The 13 year Liberal Democrat hold on Winchester was shattered today by the Conservatives.
Steve Brine snatched Winchester and Chandler’s Ford with a majority of 3,048 in a result announced at 5.30am.
O ecstatic cheers from Tory supporters, the High Sheriff Alan Lovell announced the result before a bleary eyed crowd at the River Park Leisure Centre.
Mr Brine over turned a 7,500 majority for Mark Oaten in 2005 as his party mounted a resurgence for their first General Election victory in the city since 1992.
Mr Brine told the Daily Echo seconds after the result was announced: “I’m thrilled and honoured. It’s been a really hard campaign. I know how hard Martin has also worked. The is a bigger majority
than I can have hoped for.”
His defeated main opponent Martin Tod was surprised by the level of the defeat.
He said: “Questions will be asked about he opinion polls. We never saw the uplift in Winchester that was reported nationally after the TV debate.”
Mr Tod also said that in the last few days of the campaign there was wide spread fears on the doorstep about the risks of a hung parliament which may have tempted many waverers to vote Tory.
The result showed how strong the support had been for retiring MP Mark Oaten.
Many Conservative supporters backed him because of his strong record as a constituency MP.
Mr Tod although hard working and popular was unable to retain that support.
Steve Brine (Cone) 27, 155 Martin Tod (Lib Dem) 24, 107 Patrick Davies (Lab) 3,051 Joceyln Penn-Bull (UKIP) 1139
Mark Lancaster (English Democrats) 503.