General election 2010: Lib Dems defy Tory hopes to hold Torbay

By Catherine Stevenson

Liberal Democrat Adrian Sanders has successfully defended his seat in Torbay in spite of the high hopes of the Conservative candidate, Marcus Wood.

Mr Sanders won with a majority of 4,078 votes, representing a marginal swing of 1.1% from the Conservatives in his favour.

Though traditionally a Conservative seat, Torbay has been held by the Lib Dems since Mr Sanders was first elected in 1997 with a majority of just 12 votes.

He successfully increased this majority to 6,078 in 2001, but this dropped back to 2,029 in 2005. Commentators had speculated that he may lose here should his popularity continue to fall.

The Liberal Democrats will take heart from this result – early exit polls indicated that the party was likely to suffer losses in spite of the surge in popularity they have enjoyed in the polls.