Lib Dems take Eastleigh in by-election

Ballot boxes  at Fleming Park in Eastleigh
Ballot boxes at Fleming Park in Eastleigh
An aerial view of the Solent airfield. Picture by Shaun Roster

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The Liberal Democrats won the Eastleigh by-election with the Conservatives pushed into third place by a late surge from the UK Independence Party.

Local councillor Michael Thornton held on to the seat vacated by disgraced ex-cabinet minister Chris Huhne - polling 13,342 votes.

Ukip’s candidate Diane James was second on 11,571 - more than 1,000 ahead of Tory Maria Hutchings in a severe blow to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Results

Mike Thornton (Lib Dem) 13,342 (32.06%, -14.48%)

Diane James (UKIP) 11,571 (27.80%, +24.20%)

Maria Hutchings (Con) 10,559 (25.37%, -13.96%)

John O’Farrell (Lab) 4,088 (9.82%, +0.22%)

Danny Stupple (Ind) 768 (1.85%, +1.56%)

Dr Iain Maclennan (NHA) 392 (0.94%)

Ray Hall (Beer) 235 (0.56%)

Kevin Milburn (Christian) 163 (0.39%)

Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 136 (0.33%)

Jim Duggan (Peace) 128 (0.31%)

David Bishop (Elvis) 72 (0.17%)

Michael Walters (Eng Dem) 70 (0.17%, -0.30%)

Daz Procter (TUSC) 62 (0.15%)

Colin Bex (Wessex Reg) 30 (0.07%)

LD maj 1,771 (4.26%)

19.34% swing LD to UKIP