PHOTOS: How the General Election night unfolded

Here’s a slideshow of pictures from the General Election count for the Harborough constituency.

As we previously reported, Harborough’s Conservative MP Sir Edward Garnier returned to parliament with his biggest ever majority.

Sir Edward Garnier celebrates with his son George wife Anna and agent Lesley Bowles.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

Sir Edward Garnier celebrates with his son George wife Anna and agent Lesley Bowles.'PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

The long-serving MP, Harborough’s representative since 1992, now has a huge majority of 19.632, after the healthy Liberal Democrat vote at the last election collapsed, reflecting the situation nationally.

Sir Edward also achieved more than 50 per cent of the votes - actually 52.7% - for the first time since 1992, when the constituency covered a more rural area.

Barrister Sir Edward told the Mail this week: “I must say, it’s quite pleasing.”

Asked if he had predicted a Conservative majority in the House of Commons, he admitted “No; no one had.

“I thought we were going to be the biggest party, but to have an overall majority in Parliament is wonderful news.”

He said after five years of Coalition government, a Conservative government without the Liberal Democrats would be “very different - definitely”.

He said the Liberal Democrat influence had disappeared, the Labour vote had collapsed, UKIP had failed to show in parliamentary seats, and even the SNP had “to some extent had the wind knocked out of their sails” because they had hoped to be a key part of a Labour-SNP Government.

He now looked forward to a healthy debate on Britain’s relationship with Europe which he said was “very important to the public at large”.

“I would personally like us to stay in a reformed European Union” he said.

As for Scottish independence he said: “A vote for the SNP isn’t a vote for Scottish independence; it’s a vote against the Labour and Conservative parties.”

He said his own three priorities for the next five years were:

* Help Britain continue with its economic recovery

* Make sure people had a fair access to justice, and the courts and legal system were “fit for purpose”.

* Make sure all the people of Harborough were properly represented in parliament.

Labour’s Sundip Meghani came second in Harborough, with 15.3% of the votes. Labour has not been second in Harborough since the 1970s.

UKIP’s Mark Hunt was third with 14.4% of the votes, edging the Liberal Democrat’s Zuffar Haq (13.4%) into a disappointing fourth place.

For the Green’s, who were contesting the Harborough seat for the first time, Darren Woodiwiss achieved 4.1%.