WILD horses and the combined efforts of the Liberal Democrats, Labour, Greens and UKIP could not stop New Forest West MP Desmond Swayne from heading back to Westminster.
The 53-year-old Conservative took the seat for the fourth time as the ballot papers piled up at the Applemore Leisure Centre last night.
Mr Swayne, relaxed after dinner with wife Moira at a restaurant in Sway, said: “It’s a great privilege to serve the people of the New Forest. I could not be more fortunate.”
Lib Dem candidate Mike Plummer said he was pleased with the expected result adding that realistically the Liberal Democrats knew they were not going to take the third safest seat in the country.
He said he would be pleased to Desmond Swayne’s massive majority.
Mr Swayne, who serves as a Major in the Territorial Army and has seen service in Iraq, is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Conservative Party Leader David Cameron.
Turnout in the New Forest West constituency was 69.7 per cent, up 3.2 per cent on 2005.
Mr Swayne was elected in 1997 and first served as parliamentary private secretary Michael Howard before David Cameron became leader.
Before this he held shadow ministerial portfolios for Northern Ireland, Health and Defence and he has also been a senior Opposition whip.