thanet count – armed with a flask and sweets – until the result is known and will keep tabs on the Herne Bay/Sandwich count.

Exit Poll

Exit polls take place at about 144 polling stations across the country, with people asked to privately fill in a replica ballot as they leave, to get an indication of how the results will look. Analysis is conducted by a team of senior academics working on behalf of broadcasters BBC, ITV and Sky, and led by Sir John Curtice.

Sky News reveals the Ipsos exit poll figures are:

Labour: 410
Conservatives: 131
Liberal Democrats: 61
Reform: 13
SNP: 10
Plaid Cymru: 4
Green: 2
Other: 19

A bit of background for both seats

The South Thanet seat ceased to exist following the boundary change this year. It is now East Thanet and comprised of Ramsgate, Broadstairs and most of Margate.

The (South Thanet) seat was last held by Craig Mackinlay (Conservative) between 7 May 2015 to 30 May 2024.

In 2019 Mr Mackinlay won the seat with more than 56% of the vote.

He polled 27,084 votes, some 10,587 ahead of nearest competitor Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt (Labour) who gained 16,497 votes. This was an increase of more than 4,000 on his majority in the 2017 election.

Prior to Mr Mackinlay the seat was held by Conservative Laura Sandys from 2010. It was last a Labour seat between 1997 and 2010 when the area MP was Stephen Ladyman.

The former North Thanet constituency also no longer exists. Instead voters in Westbrook, Birchington, Garlinge, Thanet villages wards and Westgate now find themselves in a new Herne Bay and Sandwich constituency which spans three councils (Thanet, Dover and Canterbury).

The prior North Thanet seat has been held by Sir Roger Gale (Conservative) since 1983. In the 2019 election he received 30,066 votes – equalling 62% of the poll. Labour’s Dr Coral Jones took 12,877 – 27%.

Prior to Sir Roger holding the seat it formed part of the then-East Thanet constituency (abolished in 1983) and was held by Conservative Jonathan Aitken.

From 1885 to 1974 Thanet had just one MP for the Isle of Thanet constituency. It was traditionally Conservative throughout that period.


  1. hopefully we can rid this country of the vile tories for a long time , i see sunak is already handing out honours to his dodgy friends , this should be stopped

      • Your a bundle of fun, is there anyone you don’t criticise? Your a definate woke tory. Everyone is entitled to there opinion right wrong or indifferent, so tell me why is everyone else rude or wrong but your always right and polite? Contradictory isn’t it when you read your text’s.

        • Steve – you are a silly man. How you can describe me as a bundle of fun when you do not know me? I point out people’s ignorance in their use of English language. Vile is an unpleasant word used in wrong context. Still, you know best. By the way, I did not vote for Conservative candidate in my constituency.

  2. Well done both Sir Roger Gale and Helen Whitehead for their polite and friendly campaigns – no calling the opposition or their voters “scum” or “vile”!. Others could learn a lot from them.

  3. Vile scumbag Craig is utterly undeserving of an honour. Also not surprised to see the Reform guy looks like a big of old ham.

    • Amen to that there is plenty men women and kids go through so much more. He deserved zero recognition, a vile individual. Take a look at what he voted for while an MP!

  4. Fantastic result – not just for Labour but for East Thanet.
    Polly Billington will be an amazing MP and I have no doubt that as she works with Labour councillors – this will become a Labour safe seat in years to come.
    Here’s to change and to a brighter future for the UK!

    • Just catching up on other results… I’m delighted that both Farage and Corbyn will be MPs (I wouldn’t vote for any of them in a thousand years, but I believe it’s helpful for democracy to have diverse voices in the commons).

      • As a politician, absolutely nothing at all.
        But if bravery and courage in the face of adversity merit reward, then the House of Lords would be filled many times over with deserving souls

        • Andrew

          Exactly lots of people have suffered serious illness and aren’t made lords

          Just another case of the ruling classes looking one of their own. In his ‘working’ life he has done nothing

          • So what have you done in your little life? Ever stood for elective office? Or are you a fully paid up member of the moaners and malcontents club of Thanet?

  5. Great speech by Starmer at 5.00am this morning, a speech for unity, following the past 14vyears of division, a speech for service to the nation, not the deaf ears of the last 14 years, a speech of hard work to come, but with everyone in the nation at the heart of those decisions not the upper class only. Well done Labour. This is democracy, and a warning to all political parties, you do not perform, your out.

  6. What go’s round comes round ,it never changes, everyone knew this was going to happen, here’s to another 4 to 5 years of the same old stuff.

    • The state the country is in with the economy and lack of investment from the Tories and business having no confidence in the Conservatives following years of decline, the Tories have left us decimated as a people and country. The road to recovery will be long and hard, it will take time, however it has to start somewhere and it will today. Patience is in order now to get our country improving.

  7. So if those voting reform had voted Tory professional election candidate Polly would not have won. It will be interesting to watch , now she’s got her seat in parliament how much time she actually spends in Thanet.

