General election 2010: Evan Harris falls to Tories

By Sam Dale

The Conservatives have made a key gain in Oxford West and Abingdon by ousting popular Liberal Democrat Evan Harris.

The Lib Dem defeat follows Lembit Opik’s loss in the Montgomeryshire seat earlier this evening.

Conservative Nicola Blackwood was elected with 23,906, gaining a tiny 176 majority over Mr Harris in a 6.9% swing.

Labour’s Richard Stevens trailed well behind with just 10.6% and 5,999 votes.

Mr Harris squandered a 14% lead from 2005 and will be very disappointed with the result.

On his twitter page Mr Harris said: “Sorry that you guys have to share my disappointment. Thanks for the maessages I am okay and will come back from this and re-win.”

The Lib Dems appear to be facing a tough night as expected gains have not materialised and the large swing means they could face losses to the Conservatives.

The constituency is a largely rural seat containing some of Oxford itself. It is the more affluent of the two Oxford seats, with fewer students and less social housing.