Huge Blow For Boris Johnson As Lib Dems Win Tiverton And Honiton By-Election

The Liberal Democrats won the Tiverton and Honiton by-elections.

In another major blow to Boris Johnson, the party managed to overthrow the Tories’ 24,000 majority and win the Devon seat by 6,144 votes on an exceptional 30 per cent swing.

Lib Dem candidate Richard Foord received 22,537 votes, Conservative Helen Hurford 16,393 and Labour’s Liz Pole 1,562.

In the 2019 general election, the Lib Dems finished third behind the Tories and Labour.

It is the largest majority in by-election history.

The sensational result came just minutes after the Labor Party defeated the Conservatives to retake the Red Wall seat in Wakefield.

It is the first time since 1991, when John Major was Prime Minister, that a ruling party has lost two by-elections on the same day.

And it is the Lib Dem’s third by-election victory over the Tories in a year, after their victories in North Shropshire in December and Chesham and Amersham last June.

The recent crushing losses will put even more pressure on Johnson, less than three weeks after 148 of his own MPs voted against a motion of confidence in his leadership.

While it’s not uncommon for governments to lose by-elections, the sheer scale of the turnaround in Tory fortunes since 2019 will worry MPs, who now believe their own seats are in jeopardy.

Johnson, who is in Rwanda for a summit of Commonwealth leaders, yesterday dismissed suggestions that he would have to resign if he lost both by-elections.

He said: “I will be watching the results with interest, but always with optimism and enthusiasm, but most seasoned political observers know that mid-term by-elections are not necessarily easy for any government.”

Tiverton and Honiton’s by-election was called after Neil Parish resigned as a Tory MP after admitting to watching porn in the House of Commons.

The Lib Dems declared victory more than an hour before the result was officially announced.

A party spokesman said: “People in Tiverton and Honiton have spoken out in favor of the country. This is a historic victory for the Liberal Democrats and a devastating blow to the Conservative MPs who continue to support Boris Johnson.”

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