Liberal Democrat Edward Davey held his seat in Kingston and Surbiton, after a lengthy count which lasted until nearly 6am.

Council officials were visibly frustrated at the delay, apparently caused by a combination of late and high turnout and the sifting out of council votes to be added up at 2.30pm today.

Despite the emerging disappointment for his party nationally, Edward Davey held on, although his large majority was reduced by a strong showing from his Conservative rival Helen Whately.

But the writing was on the wall before the final announcement as the piles of ballot papers stacked up in his favour.

Edward Davey has a slightly reduced majority down to 7,560 from nearly 9,000 in 2005.

Helen Whately improved her party's showing by more than 4,000 votes.

UKIP Jonathan Greensted came fourth, 3,887 votes behind Labour's Max Freedman.

The Monster Raving Loony Party got more votes than the Christian Peoples Alliance, both behind the Greens.

After the count, defeated Helen Whately, said: "It has been a good night for us. We fought a strong campaign and I'm happy with the result".

She said it was too early to decide whether to stand again.

Winner Edward Davey said: "It was slightly better than I had expected and given what has happened all over, it's even better"

Edward Davey Liberal Democrat 28,428
Helen Whately Conservative 20,868
Max Freedman Labour 5,337
Jonathan Greensted UK Independence Party 1,450
Chris Walker Green 555
Monkey the Drummer Monster Raving Loony Party 247
Tony May Christian People's Alliance 226
Turnout 57,261 70.6 percent.