Labour MP to represent Swanage at Westminster

Labour Party candidate Lloyd Hatton has been elected for the South Dorset constituency, defeating former Conservative member of parliament Richard Drax by just over 1,000 votes in the UK General Election.

The result, which was announced in the early hours of Friday 5th July 2024, saw South Dorset change from Conservative control to Labour.

South Dorset election result with Richard Drax and Lloyd Hatton
Dorset Council

Election candidates line up to hear the results at the count in Weymouth. Left to right: Loyd Hatton (Labour), Rosie Morrell (Independent), Matt Bell (Liberal Democrat), Richard Drax (Conservative) and Giovanna Lewis (Independent)

Grew up in Weymouth

Richard Drax has been the Tory MP for the last 14 years representing South Dorset, which covers Weymouth, Swanage and most of Purbeck but not Wareham.

Now 28 year old Lloyd Hatton, who grew up in Weymouth, will become our new MP and represent us at Westminster.

Weymouth general election count
Dorset Council

The votes are counted in Weymouth

South Dorset election result 2024

  • Lloyd Hatton (Labour): 15,659 votes – Elected
  • Richard Drax (Conservative): 14,611 votes
  • Morgan Young (Reform UK): 8,168 votes
  • Matt Bell (Liberal Democrat): 8,017 votes
  • Catherine Bennett (Green): 2,153 votes
  • Joy Wilson (Independent):192 votes
  • Giovanna Lewis (Independent): 185 votes
  • Rosie Morrell (Independent): 52 votes
South Dorset election result with Richard Drax and Lloyd Hatton
Jack Burch

The South Dorset candidates are briefed just before the results are declared

South Dorset election result with Richard Drax and Lloyd Hatton
Jack Burch

Lloyd Hatton is announced as the new member of parliament for South Dorset

“Honour of my life”

Speaking to Swanage.News after the election result, Lloyd Hatton said:

“It’s the honour of my life to represent my home – some of my family live in Weymouth, while my grandparents are in Swanage – and I want to make sure that I’m a strong local voice for South Dorset.

“I grew up in Weymouth and my first job was working with my dad in a fish and chip shop. I was the first in my family to go to university, studying history and politics at Queen Mary which is part of the University of London.

“Like many young people I stayed in London, working as a political researcher, although I’ve also worked on political campaigns in the US. Recently I’ve been working on toughening laws against economic crime like high net worth tax evasion, money laundering and financial services fraud.

“In May 2022 I was elected as a Labour councillor representing Kilburn on Camden London Borough Council, however now that I’ve been fortunate enough to be elected as a member of parliament, I’ll be standing down. I’ll only be having one job!”

Lloyd Hatton and Jim Knight during election campaign
South Dorset Labour Party

Former South Dorset Labour MP Jim Knight (right), now Lord Knight of Weymouth, helping Lloyd on the campaign trail

Richard Drax campaigning in Swanage with Lord Frost
South Dorset Conservative Party

Conservative Richard Drax campaigning in Swanage with politician Lord Frost, former chief negotiator for exiting the European Union

Former MPs Jim Knight and Richard Drax

This isn’t the first time that South Dorset has elected a Labour MP. Jim Knight represented the constituency from 2001 to 2010.

He beat the Conservative candidate by 153 votes in 2002, and increased his majority to 1,812 votes in 2005, serving under a Labour government led by Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown.

In 2010, Jim Knight was defeated by the then new Tory candidate Richard Drax, who was then subsequently re-elected in 2015, 2017 and 2019.

Richard Drax served in the army and later worked as a BBC journalist before entering parliament. He was defending a 17,000 vote majority but was unable to hold on in 2024, losing votes to Labour and Reform.

There is now a string of Labour held constituencies along the South Coast including areas around Brighton, Hove, Worthing, Portsmouth, Southampton, Bournemouth, Poole, Isle of Wight as well as Swanage and Weymouth.

Being called the Red Wave, the seaside towns typically face the similar challenging economic issues of low wages and high housing costs, alongside a changing demographic of more young families who are more likely to vote for Labour.

Lloyd Hatton campaigning in Swanage
Swanage Labour Party

Lloyd (left) knocking on doors with Swanage Labour Party members

Lloyd Hatton campaigning in Swanage
Swanage Labour Party

Lloyd (right) handing out leaflets in South Swanage

“Listening MP that’s visible and hardworking”

Now it’s down to Lloyd Hatton to rise to the challenge in South Dorset. He said:

“As your MP I’m planning to initially focus on three major issues – firstly the NHS. Speaking to people on the doorstep it’s clear that we need to get the NHS back on its feet. We need to support our hospitals and make more GP and dentist appointments available.

“Secondly, I want to work together with businesses, developers and councils to support our high streets. We need to breathe fresh air into our town centres.

“My third priority is to stand up for the environment – to clean up our rivers and sea – protecting and enhancing the amazing place that we live in. We can’t assume all is well and there’s always room to improve what we do.

“Importantly I’m really keen to be a listening MP that’s visible and hardworking. My door will always be open and people can always contact me and have a chat. I think that’s what’s most been missing for the last 14 years.”

And has Lloyd ever met Sir Keir Starmer?

“Well I know him a bit as I’ve played five a side football with him. He’s a very vocal and combative player – actually he’s quite spectacular on the pitch, and I’m sure he’ll be just as spectacular as our new prime minister!

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