    • Erm – tactical voting works both ways.
      If those voting Green or Lib Dem had voted tactically – Labour would’ve won by a higher margin.
      There is clearly a progressive majority in East Thanet now.

    • More or less than the out going MP or Shifting sands, that would drive in have a photo taken then leave? We will see, let’s not dig people out until it’s genuinely deserved. If democracy works the way it should, as opposed to keeping a party in power while watching the nation Crumble as people did for 14 years, we need to vote people out for not doing there job, no loyalty you work hard, you get re elected, you don’t your out. Simple isn’t it.

      • Apart from being on here alot, did you actually campaign outside or deliver leaflets? Just curious. I didn’t, but I did at least take the time to write to and/or meet in person a couple of the candidates before making up my mind.

        • I respectfully disagree, Peter.
          I believe, Reform siphoned off many votes from Roger Gale, and caused the contest to be unusually close.
          Normally, Gale wins in a walk, but the new constituency configuration likely played a role in what was a tight affair.

        • Many x tories ,myself included , would in no way vote for them. Neither would the majority of them vote labour ( who as the popular vote shows aren’t really that popular but won in a fair fight under the rules we have and there won’t be the inane witterings about the process such as those after the brexit vote and the remainers twisting the numbers to try and justify overturning the referendum).
          Reform aren’t that extreme ( they have members who are ,just as every party has ) the Reform vote was (along with hte conservative vote) an indication of how those voters would like the country to progress, nothing more , it’s now down to that side of politics to decide how they’ll form a decent opposition for 2029.
          Reform could afford to put its cards on the table, labour most certainly haven’t and we’ll soon see what they are going to do, much of it won’t be what people envisaged. This election was a long game for the right leaning side of uk politics. We’d have had a Labour government in 2019 hadFarage not stood aside, this time he could fight the election and not worry about it letting labour in , it was a given.

  8. Pleased for the country but sad that so many people still believe in Gale and his tory pals.

    Thanet is a run down area yet the tories still hold a seat. Bizarre

    • He’s a good constituency MP… who represents (largely) an area that is NOT rundown, and quite affluent in comparison to many places. But Labour would’ve won if Reform hadn’t have split the vote for disenchanted ex-Tory voters.

        • But why did 37 percent not vote ?? Maybe fed up with everyone. I personally think Sir Roger is a good politician. Maybe if ALL people were FORCED to vote, then maybe we would find out what the TOTAL population think. Statistics can be manipulated to what you want them to be.

    • Which begs the response if labour are so good why did they only get 33.7% of the vote ie 19 plus million did’nt vote for them ? If we follow your logic Labour shouldn’t be in power.

  9. The people that you would expect to vote Labour do not motivate to vote as they feel disenfranchised from politics following years of being ignored by Tories, it isn’t the tory demographic, division again, at least now there will be a government that will do what is right for the country and not a demographic that votes for them only.

  10. Congratulations to Polly Billington! You will turn around the fortunes of East Thanet! So good to have an MP with intelligence and a social conscience, rather than a self-serving individual on an ego trip. Congratulations also to Alex Williams who worked so hard alongside you! Onwards and upwards!

  11. Congratulations Polly Billington. Now get cracking with the following:
    Stop the small boats,
    Deport foreign criminals,
    Repair the potholes,
    Ban smoking,
    Adopt the metric system,
    DNA test fly-tipped waste and double the culprits council tax.
    If you can’t do at least most of the above, then quite honestly, what’s the point?

  12. Labour won under our system but patently don’t really have an electorate enthusiastic for them, it was the usual case of voting out a government people don’t want. In a way it’s good as they’ll know full well that it wouldn’t take much of a change for them to be out in 29.
    Let’s see what they do. Locally Billington benefits greatly from the anti Tory sentiment rather than love for labour, will she be a decent local mp? Whitehead was never fit for a big seat, but would have done less damage to Thanet if elected. Gale should have lost for his antics that helped lead to the tories demise ,but held the day on the back of his tireless local work.
    Wether he completes a full term remains to be seen.

  13. Maybe I missed it, but what was the turnout for East Thanet? Gales was 63% which is still very low, so nearly 40% of the electorate there sat on their hands! This is demockery, not democracy!

      • It’s because the area has a disproportionate number who are reliant on benefits and do little work , politics doesn’t affect them, they’ll still get their free money and be able to go shoplifting and drive illegally, no matter who runs the country, with little chance of being held to account.
        Broad brush i realise but applies to a degree to too much of east thanet.

      • The First Past the Post system is NOT democratic Peter! More people vote AGAINST the government than for it, which leaves the majority of the electorate disenfranchised! Its time the UK joined the grown up countries and adopted a Proportional Representation system, so every vote counts! As it is millions of people have stopped voting, as its pointless in many constituencies. It looks as if 40% of the electorate nationally have sat on their hands! Its a con trick, and tyou like millions of others have fallen for it!

          • Why not Peter? If someone is elected and all the other parties votes are added up and more than they received, then they are elected by default, and are not representative of the constituency! So they are fair game as far as I am concerned to have pop at!

