READING West has returned a Conservative candidate in the 2017 election.

Alok Sharma, who has served as the constituency's MP since 2010 won the election with 25,311 votes, beating Labour's Olivia Bailey into second place with 22,435.

In a closely contested election his majority fell from 6,650 in 2015 to just 2,876.

Addressing gathered supporters after the result was announced at Rivermead Leisure Centre early this morning he said: "Thank you Mr Returning Officer.

"With the regularity of election you and your team have clearly become faster at counting because last election we finished at 7am but today it was 3.30am.

"I thank everyone that voted for me and the faith the people of Reading West put in me.

"I will do my best in the next term to serve you the best I can."

Liberal Democrat Meri O'Connell won 3,041 votes whilst Green Jamie Whitham won 979 votes.

Mr Sharma continued: " With any election in a marginal seat, which Reading West has been for a number of years, there's always an amount of nerves.

"Over the past seven years the big issues I have tackled include securing more spaces at schools, getting more business investment and securing more standard class seats on trains from Reading into Paddington.

"Those are the big issues and that's what matters to the people of Reading West."