Conservative candidate Tobias Ellwood was elected as MP for Bournemouth East for the third time.

The decisive vote saw the Tory MP almost double his majority.

Early optimism shaped the mood for the night as exit polls ensured Mr Ellwood was "positive but not complacent."

While not appearing overly confident, he appeared relaxed as he moved among supporters at the Littledown Centre during the early stages of the election count.

And he had every reason to be as he polled 22,060 to the nearest candidate, Labour's Peter Stokes, with 7,448.

"It is a real honour to represent this fantastic constituency", Mr Ellwood said following the declaration.

"Not only here but across the country voters have made a clear choice about the direction they want this country to go in.

"While we still do not know the full result nationwide, I want to thank the electorate and the constituents for all their hard work.

"There was very much a danger that things would be very, very close and lead to a hung parliament. That would not provide the leadership that the country needs."

Turnout for the ward was on a par with the 2010 figure of 62%, 44,024 votes.

This year, the number of votes polled was 45,014, 62.55%.

Increasing their share of the vote, UKIP, represented by David Hughes, polled 7,401.

They were pipped to second place by Labour candidate Peter Stokes, who polled 7,448 votes, an increase on 5,836 in 2010. He said while the welcome on the doorsteps had been warmer from residents than two terms ago, he had not expected to make any gains.

The Green Party candidate Alasdair Keddie said: "For us the real work will start on May 8.

"The local elections will be very interesting; I would like to see us gain a few councillors. That will stand us in good stead for 2020."

The Green Party candidate totalled 3,263 votes in Bournemouth East, beaten by the Liberal Democrat candidate Jon Nicholas with 3,752. But with their votes slashed by nearly 10,000 compared to 2010, the party were no longer the opposition in Bournemouth East.

Speaking earlier in the evening Mr Nicholas told the Daily Echo the party had "haemorrhaged" a lot of support.

Compared to their second place position in 2010 with 13,592 and 30.9% of the vote, their share was slashed.

David Ross, of the Bournemouth Independent Alliance, polled 903.