Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Eastleigh voters react to Lib Dem by-election victory

After an intensive three-week campaign, Eastleigh voters have elected Liberal Democrat Mike Thornton as their new MP.

Reacting to the result, many voters voiced surprise at UKIP finishing second ahead of the Conservatives.

The Tories called UKIP's showing a "protest vote" but UKIP leader Nigel Farage insisted it was not a "freak result".

The Lib Dems held the seat with a reduced majority, but Mr Thornton called it a "stunning victory".

Constituents were divided on their choice of candidate - but united in their relief at the end of the "annoying" campaigning by parties.

Maxine Proudley, from Bishopstoke

"I've had enough of the canvassing.

"I even put Sellotape over my letterbox to stop them posting more leaflets.

"When I was going to work yesterday I saw a canvasser out at 5am.

"I didn't want the Lib Dems to get in.

"Everything that happened with Chris Huhne should have put people off voting for them.

"I'm happy UKIP came second but I'm a bit surprised."

Doreen Dees, from Eastleigh

"I'm glad the Lib Dems won because that's who I voted for.

"I was a little worried they would lose because the last MP [Chris Huhne] resigned.

"I'm a bit sad UKIP has come second in Eastleigh.

"I'm glad it's over because all the leaflets were starting to get annoying.

"My letterbox was full every day."

Mike Carreras, from Eastleigh

"Local issues haven't been addressed in this campaign.

"Where's the debate about education? Where's the debate about policing?

"They have been talking about Westminster politics.

"They are all clones of the Westminster machine for each party.

"I have four grandchildren and I don't know what their future in this town will be with the new MP."

James Ford, from Eastleigh

"I think there's a lack of faith in the Lib Dems here so I'm surprised they won.

"They put out a lot of propaganda and we got hundreds of leaflets from the parties.

"It was absolutely crazy.

"UKIP coming second is fantastic.

"I didn't vote for them but we just need change at the moment."

Roy Brown, from Bishopstoke

"I wanted the Lib Dems out and UKIP in.

"The Lib Dems and Tories lost a lot of votes compared to last time [2010] which is good.

"I think there are two main reasons for that.

"We have got to get out of Europe and only UKIP will do that.

"I also think a lot of people changed from the Tories and Lib Dems over gay marriage."

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