LABOUR candidate Tamsin Dunwoody said that the 17.6 per cent swing that enabled the Conservatives to take Crewe and Nantwich was a 'mid-term blip'.

Speaking immediately after the loss Ms Dunwoody said that a large turnout by Tory voters had played a signicant part in the result.

She said: "The Conservative voters came out in force, particularly in the rural villages, in a way that we haven't seen since the 80's."

"There's a global economic situation going on but we should stay united, stay strong and keep fighting. This is a mid-term blip.

"This was a difficult mid-term by-election and we always knew that was going to be the case. We know the Prime Minister can lead us through this."

She said she was proud of the campaign and would not change any of it although she was obviously disappointed with the result.

Asked what her mother Gwyneth would have made of the loss Ms Dunwoody said she would have found the nature of the campaign quite amusing.

Ms Dunwoody said: "A Conservative candidate could never have won here while my mum was alive, she carried a very strong personal vote but she would have enjoyed the knockabout nature of it."

Ms Dunwoody also sounded a warning to Edward Timpson as he took on the mantle of Crewe and Nantwich MP.

She said: "My mother was dedicated to this seat, she served it well as a Parliamentarian. It is an honour to serve the people of Crewe and Nantwich. Every one of us will be watching you."