        • I agree with you. It was similar last election. Massive seat majorities, but very few voting for, so they need to be careful to represent the country and not the party first. Starmer’s speech said that and we need to hold those elected to that. Country, party, global needs are really the only way forward. Global is. O good without country coming first and party is just lower blocks

    • This morning (Saturday) my newspaper said nationally the turnout was just 59%, so it confirms nearly 40% of the electorate did sit on their hands! Oh, and what were the Lib/Dems thinking of parachuting in their no hoper candidate into East Thanet, Duurh!

  14. Just wanted to say a personal thank you everyone to whom voted for me, any votes are appreciated. Last year I stood as Parish and District Councillor and now stood as Candidate for Parliament. As each election comes and goes I adapt and learn more, to better how I campaign, and conduct my promotion, its a learning curve. To all my fellow candidates well done on your campaigns. To our New MP for East Thanet Congratulations.

    My News on this:

    We all wanted change, so now the voters have spoken, and hopefully, over the next five years, our newly elected MP will deliver on promises made.

    • Very gracious of you, Paul. This is how politics SHOULD be. I’d never vote for anyone who is nasty about other candidates or their supporters, nor anyone shouting in the street while waving placards. Polite and friendly chat is the way to do it.

    • Well done for standing Paul and congratulations.
      We met briefly last night (well – this morning) and you’re clearly a gentleman who cares about his community.

  15. Sunak couldn’t stop telling lies even as he left-saying the UK is in better shape than it was when they came into office in 2010, a bare-faced lie as we are far worse off thanks to him, the root vegetable there for less than two months & Bozo the Clown, not to mention the various chumps before them.

    Perhaps they can rename it the Sandwich Jurassic Discovery Park in honour of the soon to turn 81 year old immovable object. About time laws were bought in about age & how many terms one person can serve-while he is impressively sprightly/younger looking for his age, he is still a pensioner & like Biden in the US one does have to ponder how he will be able to perform his strenuous MP duties as time marches on.

    • Agree, limit terms a leader and or party can have and age limit. Bigger change is required in the political process, not least the right for the people to sack a leader or government or MP, for not serving the nations best interests. It’s beyond belief the Tories were re elected the last time following the disaster they resided over with Brexit, and austerity.

      • You have heard of a recall petition i presume? And we have the “vote of no confidence” in parliament if it gets to the point that westminster feels things have gone to awry.
        There are plenty of very competent and capable thinkers of advanced years so why discriminate? Why is it beyond belief that enough people had a different opinion to you and your ilk and didn’t want Corbyn and his merry band in charge. It may come as a bit of a shock but your opinion is only a tiny thing in a big world and the only real influence most of us has is that X On a form at the ballot box.
        Your party of choice has won, relax and let them do as they will, you seem to be convinced they can do no wrong , unless you invent time travel there’s no changing the past. Put the energy into something more productive.

        • What is there motivation after years of at best mediocrity in reality shocking governance, younger people can have new ideas and experiences that will prove useful. Experience doesn’t mean competence, as the nation has seen.

  16. If nothing else, this election has confirmed that our voting system needs to be reformed (no pun intended). If this is PR or something else. I don’t know.
    This is not a comment about the merits, or lack of, of any party in particular. It’s purely about the maths and the figures for the total votes come from the BBC website.
    6.8m equals 121 seats. Conservatives.
    6.05m equals 9 seats. Greens and Reform combined.
    4.11m equals 5 seats. Reform.
    Yet 3.5m equals 71 seats. Lib Dem.
    And if there’s any doubt that something needs to change.
    210981 total votes nationwide equals 7 seats. Sinn fein.
    Things can only get better?

  17. Nice to have some grown ups in charge of the government for the first time since Brexit. Before then Cameron was a capable PM, unfortunately very wrong on austerity, and in calling for the referendum, thinking economic sense would prevail and the country vote remain, while silencing the raving “swivel eyed loons” (his words) of the leave mob. That went well. What a disaster it’s all been since then.
    Locally, well done Polly, and Roger, a good constituency MP, and a decent, possibly the last ever, old school one nation tory, who’s never (to my knowledge) snarled some trite culture wars jibe on GB news, nor blamed immigrants or some imaginary woke liberal elite for his own party’s dismal, incompetent and corrupt failings. Wouldn’t it be nice if the party (to whom he is so loyal) followed his civilised lead, rather than be dog whistled down the nasty Farage/Braverman/Badenoch road I fear it will go.

    • Labour won this election by getting rid of the more extremist Corbynites; Conservatives best hope in the future is by ridding themselves of the more extremist Farageites. The majority of the people in this country are quite moderate in their views (just because 52% voting leave doesn’t make them all Wetherspoons-dwelling racists).

  18. Well done to Gale’s voters, he has managed to transform his constituency over the three decades he has been in Westminster.

    I really hope he stands again in 2029.

  19. When naming the constituency, would it have been so difficult to insert the word ‘Thanet’ in between Herne Bay and Sandwich?

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