Remain parties made a pact with the Liberal Democrats winning by a margin of 1,425, securing 43.5 percent of the vote compared to the Tories’ 39 percent. The Brexit Party came in third with 10.5 percent of the vote. Labour suffered a crippling defeat, falling into fourth place and only taking just over 5 percent of the vote.
Liberal Democrat Jane Dodds defeated Tory incumbent Chris Davies who ran again despite having been ousted as an MP after admitting he had submitted false expenses claims.
Chairman of the Tory party James Cleverly accused the Liberal Democrats of making “dirty backroom deals” with Remain parties Plaid Cymru and the Greens.
Both parties agreed to stand side and boost the chances of a Remainer MP being elected.
Mr Cleverly said: “A majority voted for parties committed to leaving the EU in this by-election, and yet they now have a Liberal Democrat MP who has made it explicitly clear she is going to do everything she can to frustrate the referendum result.”
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The by-election result has shrunk Mr Johnson’s Parliamentary majority and increases the risk of a snap General Election.
After the defeat there were calls from prominent Tory Brexiteers for a pact with the Brexit Party to stave off any potential further deals among the Remainer parties.
Leader of the Lib Dems Jo Swinson said she expected many more Remain alliances in the future.
Steve Baker who may be replacing Jacob Rees-Mogg as Chair of the European Research Group next month, said: “It is becoming obvious to all now that the Brexit Party standing against the Conservative Party would produce a massive own goal.”
However, a government spokesman said the Prime Minister has “no plans at all” to make a deal with the Brexit Party and “absolutely no intention” for any coalition with Mr Farage.
This week Mr Farage said the Tories will be “annihilated” if they fail to deliver Brexit by October 31.
It also comes as two dozen Tory MPs have said they will consider quitting the party in protest of the government’s plans to leave the EU without a deal.
Pro-EU former justice minister Philip Lee said he is considering whether to move to the Lib Dems which could wipe out Mr Johnson’s majority.
Dr Lee said he feels “politically homeless” over the party’s new support of a no-deal Brexit following Mr Johnson’s victory.