CAROLINE Lucas swept aside her political rivals to retain her position as MP for Brighton Pavilion.

The former Green party leader commanded her most convincing lead yet with 33,151 of the 58,157 votes cast - a share of more than 57 per cent.

This is the fourth consecutive election she has improved her share of the vote.

She said: “I’m just hugely grateful for the voters for putting their trust and confidence in me again. I feel very humbled by it and it is a massive privilege.

“But, I would say, there are other places in the country which would have loved to have voted for Green but, sadly, the voting system works against that.

“So, I hope one of the lessons from tonight across the country is that we do have a renewed focus on changing our rotten electoral system.”

She pointed to the fact that, looking at the “big issue of the night, more votes were cast for parties that were in favour of a second referendum than for Boris Johnson and the Brexit Party”.

Ms Lucas, who has held the seat since 2010, said this was true at the time she was speaking, at 4.30am yesterday with several results still to come in.

Supporters erupted in celebration as it was announced she had secured the seat. Her husband Richard Savage led a standing ovation as she delivered a passionate speech, lamenting the First Past the Post voting system.

Following the result, she told The Argus that she also wanted to focus on Brighton’s housing crisis.

She said: “As soon as you walk out of the Brighton Centre (where the vote count was held) you don’t have to go very far before you will find people living on our streets, in the cold and the wet.

“In the sixth biggest economy in the world, I think that is shocking.

“I want to do whatever I can in Parliament to add my voice to others which I am sure are also calling for more council housing, which both Labour and the Greens wanted to see.

“We also wanted to see a cap on the spiralling rents which make it almost impossible for people to ever afford a mortgage, with many struggling to make ends meet.”

One of her key election pledges, aligning with those of her party, centred around pushing for a People’s Vote.

But she admitted that continuing to push for a People’s Vote is “going to be really hard”.

She added: “We are going to have to have some very serious thinking over where we go next on that.”

Caroline Lucas faced competition from Conservative candidate Dr Emma Hogan, an NHS doctor working in Brighton.

The Conservative party romped to its biggest victory for decades winning 362 seats to Labour’s 203.

Ahead of the final result, Dr Hogan said the Exit Polls showed the election day was “a good day to be a Tory” and that “the

people have spoken”.

While she explained that she understood the strength of the pre-existing Green majority in Brighton Pavilion, she said she hoped the Tory party could “make inroads” into this in the General Election.

She added: “I’m hoping we have made some inroads into that majority and shown them that there is competition.

“I think the exit polls are showing that anything is possible.

“I believe in the future Pavilion could turn blue.

“I’m local to Brighton, I live here, I work here, I went to university here, I would be really keen to be part of that.”

Dr Hogan earned 10,176 votes, down from the Tory’s tally of 11,082 in 2017.

But, after receiving the news she said, “I’ll be back”.

In debates hosted by The Argus earlier this week, Labour candidate and mechanic Adam Imanpour argued the value of a National Education Service.

But he was also unable to topple Ms Lucas’ commanding lead with 13,211 votes, down from his predecessor’s total of

15,450 votes in 2017.

The turnout in Brighton Pavilion also fell from the 2017 result.

A total of 58,157 of the 79,057 strong total electorate made their way to polling stations to cast their vote.

This was a share of 73.56 per cent.

Despite initial rumours on social media of a record turnout at this year’s Brighton elections, this was lower than the 2017 percentage of 76.4 per cent.

Both Brighton Kemptown and Hove and Portslade also saw a decreased voter turnout.

Richard Milton, standing for the Brexit party, described the task of taking on the Green party in Brighton Pavilion as a “massive mountain to climb”.

But he said that, through his campaigning, he had seen a significant amount of people who were unhappy with the party’s leadership.

He said: “Talking to people, I did get a sense of frustration.

“I know in the EU referendum Brighton Pavilion had one of the biggest proportions of Remain votes, but about 24 per cent voted to Leave and that is still a large amount of people.

“I spoke to them and they were disenfranchised. The support I got was very enthusiastic. Hundreds of people helped me hand out leaflets in very poor weather, and I’m very grateful to them.”

Other candidates to stand in Brighton Pavillion were Bob Dobbs, independent, Nigel Furness, UKIP and Citizen Skwith for the The Official Monster Raving Loony Party.