AS expected Conservative Desmond Swayne has retained his New Forest West seat for a fifth term.

The 58-year-old powered to a 28,420 vote victory, meaning he increased his majority by more than 3,500 votes from 16,896, in 2010, to 20,604.

Mr Swayne has held the constituency since its creation in 1997 and left opponents in his wake.

UKIP candidate Paul Bailey, a businessman, who was running for the first time, took a surprise second-place with 7,816.

Behind him was Labour’s Lena Samuels, who ended up on 5,133, while Liberal Democrat, Imogen Shepherd-DuBey, had the backing of 3,293 voters.

Green Party candidate Janet Richards got 2,748 votes.

“We will no doubt enjoy the result being dissected over the weekend, so I will spare you that,” announced Mr Swayne in his victory speech.

“I just want to thank Rosemary (deputy returning officer Rosemary Rutlin) and her team for the efficiency for which this proceeding that has been conducted tonight.

“I have to thank my wife for putting up with a tired and grumpy husband over the last eight weeks.

“I wish to thank my agent for securing for an even better result than last time – I didn’t believe it was possible.

“And I wish to thank all of the people of the New Forest and particularly my supporters, who’ve campaigned for the result. And for the faith they’ve placed in me tonight.”