The former Conservative MP Louise Mensch has effectively declared Labour winners of the by-election in her former constituency in a series of tweets posted just after the polls closed:
Election result will not be a verdict on either Christine, or the Conservatives, but only on the decision I took to step down mid-term.
Though I had to resign to unite our family, there was large & entirely understandable local anger. I wish I had been able to see out my term
Christine and her team did an incredible job in the most difficult possible circumstances. I know she will one day make a wonderful MP.
The result will not be known until tomorrow afternoon as counting will start in the morning.