“The party is over” in more ways than one for the Conservatives after they were heavily defeated in the North Shropshire by-election by the Liberal Democrats.

Helen Morgan won 17,957 votes compared to the 12,032 votes earned by the Tory candidate Neil Shastri-Hurst who was aiming to replace Owen Paterson in the seat, whose resignation following the so-called sleaze scandal triggered the by-election.

In her victory speech, Morgan, who won by 5,925 votes, said: “Tonight, the people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people. They have said loudly and clearly, ‘Boris Johnson, the party is over.’

“Your government, run on lies and bluster, will be held accountable. It will be scrutinised, it will be challenged and it can and will be defeated.”

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The Lib Dems managed to turn over a massive 23,000 majority that the Tories won the seat by in the 2019 general election and in an area that voted by 59.85 per cent to leave the European Union in 2016.

This result is unlikely to make prime minister Boris Johnson’s life any easier as he faces growing pressure over parties that have allegedly taken place in Downing Street during lockdown and growing unrest from his own MPs.

Speaking on Sky News, Tory chairman Oliver Dowden admitted that the voters were “fed up” and “gave us a kicking”.

Meanwhile, the Lib Dem leader Ed Davey, who is self-isolating after testing positive for Covid, said he wasn’t surprised that Johnson was losing support from the public: “I’m not surprised Boris Johnson, after his shocking Peppa Pig speech and ‘partygate’ where they’ve broken the rules that they’ve told us to follow, I’m not surprised that he’s now losing the support of lifelong Conservatives.”

The overall reaction to the result can definitely be summed us as schadenfreude for the Tories and celebration for those that either supported the Lib Dems or are opposed to the government.

Meanwhile, Morgan’s words – “the party is over” – clearly resonated with many people.

It didn’t take long for #ByeByeBoris to start trending on Twitter... (and here’s some tips for what he could do next of he does resign...)

To put into context just how devastating this loss will be for the government, the seat of North Shropshire has been a Tory stronghold for nearly 200 years and has had a Conservative MP since it was created in 1832 (it was abolished in 1885 before being revived in 1983).

All eyes, once again, turn to Downing Street to see how the prime minister will attempt to solve yet another alarming situation for his party.

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