A newly appointed Liberal Democrat councillor has attributed his victory at last night’s by-election to hard work and the "tireless campaigning of his supporters".

Education charity boss John Ayles was declared a Surbiton Hill ward councillor after recording a narrow victory over Conservative rival Nick Kilby at the Guildhall in the early hours of this morning.

With a relatively low turnout of just 31.6 percent, the Lib Dems recorded a majority of 102, winning 42 per cent of the vote.

Speaking last night Mr Ayles said: "We ran a very good campaign, worked hard and it appears the time we spent on the doorstep has paid dividends.

"I look forward to working with my fellow Surbiton Hill councillors Malcolm Self and Neil Houston and thank all the campaigners who worked tirelessly to secure this victory.

"Whilst I am very pleased to have won, the result and election has been overshadowed by the tragic death of a pupil at Tolworth Infants School earlier today.

"My thoughts are with the family at this difficult time."

Tory candidate Nick Kilby has lost two elections in Surbiton Hill but did not rule out running again.

Mr Kilby received 895 votes. He said: “You just never know what is around the corner.

"I don’t live my life in the past and I don’t walk away from the people.

"These are people who I now consider friends and will always stay in contact with them and support them in whatever way I can.

"Also, you must be philosophical about this result because, really, what does it matter when you consider what the family of the young boy from Tolworth Infants must be going through?"

Independent candidate James Riding received 21 votes. He said: "I stood in this election because I and a lot of people in Surbiton feel very let down.

"If things were OK then you wouldn’t even know my name but a lot of people in my district feel they have been ignored and are angry about the seemingly relentless over-development."

Labour candidate Katie Hill was upbeat despite only winning 13 per cent of the vote.

She said: "Our aim was to increase our majority and we have achieved that.

"From what we have been told on the doorsteps of Surbiton it is pretty clear people are unhappy with the cuts.

"We are determined to continue to fight back against this coalition and defend the people in Kingston.

“We must also remember that a family is grieving over a terrible loss.

"We will do everything we can do to support them at this difficult time."

The Christian People’s Alliance candidate Paul Pickhaver received 171 votes polling fourth.

Mr Pickhaver said: "I will always put people above politics and that is why I have personally knocked on so many doors and spoken to so many people.

"I know the people of Surbiton Hill want their views heard all the time and not just at elections.

"I have tried to demonstrate what a hard working, listening local councillor looks like and I know that the voters responded positively to that."

Chris Walker received 81 votes for the Green Party and came fifth.

The Liberal Democrat's London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick added his praise for his party coleague's victory last night on Twitter this morning saying: "Surbiton Hill Ward, South West London was a safe Conservative seat for years until we won it last year.

"By-election yesterday - we held it!"