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Tory MP blames councillors for by-election defeat

The Conservative MP Conor Burns appears to blame local councillors rather than the central party leadership for the party's poor performance in the Eastleigh by-election:

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The Eastleigh result is in no small part a consequence of withered local organisation caused by an absence of Council leadership or vision

Watch: Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings ignores reporters' questions

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Labour Eastleigh candidate called 'loser' by his wife

The Labour party candidate John O'Farrell has tweeted on the morning after his defeat in the Eastleigh by election.

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Mrs O'F just woke me with an affectionate 'Mornin' Loser!'

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Had hoped more would switch from Lib to Lab. Some did, but as many of ours went to UKIP. Lab % share up slightly. Result feels OK in context

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Clegg: 'We had to fight in exceptional circumstances'

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has thanked party supporters after the party held the seat of Eastleigh in yesterday's by-election.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. Credit: ITV Pool

He said: "This has been a by-election we have had to fight in exceptional circumstances. Our opponents have thrown everything at us. We held our nerve, we stood our ground, we worked as a team, we went out and campaigned on every doorstep. We overcame the odds and won a stunning victory."

Diane James: Beating the Tories is a 'humongous' shock

The UK Independence Party's Diane James, has described beating the Tories to take second place in the Eastleigh by-election was a "humongous" shock that represented a "seismic shift" in UK politics.

The UK Independence Party's Diane James. Credit: Press Association.

Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings polled 10,559 votes - more than 1,000 behind Ukip, which snatched huge chunks of the coalition parties' 2010 general election vote share, taking more than 27% of the total.

Read: Nigel Farage: By-election result is really exciting

Conservative MPs react to finishing third in by-election

Conservative MPs have been tweeting after the party's candidate, Maria Hutchings, finished third in the Eastleigh by-election:

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Gutted. Lovely woman would be great MP. Got to start work now - have a great day ! (Palin-esque)

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Pinch punch first of the month-not the best start to the month from Eastleigh. Commiserations to Maria, stick at it though

Watch: Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings ignores reporters

Tim Farron: 'Outstanding result' in by-election

Liberal Democrat president Tim Farron has called the Eastleigh election the most "important by-election since the war."

His party's candidate Mike Thornton won the by-election with a majority of 1,771.

Speaking to Daybreak he said the win was an "outstanding" result, that speaks volumes about the Lib Dems' place in the next general election.

Read: Thornton 'It feels amazing and astonishing'

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