General election 2010: Tories lose manure expenses seat

By Sasjkia Otto

Tory incumbent David Heathcoat-Amory has lost the Wells seat he has held since 1983 to the Liberal Democrats in the wake of the expenses scandal that forced him to repay more than £29,500.

Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt’s campaigning against parliamentary expenses – highlighting Mr Heathcoat-Amory’s claims for manure – is though to have proved decisive.

She earned 44% of the vote, beating Mr Heathcoat-Amory by one per cent with a narrow 800-vote majority.

This has been a safe Conservative seat since 1924 but Mr Heathcoat-Amory had a lead of just 3,040 in the last election.

His expenses claims did not help his cause. The gain will be welcome news to the Lib Dems, whose performance nationally has fallen short of poll predictions.