Mike Thornton is the new MP for Eastleigh after the Liberal Democrats swept to victory by in the by election. this morning

Securing 32 per cent of the vote the Liberal Democrats were celebrating retaining the seat vacated by disgraced former MP Chris Huhne.

In his victory speech he told the crowd: "we can do it, we have done it and we will do it again."

He said he would focus on being a hard working constituency MP.

He added:"it is strong signal of support for Nick Clegg and a huge boost to his government, mission in government.

But the story of the night was the performance of the UKIP party whose candidate Diane James secured an historic second place, pushing Maria Hutchings into a disappointing third place.

Mr Thornton said: "The people of Eastleigh recognise that here the Liberal Democrats have always had a superb record of delivery.

"We have always listened to what people want and always made sure we did a good job extremely well."